JUST RIGHT JILLIAN
Fifth grader Jillian longs to wear bright colors in a school of neutral tones. To run and flip upside down while everyone else whispers and gossips. But no matter how hard she tries to be herself, shyness keeps her true brilliance hidden away. Even if it means getting the wrong glasses or losing an easy contest, Jillian keeps her mouth shut.
After a bully tells her she can never be a winner, Jillian gets fed up. She determines to prove, not only that she’s smart, but brave, too. Her goal? Win the Mind Bender, the school’s biggest battle of wits.
But breaking out of her shell is easier said than done. Jillian has less than a month to overcome a lifetime of shyness and summon the courage to fight for herself—or lose her only chance to win.
This contemporary, middle grade #ownvoices story features a Black main character, and representation of chronic illness (Mama has lupus).
It’s about family and friendship and love.
I’m a debut author.
I wrote a book, Versify/HMH Kids acquired it, and a year or so from now, it will be out in the world for everyone to see. Just Right Jillian will be my debut – my first traditionally published book!
This is something I’ve wanted to do and be since I was a little girl reading Judy Blume. I’ve got the pictures to prove it.
This is Debut Author Month, and all month long, most of my fellow #the21ders – other middle grade and young adult authors who debut in 2021, will be posting on social media to introduce ourselves and our books.
So introducing me:
- I’m Nicole.
- I think and write about healing and imagination and love.
- I’m 46 this year, and proud of it. I’ve never called, nor thought of myself as, “old.” I’m actually shocked whenever I hear people my age claiming it.
- I’m a Nichiren Buddhist and have been practicing for 20 years.
- I’m a certified/registered Usui Reiki master. I also know and channel other forms of Reiki as well.
- I love to dance casino style salsa even though I haven’t done it in ages. Salsa one of my favorite things to do in life. Teaching 4th grade is the other. Some days I miss it.
- I enjoy coaching adults now because it satisfies some of the same highs as teaching kids.
- I run outdoors three times a week for fitness and beauty seeking. I take pictures of deer, flowers, and whatever is beautiful when I’m outside.
- I am currently working to get off high blood pressure medication. Running and breathing exercises have been helping me a lot. They will help you, too, if you do them regularly.
- I love to cook when I have time and the kitchen to myself. My favorites are savory seafood dishes, roasted veggies, homemade veggie broth and yellow grits.
- I am married to a man I call “Blue” because I think he looks lovely in blue. His real name is Phillip. I married him at 40 and he came as a package deal with two bonus kiddos, now 16 and 20.
- I love reading middle grade books, and that’s what I write. For now. My debut and my second novel are both middle grade. I have an idea for a young adult novel and a new adult novel, too!
- I believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I don’t set my mind to everything, so sometimes I don’t do anything. But when I do, watch out!