I’m excited to introduce everyone to GCC member Debbie Rigaud, who has a breakthrough young adult novel debuting through Simon Pulse. PERFECT SHOT! marks the first book in the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies series to feature an African-American protagonist and to be written by an African-American. Talk about breaking down some barriers! And to make Debbie even cooler, she lives in Bermuda. Jealous, yet? Okay, so let’s talk about her novels.
As always, here’s a little bit about her book to get you hooked:
High school athlete London Abrams is more likely to spike a volleyball than wear spike heels. Yet in one crush-tastic moment, she signs up for a modeling contest as an excuse to meet the photo intern Brent St. John. But instead of getting a call back from Brent, London gets a call back from contest judges! Now she’s in a fierce modeling competition feeling way out of her league, and Brent’s camera is zoomed in to document everything. Suddenly, London’s not feeling so ready for her close up.
Here’s what Debbie had to say:
Q: In AMOR AND SUMMER SECRETS, Mariana discovers a hidden family secret. Are you a good secret keeper?
Debbie: I try to be. I look at it this way, there are too many people spilling secrets and feeling okay about it, just because they convince themselves that it’s okay to tell one trustworthy person. That one person then tells their one trustworthy person and so on. Pretty soon, everyone knows that secret.
Very perceptive. I think that IS how many secrets are spread.
Q: What is the favorite place you ever traveled to, and what was the coolest thing you saw/did there?
Debbie: Ghana, West Africa. It was such a culturally and spiritually enriching vacation. The coolest thing about my trip was vibing with the people. From friendly teen students, knowledgeable tour guides, market vendors, hip hop MC’s and talented dressmakers (who hooked me up with gorgeous traditional dresses), I was given the warmest welcome.
Sounds like an AMAZING trip! I must add Ghana to my list of must-see places!
Q: I often tell the story of how a psychic once predicted that I would go on to write children’s books. Have you ever visited a psychic?
Debbie: Yes, I have visited a psychic before. I went with friends, which made it more fun. I’m totally fascinated by all things paranormal. Ironically, I absolutely don’t like getting predictions. Predictions mess with my head. I’m afraid of hearing anything unpleasant, like when I was told that my college boyfriend wasn’t “the one.” At the time, I really wanted him to be and didn’t want to hear anything to the contrary.
Q: My character Mariana spends her summer in Puerto Rico connecting with her father’s heritage. Have you ever researched your family tree?
Debbie: Sad to say, but I haven’t yet visited Haiti, the place my parents were born. But I adore everything about the vibrant Haitian heritage I inherited. In researching my family, I’ve learned that my relatives left their mark on Haitian history. For example, my dad’s great great grandfather played a role in the Haitian Revolution. My dad even pointed out the page where our great-great-great grandad’s photo was included in his school history books. Pretty cool.
Q: Where were you when you found out that your book was going to be published?
Debbie: I was on vacation in Accra, Ghana with my husband. We stopped by this tiny but crowded Internet cafe in the heart of the busy capitol one night. That’s where I read my agent’s email announcing my book deal. I was mad excited, but I kept cool until I exited the café, so as not to cause a scene and incite panic in such a tight space. Once outside, I told the hubby and we celebrated over chilled bottles of pineapple juice.
Thank you, Debbie! Now, everyone go out and buy books, lots and lots of books!