Monday, September 23, 2013

GCC Presents: Debbie Rigaud

Debbie Rigaud, one of my amazing writer buds from the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit has a new story, "Viola," in an incredible anthology called OPEN MIC. Here's the lowdown!


Listen in as ten YA authors use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction embraces a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry and comic form.

About “Voila” by Debbie Rigaud:

Thanks to overprotective parenting, Simone’s elderly great aunt Ma Tante has more of a social life than she does. But one afternoon, Ma Tante’s social scene awkwardly intersects with Simone’s in the unlikeliest of places.

About Debbie Rigaud:

Debbie Rigaud began her writing career covering news and entertainment for popular magazines. Her YA fiction debut, HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru was followed by the fish-out-of-water romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT/Simon Pulse. Since then, Debbie’s non-fiction essays have been published in anthologies IT’S ALL LOVE/Broadway Books and DEAR BULLY/HarperTeen. Her short story “Voila!” is featured in OPEN MIC/Candlewick Press, and TURFQUAKE, her first YA e-book will be released late 2013.

The Interview:

Q: What inspired you to write this book?
DEBBIE: OPEN MIC editor Mitali Dave is known for her passion for multicultural stories. When I found out about her plans for a humor-driven anthology about growing up between cultures, I was all over it. For me, life as a first-generation American teen included countless culture clashes with my parents and even some friends—perfect material for a humorous short story! How could I not be inspired?
Q: Is your main character someone you wish you could be, someone a lot like you, or your total opposite?DEBBIE: My main character Simone and I share cultural backgrounds (Haitian-American), but she is a lot less trusting and much snarkier than I was at that age. Her healthy skepticism keeps her a step ahead of awkward situations, which she handles a whole lot better than I would.
Q: If there was a soundtrack or your book, what are five songs that would be on it and how do they relate to the story?DEBBIE: Because I picture the doctor’s office setting in the story to take place in an urban Latino/Caribbean community, I’d say you’d hear something by Pit Bull like “International Love” and Wyclef Jean’s “Party By the Sea” featuring Buju Banton. And although the lyrics are a bit—ahem, raunchy, I’d go with J. Cole’s “Can’t Get Enough” for the dope West African music sample he uses. Because the story is about so many clashes (cultural, social personal), we need to include The Clash’s music. A perfect selection would be “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” Finally, something the seniors in the story probably listened to when they were young, like Al Green’s “For the Good Times.”
Q: In your opinion, what is “Literally The Best Thing Ever”?
DEBBIE: This may sound greedy, but turkey bacon is the best thing ever. I’m not a pork or red meat eater, but I will throw down on some turkey bacon. My husband thinks I’m deluding myself with this pretentious turkey version of tasty bacon strips, but I swear it’s different, yet close enough to the real thing. Waiters at diners and breakfast spots have been good about not rolling their eyes when I ask if they have turkey bacon (the answer is often, NO). But some eateries have caught on that people like me demand the option of gobble-gobbling up (pun intended) this just-as yummy bacon substitute.
Q: What are you working on for us next?DEBBIE: I’m preparing to release my first YA e-book. It’s titled TURFQUAKE and it follows one city girl’s reluctant (and awkward) switch to an urban school at the same time her cousin from earthquake-ravaged Haiti moves in and faces greater challenges adjusting to life in the US.

No comments: