About the Book:
High school freshman Martine (Teenie for short) is a good student, with a bright future ahead of her. She's desperate to be accepted into a prestigious study abroad program in Spain so that she can see what life is like beyond the streets of Brooklyn. She wouldn't mind escaping from her strict (though lovable) parents for awhile either. But when the captain of the basketball team starts to pay attention to her after she's pined away for him for months and Cherise, her best friend, meets a guy online, Teenie's mind is on anything but her schoolwork. Teenie's longtime crush isn't what he seemed to be, nor is her best friend's online love. Can Teenie get her act together in time to save her friendship with Cherise, save her grade point average so that she can study in Spain, and save herself from a potentially dangerous relationship?
Interview:Hi, Christopher! Thanks for stopping by! Can you tell us a little bit about Teenie and the inspiration behind her story?
I had written an adult novel and had a friend at a major publishing house look it over. She really liked my style of writing and asked if I could write YA. Teenie just popped into my head. Teenie is like the little sister that I never had. She's a mixture of several people, including my wife, my niece, and ironically enough, me.
Who was it that gave Teenie her nickname?
Teenie's nickname was made up by her best friend Cherise. Teenie's real name is Martine. Given her name, small stature, and string bean body (at least in primary school anyway), Cherise didn't have much of a problem putting two and two together and giving her friend a cool nickname.
Was Teenie's character challenging to write?
I grew up in a house full of extraordinary women. Hearing the rants and comical conversations between my mother and her sisters equipped me with a unique perspective of the female "voice". On top of that, it helped that I rode the NYC subway every single day. I would hear gems of dialogue and incorporated some of what I heard into the story. If I happened to run into any issues, my wife and niece were always available to help out.
What songs would be most played on Teenie's favorite playlist?
She's into Drake and Rihanna, but for the most part Teenie shares her mother's taste in music. There would be plenty of Sade, Bob Marley, and Luther Vandross. Of the newer artists, she thinks Esperanza Spalding is a super talent.
What are three fun facts about Teenie that no one else knows?
- Teenie is good enough to start for her high school's varsity basketball team.
- Teenie hates the smell of cilantro.
- Teenie is deathly afraid of E.T.
Where is your favorite place to read and write?
For reading, anywhere. For writing, the subway (except when some big lummox dude is looking over my shoulder reading what I am writing), airplanes, and my uncle's backyard in Grenada. That view is AMAZING.
Are you excited about any other releases or works in progress?
I am working on a sci-fi novel. Genesis, the main character is a kid from Harlem who's kept locked up in his house by his grandmother. When she's not whoppin' his butt, she's teaching him Brazilian martial arts, yoga, and home schooling him on subjects ranging from physics to Egyptian history. When he's ready, she'll explain why his blood is fluorescent blue, but first he has to get the hang of traveling through time.
Thanks for your time! Anything else you would like our readers to know?
Hit me up on email, firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on twitter @nycsubwaywriter.
Find Teenie's story on Amazon!