Interview with Jessica Verdi (Author of THE SUMMER I WASN’T ME)

Meet Jessica!

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Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, tattoos, and her dog. Jessica is also the author of My Life After Now.

Hi Jessica, welcome to Whimsically Yours!! Why did you decide to write this book? More specifically, why did you decide to set it at an anti-gay camp?

When I was toying with ideas for the topic of my second novel, this story really called out to me. I’ve always been fascinated by these so-called conversion camps, places where religious leaders claim they can turn gay kids straight. There is no doubt in my mind that they’re claiming to do the impossible, and that telling LGBTQ kids there’s something wrong with them is nothing short of abuse, but the root behind these camps actually, in a twisted way, stems from a good place. The parents who send their kids to these programs truly believe their children are on the wrong path in life and that they will go to hell if they don’t make a change. These parents are desperate to “save” their kids, in their own misguided way. This is something that has long intrigued me, and a world I knew I wanted to explore in the book.

But it all came together for me when, funnily enough, I was listening to Lady Gaga’s song “Hair.” The chorus of that song goes,

I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.

And I started thinking about all the kids who aren’t loved for who they are, and that made me so sad. And I knew I had to tell Lexi’s story.
I think you balance the preachy-over religiousness of the camp counselors with also still allowing for Christianity to not be seen as bad or the source of all of Lexi and the other campers’ problems. How did you do this? Was there ever a time you were worried this book would come off as a bad or stereotypical portrayal as Christians as homophobic?

Thank you! Finding that fine line between a biased, educational pamphlet and a book that has no opinion at all is something I always work hard to accomplish in everything I write, because I personally never want to write either of those. So I always try to do two things. 1) Make the characters and situations as layered and relatable as possible, so the reader, no matter who they are, will identify with and root for them, regardless of whether they agree with them or not. 2) Present many sides of the story. I personally don’t agree with these ex-gay programs, but there are characters in the book who have their own reasons for believing in it and wanting it to work. There are also characters, like Matthew, who thinks it’s complete and total B.S. I think if every character has a believable, understandable motivation, the rest will fall into place.

Why did you choose Lexi as your main character? All of the campers in this book seem to have stories that easily could’ve made for a great novel.

That’s a good question, and I guess the only answer I have is that I just really knew her. Not that I didn’t know all my characters incredibly well, but there was something about Lexi’s story that I really related to on a different level—even though we have very different lives. She was special and unique but also so familiar. I hope readers feel that way about her too.

Do you think you’d ever revisit the lives of Lexi or any of the other campers or is this it?

Never say never, right? I love Lexi, Carolyn, Daniel, and Mathew so much, so I’d love to revisit them some day, and see where they end up a few years down the line. But for now I have no specific plans for a sequel. There are so many other characters bouncing around in my head that I’d love to get to know. 🙂

The Great Gatsby is a text that’s central to the plot of the story (it’s also one of my favorite novels). Why The Great Gatsby? Was it always your intention to have passages of the book throughout The Summer I Wasn’t Me?

I’ve always really connected with pop culture, and I feel like I’m always relating things I encounter in my daily life to something that happened in a show or a lyric of a song or whatever. So when I’m writing I like giving the reader the opportunity to, as they’re reading, make connections between my book and something they may already be familiar with, since that’s what I like to do in my own life. Finding links, familiarity, shared experiences.

I love The Great Gatsby, and it seemed to be the perfect parallel for Lexi’s story. I’ve always read that book as a queer text, but there are other similarities between the stories as well. They’re both about trying to change who you are to please the person you love, they both have themes of forbidden love, they’re both about being in a new place, they both take place in the summer. And so I thought it was a good way to illustrate that there is always more than one way to look at something.

What’s your patronus? (Speaking of Harry Potter, I loved Daniel’s bit paralleling HP with Jesus.)

I’m so glad you liked that scene. I love that moment too, when Daniel finally finds a way to stand up for himself a little bit. My patronus is probably an elephant. They’re my favorite animal—so beautiful and smart and loving and gentle.

What is the first story you remember writing?

I was always a big reader growing up, but I didn’t really start writing until I was in my mid-late twenties. The first book I ever wrote was an adult chick lit magical realism story about friendship and music and finding love. 🙂

Fun Fact about yourself most people don’t know or wouldn’t expect?

I have terrible handwriting. Just awful. But luckily I’m a pretty good typer. <–ha, I’m with you there! -P

What was your favorite childhood book/author?

Oh I had so many! One series I read over and over again was Judy Blume’s Fudge series. LOVED it.

What other projects are you working on/any closing words about The Summer I Wasn’t Me, etc…?

I have a book coming out next year called What You Left Behind. It’s my first novel from the point of view of a boy main character. It’s the story of Ryden, a teen boy who got his girlfriend pregnant while she had cancer. She decided to continue with the pregnancy even though it meant stopping her chemo treatments. The story starts a few months after she dies while giving birth, when Ryden is struggling to reconcile the intense guilt he feels with the struggles of being a new dad.

And as for The Summer I Wasn’t Me, on a very basic level, I hope Lexi’s story will help readers to know they are a-ok just the way they are. And if someone is telling you otherwise (whether they’re criticizing your sexuality, your appearance, your disability, your hobbies and interests, or anything else) they’re the ones who have to take a long, hard look at themselves, and maybe start to make some new choices, not you.

Thank you so much for stopping by! My review of the book will be posted Wednesday but in the meantime here’s a bit about it:

image001The Summer I Wasn’t Me
Sourcebooks Fire, April 1, 2014
ISBN 9781402277887
Lexi has a secret…

Ever since her mom found out she was in love with a girl, seventeen year old Lexi’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

You are on the road to truth. Help is on the way

The road signs leading to New Horizons summer camp promise a new life for Lexi- she swears she can change. She can learn to like boys. But denying her feeling is harder than she thinks. And when she falls head over heels for Carolyn, one of her fellow campers, Lexi will have to risk her mother’s approval for the one person who might love her no matter what.

In The Summer I Wasn’t Me, Verdi writes with raw honesty and an open heart, asking the hard questions and exploring emotional depths and difficult truths in her character that no YA author has done before.

Praise for The Summer I Wasn’t Me

“A powerful indictment of reparative therapy- a sweet love story- and an unforgettable main character!.”

– Nancy Garden, author of Annie On my Mind

Trust me, you want to read this book. Gave it to my friend, she finished it in a few hours and called me bawling about how beautiful it was 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

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It’s More Than Representation: My Thoughts on the Lack of Diversity in Children’s Books

I write from where I come from isn’t a good enough excuse as to why there are only white straight people in your book.

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Tina Kugler’s illustration on the statistics on racial disparities

My parents always worked to make sure I had books featuring black protagonists, knew my history, played with black barbie dolls,etc… basically representation was always there. Yet I still found myself reading other things. The books my parents provided were great, but I wanted to read about superheroes, criminal masterminds, wizards, girls who disguise themselves like boys to become knights, and so forth and those characters didn’t look like me, not on the covers and no where in the books, but I was okay with that because I just wanted to read.

I didn’t care who was on the cover, I didn’t care that I mostly read “boy books” growing up or that there were no queer romances in my YA books.

I. Did. Not. Care.

I kept not caring until college. I’d pretty much stopped reading books for pleasure during my last two years in high school. To say the least, those were some rough times for me and finding new books for me was the least of my problems. Plus, it was no longer cool to talk about The Clique series, Vampire Academy, Twilight, and so forth at the lunch table like my friends and I used to do just a couple years earlier. I graduated high school, went to Wellesley College, and all of a sudden everything my parents had “forced” on me about black pride and activism slapped me in the face. I suppose you could say I woke up. That’s not to say I look back with fondess at those years, as a child, I spent picket fence in hand protesting injustices in black communities, but I do look back and thank those years for the person I am now.

Activism comes in all forms.

I hated the protests my father dragged me to because they meant nothing to me. I was a booklover, my happiness was always assured as long as I had a good book, it was my means of escaping, or so I thought when I was little. Yesterday I finally watched Catching Fire, one of my favorite book series, yet because of this article or rather thanks to it, I couldn’t stop looking at Katniss and thinking damn, 1) this is/was such a whitewashed film even thought the books weren’t  and 2) this would’ve been so much better had someone from Rue’s district been the protagonist, who seemed like the poorer ones & are basically sharecroppers. Not to mention, as the article the latter link goes to says, “if you’re going to write a story about the marginalized, why not reach down and pick the darkest girl?”

It’s thoughts like these that keep me up at night. Sure, like my dad says, you should be able to envision yourself in any book. I mean, that’s what I did for years. However, is there any wrong in wanting/should I be ignored because I want to read about a black girl who isn’t hating herself, her skin color, who isn’t a slave, who isn’t living during the civil rights movement, who isn’t from one of the various time periods in history class when I was called upon to speak for my entire race. (Ha! As if that teacher really wanted to hear my thoughts about the civil rights movement… I read Malcolm X and bell hooks for fun, don’t even go there.)

Sure as a child I was content with reading books featuring only white straight kids with no disabilities. These characters, aside from the fact that it was up to them to save their world, were freaking perfect and though I didn’t realize it, it led to years and years of me hating myself because I could never be like them and whenever I said my favorite character was Jo March, I was always quickly reminded that I would’ve been a slave at that time or that I wasn’t a boy when I said my favorite character was Artemis Fowl.

So yes, although the answer I write from where I come from is nice. I will no longer accept it. I’m not calling out one single author for there are many authors who have said something similar. However, the stories I write do not only feature black characters. I do a TON of research, even when writing black characters, because believe it or not, even people of a certain culture have stereotypes about that culture that can bleed through into their writing.

You say you write from where you come from, I ask, where do you come from?

Where I come from is pretty diverse, and no it’s not the ghetto.

I read books because I like them & identify with them in some way.

Even to this day, I don’t throw a book away because it has a white girl on the cover. That’s stupid. However like Christopher Myers argued in his piece in the NY Times, it’s time for us to show The Market that we’re tired of this falsified, warped world in which only white people survive dystopia. (<– that links to the intro post, the entire series is phenomenal!)

We need to get rid of this mess.

I love my action-adventure MG books, but why when I sign up for a panel featuring action-adventure MG/YA authors, whose books I love, all the authors are male? Don’t tell me there aren’t female MG action-adventure authors, I read two this month. Don’t tell me there are no black YA Spec-Fic authors, I can name three phenomenal ones (not including Octavia Butler, ❤ her though).

If the problem is that there aren’t enough, get more. Find these writers, mentor them, sign them on, publish them. We, readers, grew New Adult, and with books such as Shannon Stoker’s THE REGISTRY and Sarah Harian’s THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE we’re getting NA that’s expanding beyond Contemporary Romance. If we want something, we need to tell The Market we want it because The Market does not exist without us. I’m not saying abandon books because they feature a cast in which girls of color don’t survive dystopia, although I pretty much have. I’m saying purchase books that reflect how our society is, or, as Malinda Lo did in ASH or Alaya Dawn Johnson did in THE SUMMER PRINCE, create a world in which it’s fine to be a queer and of color. Although I didn’t have books like the previous two when I was younger together we can ensure that children today and in the future do.

If the problem is that these minority voices aren’t being heard, stop talking and put the mic in their hands. It’s nerve-wracking that the only way diverse voices and posts like the one I’m writing can be heard is if they’re said by someone outside that culture. I’m not blaming the outsiders, because they’re just trying to help, but still, give us the mic. If we don’t want it, we’ll hand it to someone else. We’re not trying to be the spokesperson for our culture, but since I did grow up as a black queer girl and am one, unlike an outsider/an ally, when diversity as a trend is over, I’ll still be who I am. My experience will still be erased in children’s books, in Hollywood, and so on. For us, this isn’t a fad, we truly ever give up. Sure I could try to hide my queerness, but um, no. I did that enough growing up and I still do, I will not be silenced in this forum.

There’s a time and a place for anger…that time is now.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

–As a post script, I will add that there are many people I interact with on Twitter and/or via my blog who say they want more characters with disabilities, from non-Christian religions, POC, LGBTQ, books set in non-western cultures, and “girl books” that read more like “boy books.”  These people I’ve talked to are librarians, writers, readers, bloggers, agents and even editors at major publishing houses. Some, like my SHC client, Dahlia Adler, are known for making phenomenal lists (<–This QUILTBAG YA/NA Compendium of her is pretty freaking awesome) compiling their favorite books featuring these types of characters. However it can’t end there, we have much work to do, but it does make a difference. Maybe not for all children, but for sure for one and that is what really matters.

–I recently read a post on the Dystel & Goderich Agency blog titled “The R Word.” That word being race, I assume. It’s a great post and it got me thinking and a bit fired up. I am in no way angry about what Mr. McCarthy wrote, in fact I’m very thankful that he wrote what he did. It’s a very honest piece. However, my reply was quite a bit too long for the comments so that’s what spurred this post.

As far as writing resources go, I have several specific links on my blog menu under resources, but for a plethora of tips on writing race, queer characters, and many though provoking discussions check out Malinda Lo’s writing advice section.

…I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

What’s Up Wednesday!

Good morning, everyone! This is my first What’s Up Wednesday post in over a month (Junior Spring has not been kind…) so I’m excited to share what’s up!

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  If you want to participate you should link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog so that we can all stop by and say, “Hi!” It’s a great way to connect with other writers!

What I’m Reading

 the lost planetYesterday, I received this absolutely beautiful signed hardback of THE LOST PLANET by Rachel Searles (MG Sci-Fi Thriller) (that I won in a YA Buccaneers giveaway). I didn’t get a chance to start reading it yesterday, but since I’m “home sick” I’ll be reading, likely all of it, today!

Also, I recently finished UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan (YA Dystopian), which has two amazing + accurate comp titles, Minority Report meets The Scarlett Letter. I LOVED it. Full review to come!

Oh, and I’m reading a couple MSs for friends & CPs, but that’s been on hold as I don’t want to critique people’s work when I’m sleepy & sick.

What I’m Writing

I’m finishing revising BLOOD OF ISIS (YA Contemporary Fantasy)…yes, again but I have a pretty good feeling this is going to be the final one as everything is clicking beautifully.

Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:

The sharp smell of spices, meats, and perfumes collided as I walked through the Khan El-Khalili bazaar. People zoomed in and out like cars on a highway, touching trinkets, jingling jewelry, and clinging to cloth. French, English, and Arabic’s many dialects intertwined throughout the aisles while I stood in the middle of the madness, fighting for my sanity.

A car honked and a radio blared reminding me that though the bazaar harkened of a distant time, it was grounded in the twenty-first century. Beside me was a group of tourists, ooing and ahing at the pretty silks hanging from a beam in front of them. The vendor lied to one of the women, telling her in his broken English how one such scarf would complement her fiery hair. On my other side were several children, deep in a game of tag. My eyes flitted over them to the mob of people behind them whose faces blurred until they resembled the Monet landscapes at my favorite museum, the Musee d’Orsay. I sighed as my left hand grazed over the frayed edges of my passport. Hollywood had it all wrong. There was nothing glamorous about having an Egyptologist for a mom. Rarely was there a familiar face anywhere we went.

I pushed through the knotted isles and came out on the other side. I held out my arms as warmth rippled through my skin, encasing me in a golden glow. I smiled. Cairo might not be home, but at least it wasn’t London.

This MS has gone from 1st person to 3rd back to 1st, but I think that’s what made the writing  so much richer. Also, I love how diverse and alive the world and characters are 🙂

In addition, I received some phenomenal critique from an agent and an editor, at the SCBWI Winter Conference this pat weekend (more on that later) that enabled me to make a few tiny yet amazing changes to the beginning of ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX, MG Sci-Fi Thriller (link goes to new beginning).

What Else I’ve Been Doing

Running around everywhere, which has been both good and bad, yet is probably the cause of my sick state (that & the fluctuating Boston weather).

photo 1 (3)However, I won the SCBWI Student Writer Scholarship and got the chance to go to NYC for the Winter Conference!! I couldn’t stay the entire time (started feeling feverish), but I did receive some amazing feedback, met some twitterpeeps (unfortunately left before pictures were taken), and got to eat at my favorite Parisian themed restaurant, outside of Paris, Cafe Lalo.

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..more to come in a full post either tomorrow or Friday 🙂

I restarted querying ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX thanks to my now fixed beginning. The full/partial was/is out with a few agents, and I had this feeling that something about the query just wasn’t working for me, but all has been improved so I’m ready to jump through the ring(s) of fire once more!

The literary society I’m in (it’s kind of like a sorority, but with a heavy focus on literature in addition to social events) got ten new ZAbabies (the society is called Zeta Alpha). They’re super amazing, most of them being sophomores & first-years, and I can’t wait to share the traditions of the club with them 🙂

What Inspires Me Right Now

photo (1)I decorated my room (adding a couple quote posters, some decorated with owls <3).

<– This quote stands above the rest and is directly above my desk so when I sit down to write I am eye level with it.

It’s so interesting because the black student org, Ethos, that I’m the president of had a speaker yesterday who during a Q&A session said those exact words (she, Joan Morgan, is a writer). It was like fate. So yeah, that is what inspires me right now.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

What’s Up Wednesday: I’m Baaacck!

WUW

(ooo, lookly they changed the button…pretty!)

Hello wonderful people!  It’s What’s Up Wednesday time for the first time in many many weeks on this blog.  What’s What’s Up Wednesday?  Well… It’s this super cool awesome weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  If you want to participate you should link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog so that we can all stop by and say, “Hi!”

What I’m Reading

17286818I have so many books on my tbr it’s ridiculous.  I’ve also received a lot of ARCs lately whether in giveaways or contests or from publishers so I really just need to up my reading A game.  Right now I’m reading RELATIVITY by Cristin Bishara.  It’s been on my Kindle forever (sadness), and I meant to finish it before it came out (failed) but I’m almost there now.  It’s about this super smart girl (love that!!) who finds a wormhole to nine alternate realities of her life…including one in which her mother is still alive.

It’s great, it’s poignant, and it’s really thought-provoking.  I’m sure there have been times we all haven’t been happy with our lives, thought that if just that one thing hadn’t happened the way it did, everything would still be the way it used to be.  Well, this is that book, and as I read it I’m learning a lot about the importance of loving your present and making the best of every situation.

You can check the full blurb out on the author’s website!

What I’m Writing

ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX IS FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s for those of you who recall that on July 31st (my last WUW post) I was at 15,000 words.  Buyah!

I did edits and I have to say it’s my cleanest MS yet.  Obviously I’m biased but it’s really good.   Damn, go me!! Now I’m at this really odd place where I have to decide if I want to go back to revising BLOOD OF ISIS or start a new MS.  Well, technically I already started a new one.  It’s actually an old one since I’m not allowed to start any new ones until I complete all of my WIPS, which are at various stages of being finished.  It’s just that it’s this scary new point where I basically have to start all over.  I think this will be my hardest MS to write, if I actually write it, which I might not since I’ve been on/off with it for a while now.

It’s tentatively titles WHIMSICALLY YOURS (idk why), and it’s about a young girl who is queer and black and enters her sophomore year at a new school miles away from everything she has ever known.  It’s her story of the ups, the downs, and ultimately forging for herself the person she wants to be.  There’s a TED talk that further inspired this story.  However it’s a Contemporary novel and though, for now, I’m just working on forming a strong MC, there are some heavy bits I’ve always known will be included that are from my own life.  Some not so happy moments.

Contemporary is hard because it’s so raw and fresh, there’s nothing to hide behind.  I might end up putting it in a fantasy setting.  In fact there’s another WIP I have, titled UNTITLED (for now), about a medieval-esque world where magic is strictly forbidden and those who posses it are hunted and killed two young women, one a princess and one a warrior mage, must journey to a far land, where magic is rumored to still exist, in order to gain the skills necessary to defeat the ruthless emperor and bring peace to their lands.  I know they seem completely unrelated but they’re not.  I guess it’s really just a matter of whether or not I want to write an “issue book” or a book where the MC happens to be queer.  And I don’t even know if there will be romance, it might just focus on two girls who forge a strong friendship like Code Name Verity (which I still have not scooped up the courage to read).

Okay, this section was longer than expected.  I’m done.

What Else I’ve Been Doing

I have been collegeing.  Haha.  I’ve been loving my classes.  I’m taking three Political Sciences classes, two of which are Political Theory (yes, I know I’m crazy but I love crazy), and a Writing for Children course that I adore.  The professor of my Writing for Children course is an author herself, Susan Meyer, and she’s phenomenal.  Right now we’re focusing on Picturebooks (we’ll do MG &YA later).  I never thought I could write a PB until I had to for class.  It’s so fun and what a great stress release, abandoning myself to such a simple childlike state.  The other day she had us draw a house, any house for a character to live in.  I drew the Seelie Queen’s lair from ALEX DE VEGA, I must admit it was pretty darn good for someone who always says she couldn’t draw to save her life.

In addition, I’ve been working a lot on my Internship with Spencer Hill Press/Contemporary.  We have two books RECLAIMED & THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM both coming out back to back so that’s kind of exciting especially since I’ve been organizing the blog tours, not as easy as I thought but still fun.

Oh and I’m a 1st round judge (panelist) for YA Spec Fic for the Cybils.  I’m so excited to read YA 24/7.  I’ve read some amazing YA Spec Fic this year so I’m pumped to immerse myself in YA.  Afterward I’ll probably be so sick of YA that I’ll only read MG or Contemporary for a year (doubt it).  However I do have a feeling that I’m about to get very good at picking up on similar trends which will be great for my writing so that I’m even more driven to write something fresh and new.

What Inspires Me Right Now

Myself.

This is probably one of the hardest quotes for me to accept yet one that is very true.  Believing in myself &amp; persevering has gotten me far, very far.  I just have to keep believing in myself or as Dory says, "Just keep swimming."

I posted the above picture and below text on my tumblr the other day:

“This is probably one of the hardest quotes for me to accept yet one that is very true.  Believing in myself & persevering has gotten me far, very far.  I just have to keep believing in myself or as Dory says, “Just keep swimming.“”

How have you been?  What’s inspiring you?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Launching…Operation Diversity

Hi Everyone!

I’d like to introduce you to my newest (ad)venture*, Operation Diversity!

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Operation Diversity is a collaborative effort between the wonderful blogger & writer Raven Ashley and myself.  We came up with the idea as a way to contribute to the ongoing conversation of diversity (or the lack of) in kidlit (plus NA!).  We hope that this blog will teach us just as much as it does others.

After a lot of brainstorming we’d like to invite you, our readers to join us on this adventure.  If you’re interested fill out the form below, and feel free to contact us at OperationDiversity(at)gmail(dot)com.  We’d also love for you to fill out the form or email us if you’re interested in guest posting or being interviewed (& featured on the site).

Here’s a little about the blog:

Operation Diversity is a blog whose focus will be to highlight and celebrate diversity in MG,  YA & NA. The blog will be run by a group of bloggers who will take turns posting throughout the week on topics such as debunking stereotypes, interviews with authors and other industry professionals, book reviews, and Q&As.

The blog will also comprise of stories of our journey to publication and lists of book recommendations from MG to NA with characters from backgrounds not typically portrayed in these books.

 Who can apply?

Anyone.  I know, last time I mentioned this blog I said there was an age range but erase that from your memory.  We want anyone who is interested to apply.  Our goal is to encompass a wide variety of backgrounds so that we, as the bloggers, will be able to speak from our own experiences.  Note: Not all bloggers must be writers.

Some things we hope this blog will accomplish:

* Raise awareness about ALL kinds of diversity (we DO NOT want this blog to only focus on racial or sexual diversity)

* Have a place for writers to document their journey to writing/querying/publishing their diverse WIPS

* Highlight why diversity is important to us (and to other people)

* Showcase diverse novels/make reading lists so people can know what’s out there

* Have discussions on different aspects of diversity (this can go under getting more people aware of the issue)

* Interview authors who write diverse MG/YA/NA (and maybe librarians/book sellers/editors etc.)

* Have a place where people can submit questions

We are open to suggestions for this blog, so all ideas are welcome.  Again please contact us at OperationDiversity(at)gmail(dot)com or comment on this post if you have any questions 🙂

Thank You!

*And yes, I will continue to blog here, I love this blog way too much to stop now 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC