Stacey's Extraordinary Words, an illustrated book, will be released in December

By Virginia Chamlee
July 20, 2021 04:57 PM
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Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams
| Credit: Paras Griffin/Getty

Longtime Democratic lawmaker and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams will release a children's picture book in December, with Forbes reporting that Stacey's Extraordinary Words will be based on her own experience competing in childhood spelling bees.

"Words have always been important to me. I loved competing in spelling bees as a young girl. With this book, I want to inspire children to speak up for themselves and for others—and to keep trying if they don't succeed the first time around," Abrams, 47, said in a statement, Forbes reported.

The illustrated book will be based on a character named Jake, Abrams added in the statement, suggesting the protagonist shares her own experiences: "Like Jake, some kids picked on me and others who were different. Over the years, I learned how to use my words to do good, even when I am most afraid."

The book will be published December 28, 2021, by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books.

Since narrowly losing the 2018 Georgia governor's race, Abrams has become one of the country's leading voices on the importance of — and challenges to — voting rights. 

Two groups she founded, the New Georgia Project and then Fair Fight, have been central to an enormous registration drive in Georgia in recent years, including some 800,000 new voters between 2018 and the 2020 election.

Abrams, who is widely expected to run again for higher office, is also a prolific writer.

Under the pen name Selena Montgomery, she has penned eight romance novels (one of which, Never Tell, is now in development with CBS for a series).

In an interview with WSJ. magazine Abrams said that the pseudonym came as a result of her doing "multiple things at once" and wanting a "separate identity."

"I wrote my first romantic suspense novel at the same time I was writing a journal article on the operational dissonance of the unrelated business income tax exemption …. It occurred to me that if someone were to google my romance novel or google my name, they would pull up this tax article," she said, adding: "And since I was just starting in the romance field, I wanted a separate identity, so that people didn't think it was romance being written by Alan Greenspan, which would not be an evocative way to sell a book."

Her most recent novel, While Justice Sleeps (published May 11), is a political thriller written 10 years ago — before she became a politician and then prominent voting rights activist — but was passed over by publishers until more recently (in, part, Abrams suggested to WSJ., because of her name recognition and also because of public appetite for the plot).

That book follows young law clerk Avery Keene, who becomes the legal guardian for Justice Howard Wynn after he falls into a coma.