I am so beyond thrilled for all of you to finally see the cover for IGNITE THE STARS.
Doesn't she look amazing?!?!
When I saw the first draft of this cover, I wept like a mother seeing her newborn child for the first time. I've been writing this character for over two years now, and now I finally get to see her. And it's oh so satisfying.
And on top of that, the fact that Ia Cōcha is on the cover is BIG DEAL for me.
It's so important to me that young readers also see women of color on the covers of books that they read. When I was younger, I looked up to Buffy, Xena, and Scully. I wanted to be just like them - heroic, confident, bold. But there was this dangerous mode of thinking, a parasite of a thought, that told me I could never actually be like them because I didn't look like them. My skin was dark, my Asian features were not like theirs. Instead, characters who looked like me were the background players, at most a brainy sidekick...so by default, I often took that part. I was quiet and studious, because I thought that was the role I had to play all throughout my life.
Being exposed to the depictions like these, there are certain narratives that we think we have to follow. It's hard to swim up against that current, loaded with stereotypes, expectations, and labels. These will hold you back only if you let it. So don't. Let. It.
But also don't resent who you are. Embrace your culture, your skin, your beautiful eyes. They make you who you are. So I love that Ia is on the cover, to show everyone that heroes can be short, Asian girls too. Ia Cōcha is for the readers who need her, so that they never doubt themselves.
You are fierce. You are bold. You can take on the universe.
If you wanna spread the love, here's the tweet for the cover reveal. Don't forget to sign up a chance to win a free ARC!!