Friday, March 1, 2024

Friday Feature: Origin Story -- Keesha

 Keesha started out as the star of her own story -- a story I was writing for Diverse Divorce. Her voice was so clear to me -- perhaps the clearest of any character before or since. 

Unfortunately, her voice was deemed a poor fit for the book, and no amount of defense or explanation could convince my editor otherwise, so we mutually agreed to withdraw the story from the collection.

But, as so often happens with characters, I'd become attached to Keesha. Closing the door on her story in one book meant that, together, we could create more chapters for her in another. Keesha's story became my first novel, and the only book -- two books, actually -- I've written for kids. 

Finding a home for Keesha proved a bit challenging. In the process, her voice was almost lost in a jumble of editorial and revision suggestions. Eventually, I tucked the book away, disillusioned over the way that the edited versions had muted the voice I'd heard so clearly. 

Years later, when I read about Kindle Vella, I decided to pull the manuscript out of the drawer and try a new platform. It was a lot of fun re-reading her story, and even more fun finally giving it a home.  

Sometimes, a story finds a home quickly and sometimes, an author needs to compromise to make that happen.

And sometimes, the story needs to wait for the right home to be built.

Read Jersey Girls Don't Rule here

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