“I have learned that when a hurricane passes through, it knows no favor. It takes no precedence. When the time is right and it is ready, it will destroy you. It will destroy everything. Even the good things. Even the things you love.”
BLOG TOUR POST! I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog tour of HURRICANE SUMMER, the debut novel of Asha Bronfield! Thank you @wednesdaybooks for inviting me to participate.
This book, you guys, this book… it’s beautiful, it’s painful, it’s the full package. Be forewarned, it’s covers incredibly heavy topics. But it’s powerful, poignant. Despite not having the same experiences as the MC, Tilla, there’s this underlying connection of the things we go through as women. I also related from to the culture shock she experiences, when you’re caught between two countries but never fully a part of one or the other. It’s got a complex father-daughter relationship which felt so real. Right now I just seem to be listing praises, but hey, there’s just so much to unpack here, so much I want to talk about but I’m limited here.
A profound experience. Absolutely incredible!
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the heart of Jamaica, and into the soul of a girl coming to terms with her family, and herself, set against the backdrop of a hurricane.
Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica.
When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him.
In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise―all in the midst of an impending hurricane.
Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic―and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.
About the Author
Asha Bromfield is an actress, singer, and writer of Afro-Jamaican descent. She is known for her role as Melody Jones, drummer of Josie and the Pussycats in CW’s Riverdale. She also stars as Zadie Wells in Netflix’s hit show, Locke and Key. Asha is a proud ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and she currently lives in Toronto where she is pursuing a degree in Communications. In her spare time, she loves studying astrology, wearing crystals, burning sage, and baking vegan desserts. Hurricane Summer is her debut novel.
Q&A with the Author
R: How has the transition been of actor to author? Do some of the acting skills you acquired serve you when putting pen to paper?
AB: Most definitely! I finally understand why I had to tape for so many auditions that I didn’t book (haha). Being an actress allowed me to understand dialogue and script analysis in a really beautiful way. Writing dialogue is effortless for me because I have so much practice (12 years in the business!) reading scripts and dialogue. My mentor and acting coach, Ingrid Hart, was instrumental in the creation of this book. She helped me understand scene structure, character arcs, and objectives in the most profound way. She’s a true master at understanding life and stories. Being an actress has completely shaped my writing process and the way I understand stories.
R: The feeling of constant culture shock felt incredibly personal to me. Did you draw on your own experience when writing that aspect of the book?
AB: I definitely drew on some of my own experiences, but it also took a lot of stepping outside of myself as well. As much as I had to humanize Tilla, I also had to humanize the people around her. That part wasn’t always easy, but it was so worth it. Writing this book really helped me understand the perspective of the locals in the countryside, and it gave me a great empathy for how Tilla’s presence was a huge disruption for them as well. So much of Tilla’s journey is about her learning to understand herself and her culture, because the culture belongs just as much to her as it does to them. It’s a huge reclamation of power for her, because just as much the summer destroys her, she gains her strength from the island as well.
R: The novel is a powerful and painful exploration of the sexualization of young women, the paradox of forcing them out of their innocence while weaponizing their womanhood against them. If there’s anything you want the reader to take away from your book, what would it be?
AB: I want people to know it is safe to reclaim themselves. So often, we go through life being defined by the judgments and limitations of other people. We gather up their shame and start to wear it as our own. I want young women to know that they are deserving of a safe space to figure it all out. They are allowed to be flawed, make mistakes and discover themselves. It’s all beautiful, and it’s all a part of the journey. I want to eradicate the shame that we feed women, and I hope that this book inspires them to celebrate their pleasure. They are worthy. We all are.
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 (TOMORROW!) from Wednesday Books.