The origins of America Deconstructed
You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life
Here’s a confession: America Deconstructed was never a planned project- like several thousands of unplanned babies, America Deconstructed was an unplanned project that just so happened. I had freelanced as a writer for years at this point, writing endless technical buying guides that seemed to pay decent but was slowly killing any ounce of creativity I had as a writer. I would often re-read my buying guides and wonder, “What the heck I was doing?” At different junctures of my life, my friends have asked me why not write a book. I always looked at them wondering what they were smoking to sound so delusional! Me and writing a book seemed so far fetched until 2013 when I asked my friend if she wanted to write a book with me about immigrant experiences in America. She said, “sure” and that was it.
The weekend after I sat down chronicling my story in the very first story of the book, “An Alien in America”. The story was completely different from the end product today. I have had to rewrite it for one agent who almost signed us until it fell through. I sent my friend the story and asked her what she thought. “I’d buy the book if all stories were like this”, and with those lines America Deconstructed was born. We did not know who we were going to interview or what their stories were. We did not have a questionnaire to ask the interviewees. We winged it!
Besides mine and her story, every other story just found us. We began with the question “where are you from”, and the story morphed from that question. Some were fun while others were serious, some had us wondering how they survived what they did, while another showcased an America we as immigrants from the 2000’s did not get to witness. Each of our interviewees were destined for us and we are eternally indebted to them for sharing such inspirational journeys with us!