Kayla M.

Imagine if you can the pride the people of Yate, New England must have felt every time a Harry Potter movie was ranked number one in the box office, or the excitement of Rick Riordan’s students in Texas felt when Percy Jackson and the Olympians became a New York Times Bestseller. With my degree in creative writing I hope to bring that same pride and excitement back to Michigan. My goal is to tell stories that, even though fictional, rings with truth. Stories that will teach the next generation lessons I needed while growing up. Just like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson did for me, I want my books to allow kids an opportunity to escape their problems and enter a new world, with new characters that’ll guide them on their journey. And when they close the pages and return home they’ll be a little bit wiser and a little bit stronger.

I was in the second grade when I wrote my first story, Monster Rabbit, a three page documentation that told the story of how my stuffed bunny turned into a giant monster that tormented the city of Southfield. I was seven when I wrote it, and extremely proud of it. Ever since then, I’ve never stopped. The ideas just kept flowing and they deserved to be written. I won’t go as far as to say that they deserve to be heard, but that’s not going to stop me from becoming a writer so that people across the country can learn the stories of my characters that I have grown to adore over the years.

It’s also my goal to give the people in my community fictional heroes and heroines the look like them, sound like them, and even think like them. When I was younger I never understand why books where the protagonist was African American mainly took place during slavery or the civil rights era. I had my heroes: Harry, Percy, Katniss and Tris, but none of them looked like me. When I think about extremely popular novels and book series the main characters are almost never black unless the color of their skin serves purpose to the story somehow. When I write my characters are black, white, Asian, Latino, and so on for no reason at all. The world is diverse and I believe the books our kids read and the movies they watch should be too.

My degree is just the first step in changing the aspect of young adult books in order to make them more relatable and more powerful.