“Oh, how I wished I could’ve told her what had happened. How I wished I could’ve let go and allowed the tears to spill. But I knew that if I had cried, Mama would’ve asked me what the matter was. And if I had told her the truth, she would’ve said that I was lying. And if she thought that I was lying . . . well, you know the rest.
Still, I wonder . . . did she know?
Did anyone know?
Didn’t everyone know?”
Lucy Green Eyes is a true story depicting actual events in the life of a young girl, Merlene McDaniel, who was given away at birth to be raised by her grandmother. As Merlene grows, she has to learn to cope with the stains of her illegitimacy, molestation and parental abandonment, all while maintaining a lying grin to uphold her brave facade. A captivating and soul-tugging account of the emotional and physical endurance possessed by an innocent child, Lucy Green Eyes is a cacophonous narrative of a young girl whose inner strength allows her to ride on the wings of endless hope. And we can’t help but ride along.
I was born in South Carolina but moved to New York when I was three years old. I went to Professional Children’s School in NYC where I was exposed to the arts. Although I loved writing from the time that I was eight years old, the passion was fueled after I got into high school and college where I majored in it.
Once I was old enough to hold a pencil correctly, I began writing stories about getting the baby sister that I so badly yearned for. I’d write every night before bed until one day my mom told my older brother and me that she was going to have a baby. We were both beyond ecstatic, although my brother cried when we learned that the baby was a girl. I screamed for joy because I finally had my sister. Then about a year later, my mom gave us a little brother. Four years after that, we got another baby sister and two years later, another sister. Moral of the story: Be careful what you write for.
The idea for Lucy Green Eyes came into thought in 1997. My mother would always talk about what her life was like as a young girl having to run from her strict grandmother’s switches, and dodging dirty old men in the cotton field, outrunning trucks that’d be in hot pursuit of her and finding ways to become invisible to her molester. Then one day my sister and I said, “Hey Ma, your life can be a book.” Hence the birth of Lucy Green Eyes.