About OPEN MIC:
Listen in as ten YA authors use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction embraces a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry and comic form.
Thanks to overprotective parenting, Simone’s elderly great aunt Ma Tante has more of a social life than she does. But one afternoon, Ma Tante’s social scene awkwardly intersects with Simone’s in the unlikeliest of places.
Kristina: If your story was made into a movie, who would star as your main character?
Debbie: I'd go with "A.N.T. Farm"'s China McClain. I can see her taking on the challenge of playing the character Simone, the somewhat skeptical but hopeful child of overprotective immigrant parents. How cool would that be?
Kristina: Who are the Young Adult authors that turn you into a fangirl?
Debbie: Kristin Cashore and Nnendi Okoafor Mbachu! These literary sheroes are such imaginative storytellers with a palpable love for the (writing) craft. I am transported every time I pick up their books.
Kristina: Would you ever try writing in another genre?
Debbie: As far as YA, I'd love to write a paranormal or fantasy novel, as well as a historic fiction book. I have a few proposals completed, but it's just the matter of narrowing my attention on the right one. And lately I've been toying with the idea of writing a Middle Grade novel and even an adult one. I started work on an adult manuscript after being consumed by this one idea. Nothing has come of that yet as I'm still only mid-way through the manuscript. But every time I put it aside to focus on my work in progress, it always seems to resurface right under my nose. Who knows? Maybe there's a chick lit book in my future.
Kristina: What are you working on now?
Debbie: I've just completed the editing phase for my first YA e-book. Set to release this winter, it's titled TURFQUAKE. The story follows one city girl's reluctant (and awkward) switch to a suburban school at the same time her cousin from earthquake-ravaged Haiti moves in and faces greater challenges adjusting to life in the US.
Kristina: Do you prefer reading an ereader or book in hand?
Debbie: That's easy--I'm all about books. I love the feel and smell of books. It's the reason I feel so at peace in a bookstore. But--sigh--though I'm a late hold-out, I'm sure that I'll have to break down and get an e-reader in the near future. The writing's on the wall. The e-reader has already made its way into my home--my husband swears by them and doesn't buy books anymore.
Rave Reviews for OPEN MIC:
“[Open Mic] will leave readers thinking about the ways that humor can be a survival tool in a world that tends to put people in boxes.” –Publishers Weekly
“Naomi Shihab Nye offers an eloquent poem about her Arab American dad, whose friendliness made him ‘Facebook before it existed.’ David Yoo, Debbie Rigaud, Varian Johnson and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich also contribute stories to this noteworthy anthology, which robustly proves Perkins’ assertion that ‘funny is powerful.’” –Horn Book Magazine
“Teachers will find some powerful material here about how the young can become discomfited and find solace in their multifaceted cultural communities. –School Library Journal
For more about OPEN MIC, like their page www.facebook.com/openmicanthology
About Debbie Rigaud (www.debbierigaud.com):
Debbie Rigaud began her writing career covering news and entertainment for popular magazines. Her YA fiction debut, HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru was followed by the fish-out-of-water romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT/Simon Pulse. Since then, Debbie’s non-fiction essays have been published in anthologies IT’S ALL LOVE/Broadway Books and DEAR BULLY/HarperTeen. Her short story “Voila!” is featured in OPEN MIC/Candlewick Press, and TURFQUAKE, her first YA e-book will be released late 2013.