What’s up guys!? Today I am hosting an interview with author of The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary, Nonieqa Ramos! I just LOVED this book and it was relatable in so many ways! Heck Yes to all the Macy’s of the World! You can find my review of The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary here. I hope everyone has a badass weekend and I hope to catch up on everyone’s blog soon. I have been having a killer case of vertigo this last week so it’s been difficult to read everyone’s posts but you guys are the shizit! So enough about me let’s learn more about this author and this book!
Macy’s school officially classifies her as “disturbed,” but Macy isn’t interested in how others define her. She’s got more pressing problems: her mom can’t move off the couch, her dad’s in prison, her brother’s been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn’t speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms—complete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that’s both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can’t tell her incarcerated father that her mom’s cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy’s machete.
Will you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure! I’m betrothed to my soulmate and have two lovely beasties, Margot and Langston. I’m a Latinx writer of picture books (stay tuned!) and YA, an educator of about fourteen years specializing in the Macys of the world, and a breast cancer
survivor frustrated that my hair will only grow up and out but not down. Actually, I am a survivor of many things.
Can you tell us about your new novel, The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary?
My novel is about fifteen-year-old Macy who has been defined as emotionally disturbed, ADHD, OCD. You name it–she’s got it. Her father’s in jail and expects Macy to spy on her promiscuous mother. Nothing in her life is certain, not food, not
heat, not love. Her true family are her friends George and Alma.
Macy writes the dictionary to take control of her life and define herself.
Macy’s situation at the end of the book is how kids like her walk in the door when they enter the foster care system.
Are the characters in your story based off yourself or anyone else?
Macy is that kid every one wants to give up on. Their anger is ferocious. Toxic. You wish she were absent, but she’s at school every damn day. She is the destroyer of lesson plans. Of plans, in general. She’s also the kid that needs us the most.
The kid who needs us to see the bigger picture. The kind of world that makes little girls like her into tigers.
What inspired you to become an author?
Being an author is in my DNA. I started writing stories in marble composition notebooks wrapped in old Christmas wrapping paper. Writing has always been my refuge, my escape, my catharsis, and now my platform. Right now I’m watching poetry taking
it’s proper place in YA literature–off the bottom and back shelves and on the end caps, and I’m feeling grateful to be writing at the right time. My roots are in poetry.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
My title might be The DEFINITION of INSANITY, a novel-in-verse.
Did you take writing classes or are you self taught?
I graduated from the University of Notre Dame with an M.F.A and an M.ed. That being said, the MFA was one rung on a very long ladder to learning my craft. I’m still climbing. I’m studying authors like Kelly Link and Tomi Adeyemi before I attempt
to write my first fantasy book.
What is the hardest part of writing?
To be honest, the waiting is the hardest part. I’m brimming over with ideas, but I need a thirty hour day. I have to wait to have the energy and time to write because I work full-time. I have to wait to get responses about projects because glaciers
move faster than the publishing world.
What are your hobbies?
I love making our house into a sort of Jumanjiesque museum and filling it with plants, cats, dolls, books, candles, records, and art from our favorite magazine Hi Fructose.
What is your favorite book? I know this can be a difficult question for readers.
As a reader, my favorite childhood books were Edith Hamilton’s GREEK MYTHOLOGY. JANE EYRE, LITTLE WOMEN, LITTLE HOUSE on the PRAIRIE, WHERE the SIDEWALK ENDS, and NANCY DREW. As a reader and writer, I am forever indebted to Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
and Pablo Neruda. My big recommends for YA debut reads right now are Kiersi Birkhart’s HONOR CODE and Fred Aceves’ THE CLOSEST I’VE COME.