Her Story: Ladies In Literature 2018 with Dana L. Davis

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as twenty-six authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Dana L. Davis

Dana L. Davis is a writer of novels for teens, and also a Hollywood actress with previous series regular roles as: Carmen Phillips on TNT’s Franklin and Bash, head Cheerleader Chastity Church on 10 Things I Hate About You and modern day mimic Monica Dawson on NBC’s cult series Heroes.

She currently stars on the animated series Star Vs. the Forces of Evil, Craig of the Creek and She-Ra and has guest-starred in over 20 prestigious primetime series, including 911, Scorpion, Code Black, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI. Dana made her film debut in Coach Carter with Samuel Jackson.

In addition to her work on screen, Dana has become a motivational speaker for teens. Her stirring assemblies empower and encourage youth, helping them to redefine what it means to win and lose.

Extremely versatile, Dana is a screenwriter and a trained Violist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from Loyola Marymount University. She volunteers for non profits like Empowering Lives International, which provides training, resources, and encouragement to underprivileged East African children. Dana also created her own non profit organization Culture For Kids, LA, an organization which gifts inner city children tickets and transportation to see performing arts shows around the Los Angeles area.

Davis was raised in the Midwest and currently resides in Los Angeles with her 7-year-old daughter.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

Ever seen the movie A.I? Haley Joel Osment plays a robot that wants to be a real boy and spends his whole journey on a quest to become one?

When I was a kid I had a similar drive. All I wanted, more than anything, was to be beautiful.

And in my young mind beauty seemed clearly defined (at least for African American girls): bi-racial, light skin with long, soft curly hair and light eyes to match. These were the versions of beauty I saw in magazines and on TV. So that’s what I aspired to be.

It’s easy to judge young Dana. How dare she not love her rich brown skin, her kinky-curly hair, her full lips and round nose? How dare she aspire to be something she was not? But I grew up in Iowa. Yes, the corn state. Surrounded by people who didn’t look like me. I grew up reading The Boxcar Children, Sweet Valley High and Christopher Pike. No versions of me to be found on those pages. I grew up watching R&B videos where the girl the guy pined after was always some light skinned, exotic, bi-racial model. I went to a school where the girls with light skin were the ones all the boys called pretty.

I saw very few girls who looked like me, celebrated as beautiful. And so at a young age, I became programed that I wasn’t — beautiful that is. And it stuck. But like Haley Joel in A.I…I never stopped wishing and dreaming. If only I could be pretty, I’d think. Everything would be okay for me.

And then, as a kid, I stumbled upon Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and started reading Celie’s letters to God. And even though people around her, including her own “husband” called her black and ugly, I fell in love with her. Celie endured so much abuse but was so resilient. And through her hardships she maintained this incredible capacity to love. Today Alice Walker’s haunting tale about a young southern girl has over ten thousand reviews on Goodreads. It’s been turned into an Academy Award nominated feature film and Tony award winning musical. It won Walker a Pulitzer and critical acclaim. But for me…it was simply a childhood story…a book I stumbled upon at the library. A novel that started the beginning of a new phase in my life. Where beauty would become redefined. Because if I could see the beauty in a barely literate, poor southern girl…surely I could see the astounding beauty in myself and the strong, amazing women that surrounded me.

So it seems I got my wish after all. But not because of what I look like, but because like Alice Walker’s, Celie, I will not be defined by “good” hair and light skin, but by a perseverance that will see me through life’s trials and tribulations.

I am a strong, courageous and resilient dark-skinned woman. And I am beautiful.

Title Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now
Author Dana L. Davis
Pages 336 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date May 1st 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

“I’ve got seven days to come clean to my new dad. Seven days to tell the truth…”

For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.

Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters — and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home — or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded.

But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad — and she has only seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make—and that life means sometimes taking risks.

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