This book has taken a long time to come for readers and me, but I'm happy to say it's almost here.
For me, little girls of color must get to see themselves in books of fantastical adventures. Without boundaries or judgment. Without the feeling of less than. Anyia represents that to me. When she first came to me, it was all about having a dream that she was told she couldn't have. A dream that didn't fit the norm of her village. And although she grew up being told who she should be, she dared to say no and go on a journey that would lead her to who she was meant to be. This next book will take her deeper into that journey.
In the first book, Anyia - Dream of a Warrior, Anyia doesn't mean to defy her father... but instead, she's following her path... the dream of who she was meant to be. This choice will dive her into a situation that will test that. How much does she want it? How much will she give for her your dream? And what will she do when her dream requires her to give up what she identifies as being her? Who are you when you have that very thing taken away?
That's the foundation for me for Anyia - It Begins. But it didn’t come right away. Over the years, I’ve written outlines and rough drafts of book two. But none of them felt right. Then one day, I was writing and flowing with the book, and a scene unfolded that sent me in a completely different direction. A direction that quite frankly scared me. I’m writing for 9-12-year-old girls… this can’t be the journey. But it was.
I usually don’t ask people what they think about the plot of a book… but this book required me to do so. And I got stuck on it for monthsssss, and I think the reason why was because I had to make peace with the path Anyia needed to go on… not for Anyia of course but for me. It, of course, all came together and worked is way out but it took time.
In the next book, readers will go on a journey with a girl who will face the question of whether you are willing to give up what defines you to follow a dream that was meant for you without any guarantees or expectations that you will ever get those things back. It's one thing to have them taken from you. It's a whole different thing to give them up willing.
For me, this journey was about a girl who will face a history that stripped a people of who they were and forced them on a journey that would forever change the course of a people, and she decided that she would go on that journey with them.
Now it’s time to go to the final edit and release it to the world. :)
Also, Let me introduce you to three new characters in the Anyia series; Yannie, Kamy, and Jamila.