Author Chat with NoNieqa Ramos (The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary), Plus Giveaway!
Today we're excited to chat with NoNieqa Ramos author of The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary.
Read on for more about NoNieqa, an interview, plus an giveaway!
Meet NoNieqa Ramos!
Raised in the Boogie Down Bronx, NoNieqa Ramos is an educator and literary activist. She wrote the young adult novel THE DISTURBED GIRL’S DICTIONARY. She believes Halloween is a lifestyle, not a holiday. If you’re in Virginia, you might catch NoNieqa getting motorcycle lessons from her soulmate Michael or indie bookstore hopping with her preciosos Jandi and Langston.
Meet The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary!
Macy's school officially classifies her as "disturbed," but Macy isn't interested in how others define her. She's got more pressing problems: her mom can't move off the couch, her dad's in prison, her brother's been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn't speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms complete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that's both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can't tell her incarcerated father that her mom's cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy's machete.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: I love the voice of THE DISTURBED GIRL'S DICTIONARY. The story is
raw, honest, and shows an authentic portrayal of a Latinx teen. What
was the inspiration behind the story?
Thank you! Macy is unapologetically and most exquisitely herself.
Everything wrong with her is exactly why she has survived. Everything
right with her is often overlooked, disregarded, ignored. She is the
grand disrupter of all plans. For every reader and for every teacher
who scaled the barbed wire fence of Macy's persona to see the poet
on the other side, I feel you. As a teacher and a previous foster
parent, I too struggle to make that climb. When I wrote Macy, I was
inspired to bring her voice to life, unadulterated--unhindered by the
idea that I had to create a "likeable" character.
YABC: The idea behind the dictionary is something I know will resonate
with readers. What gave you this idea?
Macy's voice bucks at conventional speech. Her stream-of-consciousness is more like the rapids. Once I started wrestling her voice to paper, I thought, how the hell am I going to make her accessible to a reader who has no idea where this girl is coming from? Thematically, the book is also about Macy taking control of her narrative. Defining herself and her future. The way we want all of our children to do--taking those plot lines out of their control and reining them in, directing them. I imagine Macy now, on the back of George's motorcycle writing her next chapter.
YABC: What is your writing schedule like? Are you a plotter? Or a seat
of the pants writer?
I still teach so my schedule is out of control. I have to center
myself often. Light candles. Burn incense. Realign. (Scream into my
pillow.) I can't write anything unless I can hear the voice of the character
speaking to me, telling me the story in their own words. I hear the
writing first. I need the internal momentum of my protagonist to work
my plot. That being said, I like to know the end at the beginning.
As I grow in my craft, I'll keep experimenting. I think writers need
to give themselves permission to experiment and grow. That's not
done because we're published. What works for one book may not work
YABC: What was the hardest part to write?
The end because I knew it was gonna be a heartbreaker. I want that
Hollywood happy ending too. But I always imagined Macy's ending as
the beginning for many kids who step into foster care. They bring all
those stories, all that living to your doorstep.
YABC: What would Macy be listening to now?
Macy's playlist is in the back of the book. That being said, if she
were listening to anything now it would be the soundtrack to
Spiderverse on repeat. START a RIOT by Duckworth and Shaboozey would
be on full blast. (She's coming, Alma!)
YABC: What is your next project?
I have two picture books I just finished... Another in edits soon...
WEPA! THE DISTURBED GIRL'S DICTIONARY is gonna be in paperback this
August by the way. You can preorder now.
Carolrhoda Lab releases THE TRUTH IS fall 2019. I like the GoodReads
description: A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth
through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen.
The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary
By: NoNieqa Ramos
Release Date: February 2018
Three winners will receive a signed copy of The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary (NoNieqa Ramos) ~ US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
Congratulations! We are pleased to let you know that The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary by Nonieqa Ramos has been selected for the Recommended Book List and is also one of this year's Top 10 Titles for the 2019 In the Margins Book Award. After careful consideration and heated debate, our committee of librarians who work with marginalized youth decided that your book is not only an outstanding fit to recommend to other groups who work with marginalized youth, but is one of the top ten titles on the list.
Our announcement of the Top Fiction, Top Nonfiction, Top Ten and our Recommended Book as well as our Advocacy/Social Justice book will be published on School Library Journal Online February 6, 2019. If you are receiving this before the ALA Youth Media awards, PLEASE feel free to announce your achievement for our list along with any other award your book may have won. We would be grateful if you included In the Margins and the link here https://inthemarginssite.blog/awards-list/ [inthemarginssite.blog] in publicity for your book. As a Top Ten and Recommended Fiction title, our award labels for the Top Ten and ITM Fiction Award title has been attached for your convenience.
In the Margins strives to find the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody - or a cycle of all three. Our charge is to seek out and highlight the best fiction and non-fiction titles (Pre-K through adult) of high-interest appeal to youth ages 9-21 living in poverty, on the streets, or in custody, with a preference for marginalized books (small, independent press or self-published). Youth feedback is a critical factor in both book nomination and selection.
It sounds like this book has a lot to offer, and will make the reader think! You never know what someone's going through. Love the cover, very unique!
The cover is very unique and sets the atmosphere for the novel. Thank you for writing this. There will be YA readers who connect with your novel.