If you're interested in reading books about young women of color entering the world of womanhood, then check out "Hurricane Summer" by Asha Bromfield.
What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
"Hurricane Summer" was forged out of my desire to see more nuanced stories about young girls of color. I really wanted to explore the complicated journey into womanhood, and the real implications it can have on a young woman’s sense of self. I was really inspired to unpack sexual shame, and create a story that was a celebration of a young woman’s pleasure. I wanted my readers to feel their own resilience on the page, through following Tilla’s journey. Too often, as a society, we don’t protect girls in the way they need it. Especially young black girls. I wanted to explore that, and show girls that they can be their own heroes. That they have the power to heal themselves, by first confronting their own storm.
What character in this novel do you most relate to and why?
I definitely relate to my protagonist, Tilla, the most. She’s so full of life and love, and she’s so hopeful for the relationships around her. I really enjoy her emotional intelligence and watching her step into her power was so rewarding for me. I really relate to her ability to look for meaning in everything, even the things that destroy us.
Why do you feel novels with powerful and unique characters are so popular and have such a voice right now?
I think because readers are powerful and unique. For so long, so many diverse readers were left out of the conversation. But people of color and marginalized communities are realizing their strength. They are realizing just how powerful their voices are, and they want to see themselves. I think it’s the most beautiful thing. I think waking up to the truth of who you are in the purpose of life. I can’t wait to see all of the rich, nuanced stories that will continue to be written.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from it.
"Hurricane Summer" follows 17-year-old Tilla as she heads to Jamaica for the summer to spend time with her estranged father. Her entire life, she’s had a deep longing for him that’s deeply impacted her feelings of self-worth. She’s excited to see him, but things quickly go left when her father leaves her and her sister in the countryside of the island to stay with his extended family. At its core, "Hurricane Summer" is about the sexual and spiritual wounding that can happen on the journey into womanhood. It’s about being thrust into the midst of disaster and coming out more powerful than before. Tilla journeys through classism, colorism, forbidden love, privilege, loss and devastation. I think this book will be medicine for a lot of people, in the sense that the messages are so healing. That’s my prayer for this story. That it heals people.
What's next for you in the bookish world?
I plan to write many more novels. I want to break down this idea that artists can’t be multifaceted. I plan to create a book to movie empire, where I adapt and star in the books that I write. I really look forward to creating more stories that explore the depths and resilience of the human spirit.
Who is your current favorite writer? Why?
Tomi Adeyemi, Adam Silvera and Tiffany D Jackson. I just love writers who aren’t afraid to journey into the dark parts of who we are. All of those writers honor the darkness in their work, and their messages are so clear for me. Our pain propels us into purpose. Those are my favorite kind of books because I believe that message is a part of my life’s work.
Any writing advice for aspiring writers?
Keep going. For every 100 no’s, you will get one yes. Not everyone will be quick to see the vision that was put inside of you, and that’s okay. Some people just don’t have an expansive vision. You are worthy of all of your dreams. Keep going.