This week’s ‘My Reading Corner’, I talk with bestselling author Tami Charles. Her newest YA novel, Muted has already received wide acclaim. Although considered a YA (Young Adult) author, her novels are meant to be read by parents and adults. With stress and social media, dreams and promises, Tami’s books are ones that help her young adult audience know that they’re not alone. For the older generation, they give insight into the minds of young adults.
Muted brought back Tami’s time tasting fame in her teens and early twenties. She was a member of an all-girl R&B trio. How about performing for Boys II Men, BET and Showtime at the Apollo? The main character of Muted had to be a young girl searching for fame as a songwriter. Once Tami realized that, the words flowed and a powerful story was written. It’s a story of ambition, music and exploitation. And it’s the story of innocence lost and young women regaining their voices.
Tami is the New York Times bestselling author of All Because You Matter. She’s written numerous books for children and young adults. Like Vanessa, her middle school debut book earned a Top 10 spot on the Indies Introduce and Spring Kids’ Next lists, three starred reviews and a Junior Library Guild selection.
As a teen and into her early twenties, Tami unclicked the buttons, and was as loud as hell as a member of a 1990’s R&B singing group. Muted brought her back to the music industry and found her writing and singing her songs.
Tami herself has said: We had a song on the radio that played at like 2 in the morning when everyone was sleeping. We didn’t make it to the grand stage, but those were the times of my life!
‘If hard work was what it was going to take to make it to the top, then that’s exactly what I’d serve up – black girl mixed with grit stardust spice magic.’
A powerful conversation with Tami Charles:
- The all-girls R&B, fame and music
- Teenagers, dreams and asperations
- Ambition and exploitation
- Workplace violence and women
- Putting a lens on the music industry
- Young women regaining their voice
- Writing for young adults
- All Because You Matter – a picture book with love and a lullaby
- Muted – a YA novel-in-verse
- The audiobook, her songs and her voice