IN CONVERSATION DEAR AMERICA AUTHORS AND DISCUSS THE POWER AND PAIN OF WRITING ABOUT NIC STONE KIM JOHNSON BLACK LIVES FOR A YOUNG-ADULT AUDIENCE IN THIS MOMENT—AND BEYOND By David Canfield tackling systemic racism in America, Kim Johnson, 41, is launching her debut novel, (July 28), and is confronting similar themes—in a suddenly prescient moment. From opposite coasts, the pair came together over Zoom for a candid discussion. I remember working on and thinking about how Dr. King’s teachings had been softened, sanitized, and weaponized. Even now, the fact that has been in Amazon’s top 100 books for the past five or six days is really disheartening. I’ve had this internal conflict: On the one hand, it’s cool to be able to celebrate a success. But knowing the origin of the success makes [it] feel not as successful. You’re going to feel this in a minute, Kim. I feel it. I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when my book is out. What’s wild is I’ve had the exact same experience. NIC STONE Dear Martin This Is My America Dear Martin For creators [and] Black people in general, trying to find the words [about] how we’re feeling and what needs to happen is incredibly difficult. Nic, I’m going to ask you the first question: How do you feel in this environment, having written with what’s all happening in the world? KIM JOHNSON “WE’RE MAD.” IT’S A FRANK ADMISSION from Nic Stone, the No. 1 bestselling author of and other YA hits. Understandable, too. While Stone, 35, prepares to launch (Sept. 29), the sequel to her 2017 breakout (which was written as a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), Dear Martin Dear Justyce JOHNSON Dear Martin, STONE Dear SEIJA RANKIN @SEIJAWRITES EDITED BY → ILLUSTRATION BY RACHELLE BAKER
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