Kimberly Jones: “I’m always hoping my words will guide someone into the right direction.”

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[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Kimberly Jones and ask her five(ish) questions. Kimberly’s novel, that she co-wrote with Gilly Segal I’m Not Dying With You Tonight is out now!]

Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?

Kimberly Jones: It was inspired by an incident that happened during the Baltimore civil unrest in 2015. Several high school students got trapped behind a police barricade and the news moved on, but my partner Gilly and I wondered what happened to those kids.

What character in this novel do you most relate to and why?

I most relate to Mrs. Johnson. I’m always hoping my words will guide someone into the right direction.

Why do you feel novels with powerful and unique characters are so popular and have such a voice right now?

The world is looking to hear own voices work because the canon had been so lacking in that area until recent years. It allows people to empathize with each other in a very beautiful way.

Please describe the content of your latest read and what can readers expect from it.

Gilly and I’s newest work continues in the same style but is not a sequel. It’s a dual narrative of culturally different girls and makes commentary on how schools punish students of color.

What’s next for you in the bookish world?

I want to find new ways to elevate diverse voices and get those books in the hands of children.

Who is your current favorite writer? Why?

My favorite writer right now is Ibi Zoboi. Her voice is strong , unapologetic and skillfully crafted.

Any writing advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t aspire to be a great writer. Aspire to be a great editor. You can’t edit a blank page.

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