Julianne Mundle is a Jamaican Canadian author and a McMaster University graduate. After migrating to Canada in 2010, Julianne quickly realized that settling into her new home presented anxieties stemming from a cultural shock, discrimination and social marginalization. Writing about her experiences as a new immigrant sparked her creativity and motivated her to publish the novel “Come With The Fire.”
The story follows Emily, a sixteen-year-old trying to fit in at an uppity private school. The environment
attempts to restrict the outspoken Jamaican teen struggling to navigate a new life in Toronto. The author invites readers to witness Emily’s bold flames when faced with two choices – ‘When the one you trust betrays you, you have two options: forgive them and walk away or burn everything to the ground?’
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I started thinking about writing professionally. It’s important to me to write about my heritage and experiences, and being Jamaican Canadian is a significant part of that. I’m honoured to share the story with the world.
This is the first in a five-book series. My goal with each book is to highlight the intricacies of my
background and experiences and how they relate to the world. Come With the Fire is very timely, and I
think the experiences are relatable to people of colour and immigrants.
Are any of your characters in “Come With The Fire” modelled after someone you know?
Definitely! Emily is modelled after my younger sister and me. Emily is witty, smart, loyal, and very misunderstood and flawed. She’s a teen, so the challenges she faces are relatable not only to current teenagers but adults, as we’ve all had to go through that stage. It’s important to note, as well, that Emily represent young black girls, especially those who are immigrants. I hope that these girls will read and recognize themselves in Emily.
Some of our ancestors have passed on that fighting spirit to the younger generation. Is it safe to say that Emily got her fire from her outspoken grandmother?
Yes definitely. I wanted to show that Emily inherited her grandmother’s fight and drive. I wanted to make that connection. Emily’s grandmother is the guide in the book, so although she isn’t one of the main characters, her importance is shown throughout the novel. She’s my favourite character in the book, truth be told. She’s a textbook Jamaican lady. She’s fiery, hardworking and proud. I love her desire to keep Emily grounded and true to herself.
Another highly recommended book to honour the voices of Women in March:-
Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #MeToo Movement
Written by Toufah Jallow and Kim Pittaway
“An incandescent and inspiring memoir from a courageous young woman who, after she was forced to flee to Canada from her home in The Gambia, became the first woman to publicly call the country’s dictator to account for sexual assault—launching an unprecedented protest movement in West Africa.” – Publisher: Random House Canada, 2022.
Toufah was a nineteen-year-old first-year student at Gambia College when she entered a national pageant sponsored by Gambia’s then-president, Yahya Jammeh. In December 2014, she was crowned the winner. The president proposed marriage to the teen, Toufah, who repetitively rejected his offers. Unfortunately, she was drugged and raped by Jammeh. Toufah successfully escaped his home and Gambia to Senegal. In 2015, Toufah Jallow made it safely to Toronto, where she now resides. Her strength and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence continue to empower women worldwide.