YA Books

I’ve been working on a YA Historical novel for almost five years! My agent has given it the “green light” and will start submitting to editors Jan. 2018. Keep your fingers crossed and send some prayers that luck, talent, and hardwork all come together for me and Tin, the protagonist in this story!


When the battle for Saigon is lost, all American troops leave Vietnam. They also leave behind Tin, a Black Amerasian who is labeled a child of the enemy by the Communist Government. Tin is called a bui doi; dust of life. But Tin, who was raised by his grandmother, remembers her stories about a great love between his parents and the strong love that his American GI father had for him. Tin dreams of being reunited with his father on American soil. Tin meets Trung and Ellis, Amerasian’s with the same dream. Together they plan their escape enduring starvation, illness, and jail and all will risk death for a father they may never find.


Here is the first page of my YA novel: The Forgotten American

Chapter 1


The sun is making me sweat on this muggy afternoon in Saigon and I’m lying with my face on the ground behind the orphanage. I’m curled up in a ball and wondering why dirt doesn’t smell anything like dust?

“Trẻ bụi đời!” Tuan’s shrill voice screams at me. In Vietnamese, it translates into, “vagrant of the city.” That’s his favorite name for me. I brace myself, but nothing happens, so I make the mistake of opening my eyes, and that’s when his sandaled foot kicks dirt in my face. The eye grit is the least of my worries because now my back is getting pounded with fists.

“You a dirty boy!” yells Phuoc, Tuan’s evil shadow.

Something sharper than a fist hits me on the leg and I yell out. Phuoc is thrashing me with a stick. Tears surface. I can’t help it. He’s hitting my crippled leg and it feels like it’s on fire.

“Your mother was a whore!”  Tuan spits on me. “Your father killed my family! I will make you pay!”

Just then Uncle Lu calls my name, “Tin! Where are you, lazy boy?

Tuan gives me a kick in the ribs and Phuoc tosses his stick in the bushes before they run away laughing. It takes me a while to uncurl. Everything hurts. I wipe my face on my now dirty white shirt. I wish they would just leave me alone.

Since I was born, I’ve been hated and bullied. My grandmother warned me that Vietnam would not be kind to me, even though I’m Vietnamese. Why? Because I have dark brown skin, tightly curled hair and big round eyes that don’t look Vietnamese. People take one look at me and they know that I’m half Vietnamese; half American—a child of the enemy.


Check out this PBS Documentary airing on April 28th.



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