Arkansas author Ayana Gray talks about her book’s success, Netflix adaptation

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas writer’s Pan-African-inspired novel was published only last week but is already getting her national attention.

Ayanna Gray says she is still in shock, having landed major interviews nationally, but now her novel “Beast of Prey” is also being turned into a Netflix film.

“I’m still processing I’m very much someone who kind of takes a moment to reflect but it’s been surreal,” Gray said.

The author said she was inspired to write the novel in one of her classes while attending the University of Arkansas and a recent trip to Ghana.

“It is about two Black teenagers named Kofi, and they come from very different walks of life, and through a series of unexpected events they end up going together into a magical jungle to try to find and hunt a monster,” Gray said.

Her process in putting the book together has been a five-year journey.

Gray has been busy on tour but says she is happy to have support from her hometown. She also couldn’t be more excited to have Netflix feature it on their streaming service.

“I was like okay let’s go for it. I kept my expectations super low and was like whatever happens, happens. Just really delightfully surprised that Netflix got on board.” she said.

No date has been set so far for the Netflix adaptation, but pre-production is already in the works.

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