News from Heidi
Here you can find news about the book, festival, and what's happening with Heidi.
I don't know why this video was just posted two years after the event--but I loved seeing it and reliving my red carpet moment! Thanks NAACP Image Awards: that was an amazing day!
I was super excited to see that The Girl Who Fell From the Sky made this list by Zola Books: 7 African American Literary Characters that Exemplify Kwanzaa Principles. "In honor of Kwanzaa, Zola selected seven female African-American characters we felt best exemplified each principle . . . Kujichagulia (self-determination) means that you have the ability to define yourself, speak for yourself, and create for yourself. This is something Rachel struggled to learn as a child of mixed race. After tragedy strikes, she moves in with her African-American grandmother and experiences life in a mostly black community. While the world demands that she be seen as either black or white, Rachel reflects on where she has come from to find her true self." Read about the other characters mentioned here.
***SPOILER ALERT*** I had a great time talking with students at UC Riverside after they read The Girl Who Fell From the Sky as part of the wonderful course taught by Susan Straight: Mixed Race Literature and the American Experience. I was touched, in particular, by one student's enthusiasm for the book and especially for Brick. At my request she sent me a copy of the page that she liked best from the book. Thanks Genie R. for sharing this--keep writing your story! It's important!
I send an update to my mailing list 3 or 4 times a year with upcoming appearance information and updates on my forthcoming book #2. Below is an excerpt of the latest newsletter. You can read the rest here. And if you'd like to make sure you get these updates in the future, please join my mailing list.
I get messages from time to time asking me when I plan to publish book #2. And then I have to admit sheepishly that first I have to finish it! But I promise you that I am finally making good progress these days --especially during my recent residency at the Djerassi Resident Arts Program in northern California.
In the beautiful mountains which overlook the Pacific Ocean on a clear day (and gloriously eery fog on other days), I re-discovered my muse and spent four happy weeks inside the mind of the woman who inspired my character, Miss Lala. You can see the photos that graced my studio wall and that sparked my imagination in the short video I've included here. Or read more on my website here.
Japanese American National Museum
Los Angeles, CA
June 14, 2014
This is going to be great! Mixed Remixed is my new festival project and an absolute labor of love! I hope you will be there or help support! The festival will take place June 14, 2014 in downtown Los Angeles. It is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas. Submissions are now open. For more information read the Mixed Remixed festival press release or visit our website: www.mixedremixed.org.
I'm excited that The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is required reading in the wonderful Susan Straight's writing course this term at UC-Riverside. I look forward to my visit to the university Nov. 26, 2013!
This is going to be great! Mixed Roots Fest is my new project and an absolute labor of love! I hope you will be there or help support the Fest! The Fest will take place June 14, 2014 downtown Los Angeles. It is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas.
I love this response to the racist rants against the Cheerio's ad that featured a multiracial family. "We're not just reacting to negativity, we're boosting representation, elevating the conversation and hopefully giving context that reaches beyond Madison Avenue. These families exist; we eat breakfast and walk our dogs and love just as hard as families in other cereal commercials," said co-creator of the website: We are the 15 percent!
Some of you may know that my real grandmother was in part an inspiration for the character Grandma Doris in my novel. You know all those funny things Grandma Doris says in the book?--well, my grandmother likely said something similar. My real grandmother died last week at the age of 96 after a couple of years of declining health. Grandma grew up in segregated Texas and married my grandfather "the paperboy" as a teenager. In the late 1940s she moved to the Pacific Northwest and the couple soon divorced. Grandma went on to raise three children on her own working as a domestic helper and managed to buy her own house. We laid her to rest last week with heavy hearts, but with the knowledge that she is now at peace and maybe she will finally find her "rooster" in Heaven.
I will miss my grandmother. Many of you got a chance to see her when she was introduced on Portland's Morning Show, or at many of my book events in Portland over the last three years, including the Everybody Reads event. If you didn't meet her, learn a little about her from this little video I made about her life. In the video, she reveals the recipe to living such a long life.