The new trailer for my upcoming YA novel “Zero O’Clock” just dropped!
“Zero O’Clock” is the story of Geth Montego, a 16 year-old Jamaican-American girl living in New Rochelle, N.Y. She’s a lot of things–she’s a runner, she’s a BTS fan, and she’s kind of a loner except for her friends Tovah and Diego. Then Covid-19 hits her town, and she gets swept up in the Black Lives Matter protests. Suddenly, she has to decide who and what she’s really about.
Bell, who died in 2012, was a Black woman, and various reports argue that she didn’t get her just due when she was alive because her race and her gender didn’t fit the white narrative that critics had created for the Seattle scene.
But if you listen to her music, especially songs like “Ground Zero,” all the hallmarks of what would become the Seattle Sound are there–the angsty vocals, the sludgy guitars, the energetic mix of metal and punk wrapped around a melodic core. Soundgarden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Hole and others all built on the sonic foundation that Bell helped create.
Too often, Black creators in music don’t get their due. They invent new forms, and are quickly replaced and their innovations repackaged by white artists doing similar things. Memphis Minnie, Big Mama Thornton and Sister Rosetta Tharpe helped create guitar-based rock and roll, but few kids today know their names. When I wrote a cover story on alternative rock for Time magazine back in 1993, not a single person I talked to in Seattle even mentioned Tina Bell and Bam Bam.
Tina Bell deserves a place in the Seattle pantheon.
Check out my upcoming novel “Zero O’Clock“–a book about BTS, BLM, Covid-19, and a 16-year-old girl trying to cope with it all.