Q: What made you choose to make the girls so diverse?
I feel like in literature, and the media in general, there is such a lack of diversity. I made it a point to break stereotypes with these girls and that's honestly my favorite thing about the book. I love that they are so different because it makes the story that much more interesting.
Q: Why was it important to include so many different cultures?
I really wanted everyone reading to feel like they were a part of the story. I wanted them to see these girls who are very different and be able to say "Oh i have a little piece of Adeema" or "Libby Gray reminds me of myself." And I believe I accomplished the goal I set out to do.
Q: What did you learn writing in this book?
A lot of things culturally and language-wise when it came to the characters specifically Kenzie and Adeema. Both of these young ladies have very different upbringings, so I had to really research some things. When it came to Adeema, I did quite a bit of research on Arabic culture and Islam/Muslim and when to use each term. There was just so much I didn't know, but I was happy to learn.
Q: Do you plan to add more and/or different cultures or simply build on what you have going forward with the series?
BOTH! I'm incredibly excited to dig into each character more and really explore their individual cultures. I definitely look forward to adding more culturally diverse characters as well.
Q: What's next for Adeema, Janais, Libby Gray and Kenzie?
If i told you that it would ruin the surprise - just know that you need to buckle up for an amazing ride.