Hello, tea party attendees! On Monday, I got to share an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Hurricane Summer, and today, I’m excited to announce our latest tea party guest: Asha Bromfield!
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the heart of Jamaica, and into the soul of a girl coming to terms with her family, and herself, set against the backdrop of a hurricane.
Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica.
When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him.
In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise―all in the midst of an impending hurricane.
Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic―and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.
Hi Asha! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! What gave you the idea to write Hurricane Summer?
Hurricane Summer was inspired by the countless summers I spent on the island of Jamaica. I feel so fortunate to have had those experiences, because it shaped me to be able to write this book. While Tilla’s journey is very different than mine, we also have a lot of similarities. I was really driven by the father-daughter dynamic, and with this book, I wanted to explore how that relationship could shape the course of a young woman’s life and drive a lot of her choices. I wanted to explore what happens to the girls who are no longer protected by the chastity of girlhood. It’s an honest reflection of how society can weaponize the sexualities of women, and how our pleasure can be used to persecute us with. Hurricane Summer is a celebration of a young woman’s pleasure, by following her journey in how she reclaims herself and takes it back.
How does it feel to have written and published a book that has an integral part of you?
It feels deeply vulnerable, but also deeply necessary. I needed this book when I was younger, and so I decided to write it. I hope that young women feel empowered after reading this story, because that’s what makes it all worth it. There is so much power in our bodies, our pleasure, and our stories.
In the vaguest way possible, can you tell us about a scene or moment in Hurricane Summer that you’re really proud of?
The hurricane scene is my favorite scene in the book. Writing it was deeply spiritual for me, and it felt so invigorating being able to offer my character that level of freedom. She deserved it so much, and in a lot of ways it was her release. It was a reclamation. I’m so proud of that scene, and how it not only honored Tilla, but the pain of the country boys and the reverence they felt for the island.
Here’s a question we like to ask everyone: If Hurricane Summer was a tea party, what would be the theme of the tea party?
Definitely a Jamaican themed tea party – Bashment style! And Jamaicans LOVE bush tea, so that would definitely be the tea of choice. A variety of healing herbs and teas.
What’s something that you hope readers will take away from Hurricane Summer?
I want readers to take away the importance of defining yourself before the world does. Too often, the world will try to tell you who you are. But if you can quiet those voices and get curious about YOU, you’ll find it’s the only validation that you need. You are deserving of your own love, care and protection. You are worthy of setting yourself free from the thoughts and judgments of others.
Asha Bromfield is an actress, singer, and writer of Afro-Jamaican descent. She is known for her role as Melody Jones, drummer of Josie and the Pussycats in CW’s Riverdale. She also stars as Zadie Wells in Netflix’s hit show, Locke and Key. Asha is a proud ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and she currently lives in Toronto where she is pursuing a degree in Communications. In her spare time, she loves studying astrology, wearing crystals, burning sage, and baking vegan desserts. Hurricane Summer is her debut novel.
Photo Credit: Felice Trinidad