Writing brings me joy. But I wasn’t, as you know, as focused as I needed to be—picking it up, putting it down. And so, I started to really refocus actually, during the grieving process after my grandparents passed away in 2015. I really struggled with their deaths, especially my grandmother’s. And so, I remember kind of getting down, a little depressed. And my mother reminded me of what brings me joy. And so, she brought up my writing. She told me, “You love to write. It’s a God-given talent! But if you don’t nurture it, you may lose it.” And I feel like I was taking it for granted. I had won writing awards and all those things when I was younger, and I would have little various things published here and there. But I really started to refocus—that this is my dream. I decided, “This is one of my dreams. And I’m going to sit down and I’m going to do it.” It helped me to refocus my energy to just kind of get through the grief. And so I dedicated the book to my grandmother and my two aunts who passed away. That was really the process.
Once I reached out to Tiffany Goode here in Atlanta. She had a publishing company at the time. She was a Turner executive, and we’d gone to Hampton together. She’s my big sister. My Soror, that is. We are both Deltas. And I told her about Skin Like Mine and about just different things I’d been writing. And Tiffany really helped me with the vision for a children’s book and taking this adult novel and writing it so that kids could understand it. Because I talk about the colorism that I experienced. It did happen in my childhood, or it started in my childhood—having a lighter skin, a Black mother, and me being with dark skin. So once that happened, that I met with Tiffany, I just started writing, and it just flowed.
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