Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.
You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her adorable little family on most social media platforms as @getnicced.
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.
Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.
Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In that media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin comes this illuminating exploration of old friendships, new crushes, and the path to self-discovery. Told in three voices, Nic Stone's new book is sure to please fans of Becky Albertalli, Nicola Yoon, and Jason Reynolds.
Courtney "Coop" Cooper
Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn't mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl.
Rae Evelyn Chin
I assumed "new girl" would be synonymous with "pariah," but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I'm right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing.
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . . .
No easy answers.
- Is that your real hair?
- All of it?
[See answer above.]
- How’d you get it to grow that long?!
Heredity, I guess.
- Okay… What’s your ethnicity?
- But like… what RACE are you?
A few of them, but African American is my favorite.
- What are the othe—?
Let’s move on, if you don’t mind. We're getting into microaggression territory now.
- Fine. Is “Nic” short for something?
Nicole. Which is actually my middle name.
- Oh. So what’s your first name?
Wouldn’t you like to know.
- *Rolls eyes* How old are you?
Solve for x to get my birth year.
- Wow. You’re kind of a nerd.
That wasn’t a question.
- Whatever. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I think so? Apparently told my 8th grade best friend I was going to "be a New York Times Bestseller one day."
- Looks like that worked out...
Wild, right? What's funny is until 2013, I didn't think I could write fiction.
- So what changed?
Well, part of the reason I didn't think I could do it is because I didn't see anyone who looked like me writing the type of stuff I wanted to write (super popular YA fiction). But I decided to give it a shot anyway. (Life lesson: If you don't see you, go BE you.)
- Do you have a *process* as you fancy writer people say?
I have a mnemonic (yes this is further evidence that I am, in fact, a huge nerd).
“I Only Eat Raspberries”:
Inspiration – the idea
Organization – notes, research/interviews (if necessary), outline
Execution – initial draft
Revision – self-explanatory and my least favorite part
- Where do your ideas come from?
Errrrwhere. I like using Story to explore problems I don't know how to solve or to process experiences, some of which I've lived and some I haven't.
- How’d you get your agent?
The first one was through a connection. Didn’t work out (though she’s a lovely woman, and I totally wouldn’t have developed the confidence I needed to survive this whole publishing thing had she not taken me on and invested so much of her time and energy into my work). Current agent was acquired through a good old-fashioned query. For those looking to land an agent, I must say MSWL is a most excellent resource to help narrow the field for ya.
- Gotcha. How’d you get your book deal?
Long, kinda boring story, so the synopsis: we submitted a manuscript. First editor to reply loved my style, but wasn’t sold on the story. I pulled together a proposal for a different story, and she offered a two-book deal based on that proposal. It was for DEAR MARTIN.
- Do you have a favorite book?
The Virgin Suicides – Jeff Eugenides
- Is that your favorite author?
Too many good authors to have a favorite at this point.
- Favorite food?
- Favorite color?
- Guilty pleasure?
Misogynistic rap music.
- Neat. So can I get your number?
I am delightfully taken, but thank you for the compliment.
- **Snort** You know you're a narcissist, right? You literally just interviewed yourself and called it an "FAQ."
Whatever. You love me.
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