This month is a "you pick it" topic so I've decided to use it to delve into a little personal history.
But that's the future. For this month's blog post I'm turning the clock back to 2013 and a conference I spoke at in Kennar, Louisiana, Romance Slam Jam.
The conference covered four days of fun and informative events that included spectacular new Orleans cooking, an awesome high school brass band, a well-attended booksigning, and events that included a seminar from Smashwords founder Mark Coker.
The conference included a special activity for young readers and aspiring authors. Several area schools and libraries sent teens to an author meet-and-greet on Saturday. As the author of three YA novels, Pull, Being God, and Minority of One, I was one of four African American YA authors invited to talk to the young people.
When it was time for general questions, several attendees pulled out actual lists they brought with them. One was impatient when she was interrupted for the scheduled prize raffle drawing, she wanted to keep going on her list. The event lasted two hours and the adult chaperones finally had to pull the kids away to get them back on their bus to go back to their home libraries.
Kids of Color are absolutely hungry for books about them, and for authors who look like them. I have been writing for years and have been to several writers conferences, conferences for educators and librarians, and many schools. This was the first time I looked into a room full of young faces and felt like a true role model.
I have not let it be the last.