Monday, September 14, 2009

An Interview with YA Sci-Fi Author - Zetta Elliott


Zetta Elliott is a poet, playwrite, educator and author. In her latest, "A Wish After Midnight", we meet a young protagonist who discovers that dreams can in fact come true.

Fifteen-year old Genna Colon believes wishes can come true. Frustrated by the drug dealers in her building, her family's cramped apartment, and her inability to compete with the cute girls at school, Genna finds comfort in her dreams of a better future. Almost every day she visits the garden and tosses coins into the fountain, wishing for a different life, a different home, and a different body. Little does she know that her wish will soon be granted: when Genna flees into the garden late one night, she makes a fateful wish and finds herself instantly transported back in time to Civil War-era Brooklyn.

What was your inspiration for "A Wish After Midnight?

When I was a child, I read and fell in love with The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I revisited that novel every few years, and when I finally read it again after graduate school, I realized I had had to erase myself in order NOT to see the obvious imperialist undertones. Decolonizing my imagination took a long time, and the legacy of those stories is complicated. I still love gardens, and I still believe they’re magical places and sites of constant transformation. But my mission as a writer is to merge who I was then (a black child growing up in an all-white community in Toronto) with where I am now. I’ve lived in Brooklyn for over ten years; I’ve taught city kids at community centers and museums, and I’ve done research on racial violence in the US. AWAM is a combination of all of those things, and a way for me to make the girl I once was (and the girls I once taught) the hero of her own adventure.

Read the entire interview here.
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