Website designed by Jennifer Matias for Charlene Allen
One of the best things about writing is that when you do it, you find out what’s on your own mind. Like my best friend from elementary school, for instance.Or my grandpa, who died when I was fifteen years old. Or the time I ran away from home and I had that rare experience where, for one quick moment, I knew exactly what I wanted out of life.
I didn’t realize how much these people, or incidents, influenced my everyday choices until I found them cropping up in my stories. Once I started to write about them, I realized how badly I needed to think about them – to make sense of the questions they brought up for me. In every instance, writing about them helped me better understand the quandaries I was currently facing.
So yes, I love writing. You can read about my middle-grade manuscript, The Underground Moon, on the page of the same name. And you can read some of my non-fiction articles on the My Writing page. Finally, On Writing offers more about my inspiration for The Underground Moon, the process of writing a novel, and the wonderful things I'm learning as a Masters of Fine Arts student at The New School. I also love reading, which I think of as writing’s quiet cousin. If you go to the “Things I Like” page of the website, you’ll find my recommended reading for young adult and middle grade readers, with a special emphasis on hard-to-find books about young people of color. You’ll also find resources about writing, in case you’re looking for ideas about how to get started, or trying to build a writing community.
I'd love to hear from you, so please use the Contact Us box below to get in touch and share your thoughts.
Sixteen-year-old VZ Brown has always known how to hide from the world. When his friend Ed is killed by a white man reacting to a threat that wasn't there, VZ finds comfort in his laptop and video games. As time, friends, and an unexpected crush help him emerge, the man who killed Ed is slain in exactly the same place where he killed Ed. And another of VZ's friends is a suspect in the killer’s murder.
Now VZ must enter the investigation, digging for clues in the Brooklyn streets he's been avoiding. To honor Ed, he'll have to uncover the truth, find the next steps in his own healing, and figure out what justice looks like in a complicated world.
Meet VZ Brown,
the protagonist of my new work in progress