A Quick Chat With...Joya Goffney
Quinn keeps lists of everything - from the days she's ugly cried, to "Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud," to all the boys she'd like to kiss. Her lists keep her sane. By writing her fears (as well as embarrassing and cringeworthy truths) on paper, she never has to face them in real life. That is, until her journal goes missing . . .
We had a quick chat with Joya Goffney - Her novel Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is her first novel.
'A razor-sharp, passionate, and addictive debut
YA romcom that readers will love.'
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is your first published novel, tell us what the journey was like?
I remember when I first got a response from my agent about Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry. I was at work, and I instantly broke down in tears. And since then, everything has been like a dream come true.
When did you discover your love for writing?
I started writing very young. The first story I remember writing was in second grade about killer anacondas.
What would you like a young Black girl to take away from this novel?
I would like young Black girls to know that no pain is too little to speak up about. Your feelings are valid and anyone who says otherwise isn’t your friend. I wrote Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry as a gift to Black girls - to give us something fun to read about Black joy, Black love and Black growth without getting too bogged down in the pain of it all. I didn't grow up with many books about girls who look like me, so I'm excited for this chance to give the world more stories about us.
What is the future for the characters in Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry? Will there be a sequel?
At the moment, I’m not working on a sequel for Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry. However, all characters from my books exist in the same world, so the characters from Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry might pop up in another book.
Can you name three authors who have inspired your writing?
Nicola Yoon for her way with words and unexpected twists; Kristina Forest for her beautiful Black couples and swoony love; Angie Thomas for her humorous writing about serious topics.
Describe your writing space. And why is it special to you?
I write in my study. My photography hangs from the walls, and Christmas lights line my bookshelf. My study is special to me, because it’s where I go to create, to read, to unwind—to be alone.
Quick fire round
Top three favourite book genres..
Romance, Contemporary YA, Horror
What are you currently reading?
She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
What’s your hidden talent?
Sweet or Sour?
Movie or Book?
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry | Hot Key Books | Available from Bookshop.org
Available to buy here
About the Author
Joya Goffney grew up in New Waverly, a small town in East Texas. In high school, she challenged herself with to-do lists full of risk-taking items like 'hug a random boy' and 'eat a cricket,' which inspired her debut novel, Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry. With a passion for Black social psychology, she moved out of the countryside to attend the University of Texas in Austin, where she still resides.
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