Ashley is STACKED.

I dragged myself out of the dissertation cave long enough to vote… and to make an appearance at STACKED for the Contemporary YA week to talk diversity. Here’s a bit:

Often I hear from readers of What Can’t Wait and The Knife and the Butterfly with questions along the lines of, “How did you know it was like this for me?” Readers of What Can’t Wait sometimes assume that I’m telling my own story (I’m not, except in that something of every author lodges in her books), but since The Knife and the Butterfly deals with gang culture and is narrated from a Salvadoran-American teenage male’s perspective, the question is all the more frequent in that context. How does a nerdy, twenty-something mother make the leap into that world.


In truth, the answer is the same for both cases: I listened.


You can read the rest of my engaging rambles over here.


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