Necole Ryse, author of The Birthright Trilogy Series is kicking off our virutal book club with her novel Pushing 30, which you can purchase here! Be sure to use our code "COLOR" to get a special discount. Check out our interview with her below:
Why did you want to explore the topic of Pushing 30 for women of color ?
When I started writing Pushing 30, at 28, I was feeling very overwhelmed with the idea of getting older. Like most women, I thought I had to have certain things by the time I reached thirty. I am single, childless, and had to come to grips with the fact that I didn’t have the things I thought I would. I was conflicted between feeling disappointed, and also hopeful because I had two years to make something happen. I felt tremendous pressure to be more, and do more, before I turned thirty. When I begin to feel overwhelmed, I write, and Pushing Thirty was birthed from those feelings of inadequacy. I want to let women know they are not alone in their feelings, and there are people out there, including me, who feel, and have felt, the same way. It’s important to see yourself in media, especially literature, so you don't feel so alone. It's very easy to feel alone in such a big world.
Why do you feel it's important that the word of publishing has diverse writers, especially women ?
Representation matters. When I was growing up, I don’t recall ever seeing someone who looked like me on the covers of the books I was reading. That has a huge impact on how little black girls, teenagers, and young adults see the world. It is important that we tell our own stories because we can do anything we want to do, but, we have to see that it’s possible first.
Without giving too much away, what's your favorite Part of Pushing 30?
Wow. I have so many favorite parts so it’s hard to choose just one. I’ll say Dead Presidents. If you’ve read the book, you know which part I’m referencing.
What's the one lesson you hope readers take away from the book?
One lesson I hope readers take away is to enjoy life as it comes. I have this incessant need to control everything around me, and writing and publishing this book has made me realize sometimes I need to take my hands off the wheel, and let life do it’s thing. Also, I hope women allow love to come and go in their lives. I spent a large part of my 20’s squeezing the life out of every relationship because I was afraid to let love go. At 30, I am allowing love to enter and depart my life freely. I am open to love, and I am also unafraid to let love go.
What's the best piece of advice you can give an aspiring young woman of color who'd like to publish a book?
Read all of the things! Read broadly and then, write. Once you think you’ve written enough, and you’d like to publish, begin to research. Utilize Google. There are so many free websites that lay out self-publishing from start to finish. Be aware of scam “publishing houses”. Don’t give anyone your money who promises to publish your book. You can do this yourself!
Necole Ryse has been writing since she was four years old, when she triumphantly carved her ABC's into the hood of her grandmother's brand new Volvo. When she was only 24, she quit her job in hopes of becoming JK Rowling. Reeling with disappointment, Necole became a librarian and fell in love with the profession. These days, you can find her weeping into a stack of unfinished manuscripts, scolding innocent children in libraries, or with her nose stuck in a book. She is the author of four novels, and is always on the Internet: @necoleryse on all platforms. www.necolerysewrites.com