As of Spring 2020, I am no longer doing in-person visit for obvious reasons. But in the event that these are possible in the future, or virtual school visits can happen, here is a little revised Q&A.
One of my favorite parts of writing for young people is getting to visit schools. You can contact me via my contact button in order to determine when I might be able to visit your school. I especially love to visit schools in the Bronx to talk about the book but I’m always up for visiting other places if my schedule allows for it.
Here are some questions students often ask and I’m happy to answer them when I read from I Can Write the World. But if it’s helpful to have these in advance, here they are!
How old were you when you started to write? This is one of my favorite questions. I started to write when I was around 10 or 11. I began dreaming about being a writer when I was 12 years old. I was worried that I couldn’t be a writer and make money like some other professions, but there are a lot of other writers with connections to the Bronx including Grace Paley, James Baldwin, Edgar Allan Poe and many, many more.
What made you decide to write? I was the youngest in my family and raised in the house by myself. So I had a lot of time to myself after school when my Mom was working, or on weekends when I didn’t have much to do besides read and watch television. I would get ideas for stories just by sitting on my fire escape and watching the train. Being bored helps you come up with creative things sometimes.
Do you write books for Moms and Dads? I write across what are called genres — that’s the fancy word for categories (or types) of books. So I write for children, young adults and adults! I write fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays and some day I hope to write in other categories, too.
What is your favorite food? I love rice. I like it best with Sazon and capers and a little bit of oil.
Why did you decide to write about The Bronx? I love writing about my hometown because it’s a place of great beauty and potential and culture. So much is alive and thriving here, and not just in the parts that people write about. But also I think writers really love writing about where they’re from because they know it best. I am a Bronx expert because I know this place best, and that makes it easy.
How many words a day do you write? When I am writing everyday (which is not all the time!) I can write anywhere from a few hundred words to up to 2,000.
Will you write more books for us? I’m honored to say that I will! The Ava Murray books are part of a series, and I’m currently writing one that is scheduled to come out in late 2020 or early 2021.