Author Spotlight: Tiffany D. Jackson talks Monday's Not Coming
I'm over the moon to be hosting Tiffany D. Jackson on the blog today! A Brooklyn native, Tiffany is a TV professional by day, and a novelist by night. She received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. Her critically acclaimed, ALLEGEDLY, broke onto the scene in 2017, and now she's following it up with the brand-new novel: MONDAY'S NOT COMING.
In a starred review from School Library Journal, MONDAY'S NOT COMING was called “A spellbinding, profoundly moving choice for YA collections. This thought-provoking thriller examines issues such as abuse, gentrification, and the marginalization of people of color with nuance and sensitivity. The narrative deftly moves back and forth between past and present, building to a devastating conclusion.”
Check out the Q&A below and be sure to catch Tiffany at one of her many book tour stops this year!
And now, here's my chat with Tiffany!
Hi, Tiffany! Welcome and congrats on the release of Monday’s Not Coming. Can you share a little about the story and what inspired it?
Thanks for having me!! I appreciate the love! Monday’s Not Coming is about a girl name Claudia who’s best friend is missing and no one seems to notice until she shows up one year later. It was loosely inspired by two real cases involving missing black children. I wanted to touch upon what happens to friends of missing kids and how they cope.
Monday’s Not Coming has a non-linear plot. Do you have advice for writers when it comes to blending the past and present, and still making it feel organic?
Writing in past and present is challenging and I honestly worried I made the story too difficult to follow. The best advice I can give is to write a super detailed outline/book bible, the same way fantasy authors do, that way it will help you keep track of the dueling story lines. Also, read Tess Sharpe’s Far From You. She did an incredible job with blending past and present.
Claudia’s friendship with Monday spurs her to unravel the secrets behind Monday’s disappearance. What would you say Claudia’s greatest attribute is?
Claudia's overwhelming love and loyalty to her friend is by far her greatest attribute.
I appreciate how you never shy away from gritty, unsettling topics in YA, and I’m curious if you ever experienced push back because of this? If so, how did you handle it?
Of course I experienced push back, LOL! A lot of folks don’t want books that tell it like it is. They rather books that tell it like they WANT it to be, and that’s simply not realistic nor fair to kids. Why lie about the realities of a situation? Why not expose what’s happening and give kids the tools to make better decision? However, I do my best to listen to concerns. I’m still a newbie in this industry, I’m not perfect and I’ll most likely make a mistake or two or five.
What are you reading, watching, or otherwise currently infatuated with?
The Handmaid’s Tale. There is some POWERFUL storytelling happening there.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that every story teaches the writer something new, so what did writing Monday’s Not Coming teach you?
That is an excellent question! MNC taught me how to lean into my love of poetry without sounding trite. Meaning, I could use flowery language in the midst of turmoil.
And finally, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your writing/publishing career?
Form your tribe, early. Recognize the people who really care about you and the longevity of your publishing career. Focus only on what you can control. And most importantly, love the people that were there before you ever signed a publishing deal.
Many thanks go out to Tiffany for taking the time to tell us more about MONDAY'S NOT COMING, tackling non-linear plots, and stories that tell it like it is. Be sure to add this multi-starred book to your Goodreads list, or (better yet!) order your copy RIGHT NOW from retail sites such as Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Or you can always request it at your library, or local independent bookstore!
And, as always,