IN JUST ONE DAY, is my contemporary YA novel, complete at 65,000 words. In 2017 it was long listed for both the Mslexia and the Bath Children’s Novel Award. It was also short listed for the Best First Three Pages of a Novel competition sponsored by Little Brown in May 2018 and is currently short listed for the Commonword Diversity in YA, the Wells Festival of Literature, and the Yeovil Literary prizes (all prestigious competitions in the UK where I currently reside).
What if you’re 16 and the outcome of the next election could mean the difference between going to college or being deported?
On her deathbed, Maz’s grandmother reveals to her that she’s undocumented, brought to America by her long deceased parents from Brazil as a toddler. After being instructed to bury her in the backyard, 16yr-old Maz must keep her grandmother’s death a secret or face deportation. In a new school where no one knows her, Maz struggles to stay in the shadows as she deals with her grief and tries to avoid anything or anyone that might lead to the discovery of her secrets. When a politician’s campaign message promises to help undocumented kids like her, she risks getting involved. Will campaigning lead to change or get her caught?
It’s Something in Between by Melissa da la Cruz meets The Secret Side Of Empty by Maria E. Andreu.
This book was inspired by an intense conversation my undocumented friend, ‘Maria’ and I had after Trump got elected. We wondered how any undocumented Brazilians we knew could survive without our community to support and protect them. We talked about the limbo those who were once unchained by DACA faced. A bleak picture. One we wanted to counteract with a story of hope.
When I was twelve my father married a Brazilian woman granting me my own beloved Vovó (grandmother) and ever since I’ve been a part of a large Brazilian family. I have several connections to undocumented Brazilians. ‘Maria’ agreed to be interviewed for this manuscript and has worked with me to represent the undocumented Latinx community. IN JUST ONE DAY has been read for sensitivity feedback and all readers have responded positively.
Before I got serious about writing eight years ago, I was a middle school history teacher who always wrote little things for her students. This is the third complete novel I have written and I’m a member of a fantastic writing group. I am personally and professionally committed to promoting diversity in publishing as well as to aiding undocumented people in America.
Thank you for taking the time to read my submission.
After she died in my arms, I buried my grandmother in the backyard. Deep, just like she told me. My vovó said the doctors told her she was dying a month ago. But it was only last week when she finally believed it and started to make a plan for me. This plan where I don’t tell anyone she’s dead.
Seven days. That’s all it took for my life to be over because I am not me anymore despite the fact that, from the outside, everything still looks the same. But I am not who I thought I was. Seven days. That’s all it took. Though I guess all it ever takes is just one.
A week ago
“Meu coração?” my grandmother calls from her room, a whisper question that really means ‘where are you going?’ I haven’t left the house a couple of days, since the never ending cold she’s got started keeping us both up at night. She says it will pass.
“Sim, Vovó? I was going to meet Tasmin.” I stand in the doorway looking into her tidy peach flavored room, the warm honey wood of her headboard, dresser, and night table that each have a flowery something draped over them. At first I don’t see her, then I realize she is standing in the closet, her head barely at hanger height, reaching up to the shelf above with knotty fingers that won’t quite straighten.
I stride over. “Need me to reach it Vovó?” On my tiptoes I’m six inches taller than she is and maybe I am still growing; I aspire to five foot seven.
She crumples into a cough, a hand in front of her mouth, then straightens. “Yes, Maziñho. The brown box.”