Author Chat with Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (It Doesn't Take A Genius), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US/CAN Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich author of
It Doesn't Take A Genius.
Read on for more about Olugbemisola, her book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich!
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the author of 8th Grade Superzero, which was named a Notable Book for a Global Society, It Doesn't Take A Genius, Sesame Workshop's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and the forthcoming Operation Sisterhood. She's the coauthor of the NAACP Image Award nominee Two Naomis, and its sequel, Naomis Too. She also writes nonfiction, including Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow, Someday is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins, and Saving Earth: Climate Change and the Fight for Our Future. Olugbemisola is a member of the Brown Bookshelf, and editor of the We Need Diverse Books anthology The Hero Next Door. Visit her online at olugbemisolabooks.com [olugbemisolabooks.com] and on Instagram: @olugbemisolarhudayperkovich.
Meet It Doesn't Take A Genius!
When a Hollywood film crew arrives on Martha's Vineyard with a mechanical shark and a youth film contest boasting a huge cash prize, disgraced pitcher Gayle "Blue Streak" Briar sees a chance to turn a bad season into the best summer ever.
After recruiting aspiring cinematographer Elijah Jones and moody director Maddie Grey, Gayle and her crew set out to uncover the truth of the island's own phantom shark and win the prize money. But these unlikely friends are about to discover what happens when you turn your camera toward the bad things lurking below the surface.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
IT DOESN'T TAKE A GENIUS is a companion to the Six Foot Productions film BOY GENIUS, starring Miles Brown, Skylan Brooks, and Rita Wilson, so my inspiration began there. The performances, the vibrant cinematography, and some of what I knew about the actors' real life stories all informed the story! I really wanted to take the characters of Emmett and Luke, and put them in an all-Black environment, where they could be joyful, be curious, be vulnerable, just BE.
A lot of the time adults don't remember how much kids engage with "what's going on the world," how they really do think and talk about what we might think of as big issues—and at the same time care deeply about just being kids.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first; I pulled the title from the film + some of the themes that emerged while I was writing.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love EVERYTHING about that stunning cover! Gordon C. James is such an incredible and thoughtful artist, there is a whole story in that portrait. He talks about his process for it here: https://youtu.be/UjNY36EiucE
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2021?
Oooh, there are so many! I was thrilled for Renée Watson's gorgeous and funny LOVE IS A REVOLUTION, and I can't wait for this summer's BLACKOUT, the series of linked stories from Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I have a middle grade novel coming in January called Operation Sisterhood, a picture book biography of the history-making milliner Mae Reeves next summer, a middle grade about the climate crisis called Saving Earth that's an adaptation of Nathaniel Rich's Losing Earth, a YA novel called You're Breaking My Heart, a nonfiction project on capital punishment, and another nonfiction on Black freedom movements after 1965. I'd also love to adapt my first novel, 8th Grade Superzero, to another format, and continue that story in a sequel. I love those kids, and think about them often.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
REVISION, REVISION, REVISION all the way! I'm still learning to let go and let first drafts be messy -- I struggle mightily with that and have such a hard time getting the words down on a blank page, even after I've thought about a story for a long time. But revision gives me something to play with. Revision is where I figure out what the story is really about, what I think I mean. It's where I give the characters room to move, to surprise me. For me, the heart of revision is asking questions of the characters, of the story, and I love that so much. Someone once called me "the one with the questions" and I guess I'm like that in all aspects of my life.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Ha, probably knowing that I am in no way super-anything! Except maybe prone to wishing for do-overs. ☺
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I'm proud to be a member of the Brown Bookshelf, and our latest initiative, Amplify Black Voices (https://thebrownbookshelf.com/, https://www.instagram.com/brownbookshelfteam/), in partnership with the Highlights Foundation, is really exciting. Anchored in our continuing Call to Action (https://thebrownbookshelf.com/2020/08/24/call-to-action/), It's a year-long program to support and empower Black creators in children's literature, and explore ways to foster real change and equity in the children's publishing industry. https://highlightsfoundation.secure.retreat.guru/program/the-brown-bookshelf-presents-amplify-black-stories-2021/?lang=en
And every year, I'm transformed by the work of Laura Pegram and Kweli Journal's Color of Children's Literature Conference (http://www.kwelijournal.org/2021-kweli-color-of-childrens-literature-conference). The work that Kweli does throughout the year to share and celebrate BIPOC stories is phenomenal and vital. I always leave a Kweli event (in-person or virtual) feeling rejuvenated, grateful, and inspired.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share here, and for all that you do to big up the world of YA lit!
It Doesn't Take A Genius
By: Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Release Date: April 13th, 2021
Publisher: Six Feet Press
One winner will receive a copy of It Doesn't Take A Genius (Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich) ~ (US/CAN Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*