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Why I chose an interracial couple for my young adult love story.

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This hot couple is inter-planetary and interracial.

When I started to write my young adult novel, The Family, I felt that certain teens were not represented in the y/a that I was reading. It was really important to me to have a strong African American male and a strong gay character.  I think things have evolved, but when I started my book – I just was not seeing these teens. Granted, it might have been what I was reading…but hey. By the way – want a strong gay teen? Read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Damn, girl can write. And it is SO funny and heartwarming!

Leo is half white and half black. He talks to Twig about living in two worlds, and of course, she can relate to this as she starts to take steps away from The Family, the dangerous and oppressive cult she’s been raised in. Their struggle between worlds is VERY different. His is cultural and kind of wonderful -despite its challenges. Twig’s world is harrowing, and she steps onto the precipice of a new, a free world. An imperfect but beautiful world. Our world.

Only in retrospect do I see that I might have been working out some of my own history in my writing. At one point in my life my mom was married to a Jamaican man (after my dad), and my father was not happy. (Understatement.) I just actually called my father. We’re very close – and obviously we share VERY different opinions here, but this is tough stuff, and I wasn’t sure he wanted it all over my blog. But you dear 20 people who read my blog, will keep an open mind I hope. Hate the racism. Don’t hate the man. Or something like that.

Later in my life (my twenties) – before I met my wonderful husband, I was dating an awesome, talented, very dear African American man. My dad went pretty ballistic. And no – this was not in the 1950’s. It sucked. My brothers stopped talking to my dad, my dad stopped talking to me – it was a mess. But we’re family and we got through it. That’s one long story short.

So if I want to shrink myself (which I can, I have a masters in psychology, baby) – I might have been working out a few issues with Twig and Leo. I love that. Maybe I wasn’t. Who knows. Either way, they are a gorgeous couple, and I fell in love with them and their love affair while I wrote the book.

The Family is on sale for two more days for $1.99. Grab it! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Sapphire Inspiration – making art with an old friend

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For any of you who have read my debut novel, The Family, you know Sapphire. In order to create Sapphire, I went to an equestrian center in Burbank, California, where the trainers were kind enough to let me hang out with them and photograph the beautiful, majestic horses. This is one of the beauties I photographed, and she feels just like Sapphire, Twig’s beloved horse, doesn’t she?

Itching to make art lately, I signed up for some super cool and more technical art classes sponsored by the city of Santa Monica (cheap!!). Last week’s was transfer printing. We were told to bring images from ink jet or toner printers – I grabbed a handful of Kate Moss, Twiggy, etc. But once I got there – it felt much better, more authentic, to use print outs of my own photographs – like this one above. A little Modge Podge later and here she is transferred onto a piece of canvas. I am excited to paint this image – play with it. Get back into art. Stay tuned for my next classes- wood cut transfer and more!

The Family is on sale for this last week of January! Grab it on Amazon for $1.99.