Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom

BACKSTORY: A New Series that features excerpts from drafts of my novel-in-progress *The Manhattan Escort & Larceny Service*

Fotosearch_u17549431Recently, I’ve been getting really excited about my novel. As I’ve been in writers’ spaces and talking about it, I realize I’m not just enjoying the book itself, but the world of characters I created. As I wait for the manuscript to work its way into the machinery of the publishing industry, I’ve decided to start posting excerpts from earlier drafts. These will be part of a series called BACKSTORY, scenes and flashbacks that got cut in service of keeping the forward motion of an action-packed plot and character development arc. I’ve written at least ten drafts of this book, and I mourned when certain scenes got cut from the final manuscript, but I’m delighted for them to live here instead.

Here’s the description of the novel, and next week I’ll be posting the first excerpt: “Marisol Lands Her First Legit Job.”


Working Title The Manhattan Escort & Larceny Service

novel-in-progress description:

What happens to a financial genius who’s born brown and female, who grows up poor but voluptuous. Who at seventeen has to put her brilliance to work saving her ass from homelessness and puts her ass to work because orphaned seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican girls with kid sisters to support gotta use what they got.  But ten years and a few lucky breaks later, she might find herself with an online degree in bookkeeping and an entry level job at a women’s health clinic for sex workers. But what happens to a financial genius nearly a decade later when she’s running the health clinic and the economy tanks?  She might start an escort service on the side to make ends meet.  And what if one of the girls starts escorting a client to houses of rich corporate CEOs involved in a sex trafficking scandal?  What if those CEOs have wall safes?  A financial genius might use the escorts to case the apartments to do a little safecracking. Because sometimes the best donor to a nonprofit is the unintentional donor, and financial genius Marisol Rivera will do whatever it takes to keep the clinic doors open. Mels teamHer team includes three fierce women: Tyesha, an African American public health graduate student by day; Kim, “the lock whisperer,” a petite Korean immigrant; and Kim’s girlfriend Jodie, a six-foot tall blonde dominatrix. But can they heist a security-obsessed, high profile billionaire?  If they succeed, the team and the clinic could be set for life. But there are so many ways her plan could go wrong.  Still, Marisol has gotta try it.  Because the society keeps churning out brown girls with more curves than cash and more prospects for pimps and sugar daddies than college professors.  Somebody’s gotta level the playing field a little.  This novel takes the racist, sexist, cliché of the Puerto Rican hooker and turns it on it’s head.  Then shakes all the money out of its pockets and gives it to la gente.

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2014 by in BACKSTORY.

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Aya wins first place Independent Publisher Awards for UPTOWN THIEF, THE BOSS, THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS

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