The Story Behind Good Fortune

Noni has always cherished the history, values and life lessons of her ancestors. Her debut novel, Good Fortune, is poised to do for Noni’s generation what Alex Haley’s Roots did for his generation — using revelation from a compelling story of their ancestors, motivate readers of all ages to embrace and treasure, with pride, the rich legacy of our history, including the gripping experience of slavery.

The story of Ayanna Bahati is inspired by the real-life experience of Noni’s great-great-great-great grandmother—Rose Caldwell a slave who’s mother was torn away from her, never to return. At 12-years-old, Noni joined her siblings and cousins at her family’s kitchen table as her great aunt recounted Rose’s story, along with other true accounts of her ancestors’ histories in America. With her spirit and emotions now stirred by the story of Rose Caldwell, and armed with the quest to inspire other youth to embrace, value and learn from their history, Noni embarked on a journey to fortify her understanding of her own heritage. She began an unanticipated 3 year journey, dedicating significant time during her adolescent years (ages 12 to 15) to reading, listening to stories and conducting in depth research about the African American historical experience. Her work was expressed through expansion of one of her existing 25-page slavery short stories. This narrative gradually evolved. And even though Noni had no thoughts of writing a book, it culminated into a work which would later become Good Fortune- an informative, exciting, and inspirational historical slave narrative that is exciting parents, educators and youth all over the country—teaching them to treasure and learn from all aspects of their history; to value education and lifelong learning; and to never, ever give up.

Recognizing the potential of this compelling body of work at the 2008 Book Expo of America (BEA), Simon and Schuster Publishers embraced it and unveiled it on January 5, 2010. Good Fortune has within 6 months of its release become an Award Winning Novel by earning the 2010 Parent’s Choice Gold Award and is being nominated for several other literary awards. The novel has become a platform for Noni’s educational initiative – THE NONI CARTER EXPERIENCE- a personal and educational experience which engages and empowers youth, the community and audiences of all ages
through focus on educational excellence and motivation to achieve dreams.