Message From The Author

Author's Message

When I first decided to write a book, I wrote the first sentence and went from there. I had no idea what it would be about, what genre it would be in and I certainly didn’t expect anything to come of it. I wrote because I enjoyed it.

The one thing I was certain of when beginning is that I wanted one of the characters to be a slam poet. I had recently been introduced to slam poetry through a documentary on HBO called “Brave New Voices” and thought it was breathtaking. However, I couldn’t find a work of fiction that involved the subject, so I knew that’s where I wanted to take it when I began the first sentence.  

That first sentence turned into a couple of paragraphs, which then turned into a few chapters filled with characters I was quickly growing to love. I became obsessed with the book, the characters, and the feeling I would get each time I finished a chapter. By the end of 2011, I had my first novel, Slammed

Close friends and family knew I had completed it, so they wanted to read it. I researched the cheapest way to distribute it to them and found self-publishing. I uploaded it New Year’s Day of last year and couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it. Naturally, I began a sequel with the same characters because I missed them. Once I completed the sequel, I had several readers contacting me who I didn’t know in person. That’s when things became serious for me. When it wasn’t just my mother and sister’s asking for the sequel. 

After self-publishing the sequel things began happening at an accelerated rate. I signed with an agent, the books hit The New York Times and just less than a year ago, I signed both books with Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster.

The third installment in the series wasn’t something I had planned to write, since it was basically a file of notes. I had initially wrote Slammed from both Will and Lake’s perspective, but took out Will’s perspective once I realized it would enhance the story. When readers found out about this through one of my interviews, they begged for me to publish the notes I had written in Will’s point of view. I looked through the notes, decided I had enough to work with by adding in new present-day scenes and several months later, This Girl was published by Atria. 

I have published two more books aside from the Slammed series and plan to have a few more out next year. However, Slammed will always remain dear to me for being the book that started it all. My whole life has changed since writing that first sentence, and I will forever be grateful to my characters and to the readers who loved them.  

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