About Me

I'm a YA writer with a day job. Gemma Bennett is my pseudonym. She is the literary lovechild of Sasha Fierce and Spiderman. Together, we write novellettes for young adults and adults who are cool enough to enjoy YA fiction.

Novelettes? What are those? Stand-alone, complete stories that focus on short, distinct periods of high conflict in my characters' lives. At 10,000 to 18,000 words, they're the perfect length for reading when you want a full story in an hour or two. Plus, they're fat free!

 Check out my first, Friends With Words, by clicking here.

What I'm All About:

I write short fiction that features People of Color in non-stereotypical ways.

I decided to buckle down and write after a conversation with my then 14-year-old sister in law, who is Black. She was visiting my husband and I, and I offered to take her to the library because well, when I was fourteen, there was nothing more exciting in the world than going there. (Yes, I was a geek. I know this.) She rolled her eyes and declined what I thought was a super fun idea, then proceeded to explain that she was not interested because "All of the books there are about White girls on horses." That really stuck with me.

Now don't get me wrong, I've read some great books about White girls riding horses. But sometimes it's nice to pick up a book with a main character who looks like me. And when I was 14, it was tough to find books with Black main characters I could relate to. The books I had access to either had no Black characters (The exception being Jesse in the Babysitters Club. Shout out to Ann M. Martin! And there was that ONE Sweet Valley Unicorns book) or they were dodging bullets and trying to escape the projects. Nothing wrong with telling that story, but it isn't my story and wasn't one I could relate to. Where are the YA books about suburban Black teens who are growing up middle class, stressing about grades, and having boy problems? There still aren't enough. And I'm trying to change that.

Does that mean I only write books for Black people/minorites?

Not at all!

I write stories for everyone to enjoy! But its important to me that my characters are racially diverse and not just a reflection of stereotypes, i.e. 'the sassy, jive-talking Black girl.' Friends With Words has Black main characters who speak traditional English, have regular lives, and are easy for anyone to relate to, kinda like Laura Winslow from Family Matters or Raven from That's So Raven. Upcoming stories feature a Cuban American teenage math genius and a Korean American country singing pop star. I like to mix things up. :)

My story casts are like TV's Grey's Anatomy, with awesome characters of all different colors and backgrounds who aren't defined by what they look like.

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