Welcome to the Kidlit Underground, where those (for now, namely me & the million half-baked fictional characters in my head) who aren’t “supposed” to be writing… are enjoying books and hopefully, empowering others to write.
My Backstory: The Plot Points
- A semi-former management consultant and digital agency veteran, I stepped away from the Big Four when I had my son (would you want to work 80 hour weeks in another state from your newborn?)
- During our weekly trips to the library, I was frustrated by the lack of books that portrayed multi-racial families like ours in a realistic light.
- Flashback to the late 80s and 90s, when I scoured my beloved library shelves looking for books about other bereaved siblings, and found… no mirrors. And worse, no windows to help my friends understand.
- It hurt that my son might have the same experience.
- I figured I’d write my own book, easy-peasy. Writing at my emotional maturity level, I settled on Middle Grade with its perfect blend of weird and wise.
The Downward Spiral: A Detour to the ER
- Just as I was expecting our daughter, my husband’s job moved us to… a rather touristy destination that is a very insular community.
- I listened to those who told me, emphatically, that writing was to be just a hobby. Our family has to be careful where what neighborhood we live in, and in this corner of the world, neighborhoods that tolerate interracial couples aren’t cheap.
- I went back to work, doing consulting projects locally…
- … when one morning, I was hit by a “large commercial vehicle” doing highway speed.
- My MC, my kids, and my late brother were swirling in my mind as I lost consciousness.
When it was brought to first responders’ attention that I was an IT contractor, the talk went from “Are you OK?” to “Apologize to your boss for being late to work; those glass shards will work themselves out as you pee.”
The Upward Arc: Revenge of the Roadkill Zombie
I have permanent injuries and physical limitations from the other driver’s selfish actions. I was fired due to all the time I missed for doctor’s appointments, and have lost family, colleagues, and friends who didn’t support my receiving medical care for my injuries. I put myself first, and as a working mom with a certain academic and professional pedigree, I’m not supposed to do that. However, I’m still here because I did.
This is twice I’ve bested the Grim Reaper on the highway, and I think I was spared because the world needs my stories and my voice.
My literary megalomania was validated right before I went for (related) spinal surgery – I’d won a merit scholarship to a Highlights Foundation Workshop. I went and it was amazing.
So I’m making sure I make my clawed-for time count, and I’m here to help others do the same.
Umm… this is life, there are many. But for THIS chapter, that’s where I get appropriate diverse books to under-served kids, get published and help others cross that line.