Michael Jordan once said, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” So I decided to shoot my shot with writing.
Let me tell you a little about me before I tell you more about my books. I’m originally from RI but now live in the City of New York where I go to law school full-time. I’ve always been a reader. Growing up, I loved reading Sarah Dessen. I owned all of her books and reread them multiple times. My love for reading came to a halt when college started. I had so much homework to do that reading for fun just wasn’t something I could imagine.
Then, during my last year of college, I picked up a book again, followed by another and another. I read 100 books between September and December of 2016. Still, I wasn’t satisfied and I quickly discovered why—I didn’t see myself in the characters. I couldn’t empathize with the blonde-haired, blue-eyed gorgeous heroines with American names because I don’t have those features. I figured out a way to change that; I could write my own stories.
I wasn’t going to write them for me. I was going to do it for anyone else who liked to escape reality by diving into a book, but could never find a character with their name. I also wanted to read about strong women. I was raised in an all-women household and every woman in my life is a rock—solid and unmovable.
That’s how Better With You, the first book in my Bragan University Series, came to be. This book follows Mia Collins and Colton Hunter. Mia is half Dominican and half white. She’s fluent in Spanish and a strong independent woman who falls in love with Colton Hunter, a rich, white, handsome quarterback of her college’s football team. Their identities are just the tip of the iceberg because both of their characters are more similar than they think. They share common struggles. This story opened me up to the reader community and set me up to write a 6-book series I hadn’t imagined.
The second book I published, Not the End (Not Alone Series), took me in a completely different direction. This novella was written in a week and published in a month, a record breaking speed for me. This novella was supposed to tackle bullying, but it went further than that. It became about sexual assault, bullying, and having the strength to move forward. Dimah, my main character, finds her own strength and someone to have her back along the way. This story opened way to yet another series, to a novella series titled Not Alone Novellas. The next book in the series, Not the Same, follows the hero from Not the End as he watches his mother fight and lose her battle against drug addiction.