Imagine you are a black teenager attending a mostly white school and no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to fit in. Now imagine you pray to a higher power to change your race. And imagine that prayer is answered.
This is the premise of Birmingham-based writer Randi Pink’s new young adult novel Into White. The novel tells the story of 16-year-old Latoya Williams, who lives in Montgomery, attends a mostly white high school, and is having trouble making friends. After a run-in with a bully, she wonders if her life would be different if she were different. She prays to a higher power to make her “anything but black,” and the prayer is answered.
“I pulled the initial idea of Into White from my past,” says Pink, who is African American. “I attended a predominantly white high school where I didn’t quite fit. I sifted through my past and built Toya’s story from the ashes. In retrospect, Into White has been inside of me for over a decade, but a wonderful graduate level children’s literature course I took at UAB gave me the courage to write it.”
In January of 2013, Pink challenged herself to start and finish writing a novel.
“A few years ago, I recognized that my years were speeding by,” Pink says. “January 1st would roll around. Before I knew it, January 1st would roll around again, and I’d accomplished little of what I’d intended for that year. So I gave myself 365 days to hone my craft, write a novel, and get it published traditionally.”
She started writing Into White in January of 2013 and finished the first draft by June of that year. By December she had edited the draft and bought a plane ticket to New York City for the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference, where she would meet her editor Liz Szabla.
“It took a little over a year to land an agent, sign a contract with Macmillan
Publishing Group, and fully realize that intention I’d set for myself,” Pink says. “I tell every aspiring writer, no matter how pie-in-the-sky it may feel, set the intention and do not waver
Read the entire article at B-Metro.com.
On September 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at DISCO you’ll have a chance to meet Randi at the See Jane Write event “Girl Talk with Randi Pink.” We’ll discuss Randi’s debut novel Into White and discuss race, writing, how to get a book deal, and much more. Get details and tickets today at randipink.eventbrite.com.