Author Interviews

Interview with Natasha Diaz

After I read Color Me In, I knew I had to reach out. Color Me In has made it to my list of books that resonate with a piece of myself and it has been such a meaningful book in my life even in the brief time I’ve had it.

Color Me In

Who is Nevaeh Levitz?

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.

Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can’t stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.

It’s only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?



Where did the inspiration for Color Me In come from? I loved your letter to the reader in the book, but people may have not read it yet.

I wanted to write the book I never had growing up about the uniquely complicated experience of being multiracial, white presenting, and Jewish. Color Me In was my chance to acknowledge the privileges that I (and anyone with a similar background to me) benefit(s) from but also empowers anyone who has felt like they don’t have a right to their identity to take pride in who they are. 

Did you find that you knew the instances you wanted to bring with you to the book while writing or before the story formed?

There were a handful of experiences that I knew would be incorporated into the book before I really dug into the story, (I won’t give anything away, but the prologue is a good example of this) but as I was writing, more and more interactions and experiences began resurfacing that I decided to incorporate or at least take inspiration from as the book took form. 

Do you have any favorite biracial or multiracial characters in other stories? Or media?

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland was life changing for me. Jane McKeene, the protagonist, is biracial and there is a really well done back story about her mother that ties into her identity that I adored. I also loved the representation of her white-passing frenemy, Katherine, we got to see both the way she benefited from her privileges but also the guilt she felt as a result. 

How has the process of being a debut been?

It’s been wild! I truly never thought I would be able to have my own book, especially one so personal, so every aspect of this process that has moved me closer to the finish line has felt like magic and I have loved each moment (even when I was ready to rip my hair out because writing a book is really difficult). 

Being as a lot of this book is based on your own experiences, what has the reaction been like from your own family?

All of the characters in Color Me In are fictionalized but some were inspired by people in my life, both family and friends, so it’s definitely intimidating when they read it, but so far, the response has been good! My mom and a few of my cousins have read the book and have really enjoyed it (and my family is not one to sugar coat) so hearing their positive and enthusiastic feedback feels great. 

How has the transition from screen writing to books been?

Well, I am still doing both, but they are two very different types of writing that require me to use two very different parts of my brain. I’m still learning how to go back and forth between projects without needing a week in between to restructure my work flow and my frame of mind to be able to be productive. I’m sure I’ll figure it out someday ☺ 

What projects are you excited for or working on now that you can talk about?

Unfortunately, nothing I can talk about just yet, but stay tuned! 



What is your favorite tv show? Screenwriting is so fascinating to me!

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2 thoughts on “Interview with Natasha Diaz

  1. Ooh, I’m so glad to hear that this resonated with you in so many ways! Fantastic interview. This book is definitely at the top of my most anticipated reads of the year and honestly I’m even more hyped for it now than I was earlier today. Thanks for sharing!

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