Sorry, not telling that. I’m of legal age though.
Yes, but I was never signed to a record label. I only did a couple of performances and some radio and newspaper interviews. Also, I was in RightOn Magazine, which was the highlight of my short-lived career.
I went through so many! The most known one was Young Short-A. Hangs head in shame.
…No. They’ve all been destroyed. Thankfully.
February 28, 2017 in the US and Canada (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins). International release dates are posted on the site. You can find out what countries and languages it has been published in on this page!
Yes! The movie was released on October 21, 2018. It was directed by George Tillman, Jr., (Soul Food, Barbershop, This is Us, Luke Cage) and produced by State Street Productions, Temple Hill Productions, and Fox 2000. For more info, visit 20th Century Studios’ The Hate U Give page.
Amandla was cast as Starr back in late 2015—almost two years before the book was released and almost a year before there was even a cover.
No. Authors don’t control movies or cast them, but I was consulted a lot by both the director, George Tillman, Jr., and the screenwriters, Audrey Wells, and Tina Mabry.
Yes! But it is not identical to the book. Books and film adaptations are like fraternal twins in a “The Parent Trap” situation—they’re being raised by two different parents. The book version of The Hate U Give is raised by my publisher, and the film version is raised by Fox 2000. They parent different, their kids are different and will even look different, but they still share genetics. As the author, I’m like the grandparent rooting for both kids. I don’t make decisions, but I do advise.
Remember how I said books and film adaptations aren’t identical? Those two are a reason why. DeVante and Nana aren’t in the film.
I know, I know. It’s going to be okay, I swear.
Trust me, love.
He’s in our hearts. Always.
Let’s just imagine that the two of them are touring the world together, playing Spades and making bank.
I was inspired to write the novel by the shooting death of Oscar Grant in 2009. In my anger, frustration, and hurt, I only knew to do one thing — and that was write. At the time I wondered “What would happen if that took place in my neighborhood? How would we react?” I wanted to show the human side of stories like Oscar’s.
The title comes from the definition that Tupac Shakur gave “Thug Life,” which was not just the tattoo he had on his stomach but a code of the streets he developed for impoverished neighborhoods. “Thug Life” is an acronym for, “The Hate U Give Little Infants F**ks Everybody.” Voila, the title of the book, just without the L.I.F.E. part ’cause we can’t put the “F” word in a Young Adult book title. Plus, that would be one long title.
Yep! On purpose :).
Right again. So please stop side-eyeing me, Grammar Nerds.
HELL YES. The song depends on the day. That’s the beautiful thing about Tupac—there’s so much variety in his musical catalog. You can check out a few of my favorites in the T.H.U.G. writing playlist.
Yep! Love Big, but they were two different rappers with two different styles. I’m a Hip Hop head—I could go on for days just talking about those two. The East Coast/West Coast beef didn’t have anything to do with me (check the Wikipedia page—my name isn’t on it) and that was over twenty years ago so…shrug why not like both and appreciate them for what they brought to Hip Hop? In fact, Biggie was an inspiration for my second novel, On the Come Up.
Even before I wrote The Hate U Give, I knew I wanted to write a novel that paid homage to hip-hop. As a teenager, hip-hop was how I saw myself when I didn’t see myself in books. I had this character, Bri, and I knew she had to be a rapper, but that’s all. I got the idea for the plot after “The Hate U Give” was published. The censorship challenges the novel faced reminded me of the rappers who had meant so much to me And how they went through similar experiences. I was looking to them for inspiration about the censorship I was dealing with, just as I was trying to write a book about hip-hop. This made me look at what it means to be a young black person in America, when freedom of speech isn’t necessarily free for you.
Yes! It’s still in the early stages, so I can’t say much, but I’m excited to be working with George Tillman, Jr. again, and Kay Oyegun is writing the script (which is incredible!). It’ll also be my first time as a producer.
As of now, I have no plans to write a sequel to either book. Truth is, I would have to put Starr and Bri through a hell of a lot in the sequels, and don’t you think the poor girls have been through enough? Let’s let these girls live.
Unfortunately, I am not scheduling any school visits currently (in person or virtual).
Possibly! It depends on my schedule as well as other factors. Please feel free to use the information on my Contact page.
The long version or the short version? For the long version, check out this post from my old blog. The short version? I wrote a book, rewrote it, queried it to literary agents, rewrote it again, and queried it. Then I wrote another book (The Hate U Give) and reached out to my future agent, Brooks Sherman, on Twitter to see if it was something agents may be interested in. He said yes and asked to see it. A few months later, I signed with him. About three months after that, he had me in a 13-publishing house auction.
Yep! It was one of the craziest weeks of my life. Thankfully, Brooks is part agent, part therapist, part superhero.
Honestly, I’m not 100% sure how I became one. The key is to write, write, write, and be prepared to re-write, re-write, re-write. Also, read, read, read, especially books that are in the same category and genre as yours. Find good critique partners and beta readers—they can help you see things that you may not notice in your manuscript.When you’re ready to query literary agents, read the Query Shark Blog in its entirety and then write a letter. But you’re not done with revisions yet because you should get your query letter critiqued too. Once you have a solid letter, research agents, find those who rep your category and genre, and FOLLOW THEIR SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (I can’t stress that enough). Also, check out contests such as Pitch Wars, Pitch Madness, and the Writer’s Voice (all hosted by the online writing goddess, Brenda Drake. They’re a good way to put your manuscript in front of agents and an even better way to make friends in the writing community.The biggest key though is to never give up. Ne-ver. I don’t care how many rejections you get (and believe me, there will be a lot of them). Keep writing, keep querying.
Sorry! I don’t refer people to my agent unless I’ve read their manuscript and not only love it but think it would be a good fit for him. Also, I can’t refer writers to my publisher—they only take manuscripts through agents.
I’m sorry again, but I can’t due to time restraints and for legal reasons as well.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests, I can’t do academic interviews, but my past interviews and talks may be useful resources for your project. Please check out the Media page!
Again, due to the volume of requests, I’m not able to do this. But you can order a signed copy of any of my books from Lemuria Books (my local book store!).