Author Visit with Raymond Wong
4 weeks ago
MEREDITH RUSSO was born, raised, and lives in Tennessee. She started living as her true self in late 2013 and never looked back. If I Was Your Girl was partially inspired by her experiences as a trans woman. Like Amanda, Meredith is a gigantic nerd who spends a lot of her time obsessing over video games and Star Wars.
If I Was Your Girl is her debut novel, but definitely not her last. When she's not busy writing she can be found reblogging pictures of cats and babies, reading high literature (and definitely not fanfiction and fantasy novels), arguing with strangers about social justice, and, of course, raising her two amazing children, Vivian and Darwin.
You definitely, absolutely should not be shy about contacting her, even if it's just to talk. She's always open to new opportunities and chances to speak with new people.
Raised in Cheboygan, Michigan Sigler's father passed his love of classic monster movies along to his son. His mother, a school teacher, encouraged his reading offering him any book he wanted. Sigler wrote his first monster story, "Tentacles", at the age of eight.Genre:
Sigler didn't travel far for college having attended Olivet College (Olivet, MI) and Cleary College (Ann Arbor, MI) where he earned a BA in Journalism and a BS in Marketing. Scott has had a varied career path having worked fast food, picking fruit, shoveling horse manure, a sports reporter, director of marketing for a software company, software startup founder, marketing consultant, guitar salesman, bum in a rock band, and social media strategist before turning in his corporate ID to write fiction full time.
Bryan Bliss is the author of No Parking at the End Times. He holds master’s degrees in theology and fiction and – shockingly – found a professional job that allows him to use both of those degrees. His political philosophy degree, however, is still underutilized. His nonfiction has been published in Image Journal, along with various other newspapers, magazines, and blogs. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two children, both of whom wish he wrote books about dragons. Or wizards.Genre:
Eric Lindstrom writes Young Adult novels, including Not If I See You First, released December 2015, and the upcoming A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, coming January 2017, in English in the USA from the Poppy imprint of Little, Brown for Young Readers, and in the UK and the rest of the world from HarperCollins Children’s Books.
He has worked in the interactive entertainment industry for years as a creative director, game designer, writer, and combinations of all three. As Editor and Co-Writer for Tomb Raider: Legend he received a 2006 BAFTA nomination for Best Video Game Screenplay. As the Creative Director for Tomb Raider: Underworld he received a 2009 BAFTA nomination for Best Action Adventure Video Game and a 2009 WGA nomination for Best Writing in a Video Game.
He has also raised children, which led to becoming first a school volunteer, then a substitute teacher, then a part time kindergarten teacher, then getting a credential to teach elementary school, and most importantly the discovery that Young Adult books are awesome. It’s pretty much all he ever reads, and now writes, in his house near the beach on the west coast, with his wife and, yes, cats.
One of my first spoken words was “story” (right along with “bath” and “cookie”), my favorite toy as an infant was a soft, squishable book, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first realized such a job existed.
When I was fourteen my best friend introduced me to anime and fanfiction—over the years I would complete over forty Sailor Moon fanfics under the penname Alicia Blade. Those so inclined can still find my first stories at fanfiction.net. Writing fanfic turned out to be awesome fun and brought me in contact with an amazing group of fanfiction readers and writers. As Alicia Blade, I also had a novelette, “The Phantom of Linkshire Manor,” published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin (CatsCurious Press, 2007).
When I was sixteen I worked at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, Washington, affectionately termed “The Spag.” (Random factoid: This is also the restaurant where my parents met some 25 years before.) I attended Pacific Lutheran University where I sorted mail that came to the dorm, carted tables and chairs around campus, and took writing classes, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature. Knowing I wanted a career in books, I would also go on to receive a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University (which you can learn more about here). After graduation, I worked as an editor in Seattle for a while before becoming a freelance typesetter and proofreader.
Then, day of days, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a book deal, so I became a full-time writer. CINDER is my first novel, though I have an adorable collection of unfinished ones lying around too.
I now live with my husband and our three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. My favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.Genre:
Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating from college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate campaign. Now he lives Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.Genre:
Laura Ruby writes fiction for adults, teens and children. She is the author of the newly-released YA novel BONE GAP, as well as the Edgar-nominated children's mystery LILY'S GHOSTS, the ALA Quick Pick for teens GOOD GIRLS (2006), a collection of interconnected short stories about blended families for adults, I'M NOT JULIA ROBERTS (2007), and the forthcoming middle-grade trilogy YORK. She is on the faculty of Hamline University's Masters in Writing for Children Program. She makes her home in the Chicago area.
I’m a writer repped by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. I split my time between my hometown East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and Los Angeles. After graduating with a BFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. My debut RED QUEEN came out of the terrifying, unemployed year after college.
Currently I’m revising the second book in the RED QUEEN series, along with pursuing other projects in literature and film. My proudest achievements are riding a horse in the mountains of Montana and navigating from London to Edinburgh without GPS.
Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.
In the years since, Neal has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. As a full-time writer, he claims to be his own hardest task-master, always at work creating new stories to tell. His books have received many awards from organizations such as the International Reading Association, and the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country. Neal’s talents range from film directing (two short films he directed won him the coveted CINE Golden Eagle Awards) to writing music and stage plays – including book and lyrical contributions to “American Twistory,” which is currently played in several major cities. He has even tried his hand at creating Games, having developed three successful “How to Host a Mystery” game for teens, as well as seven “How to Host a Murder” games.
As a screen and TV writer, Neal has written for the “Goosebumps” and “Animorphs” TV series, and wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect”. Currently Neal is developing an original TV series with his son, Jarrod, and adapting Tesla’s Attic with co-writer Eric Elfman for TV as well.
Wherever Neal goes, he quickly earns a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. Much of his fiction is traceable back to stories he tells to large audiences of children and teenagers — such as his novel The Eyes of Kid Midas. As a speaker, Neal is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give Neal a unique approach to writing. Neal’s novels always deal with topics that appeal to adults as well as teens, weaving true-to-life characters into sensitive and riveting issues, and binding it all together with a unique and entertaining sense of humor.
I’m a woman. There seems to be some confusion about my gender, which I find disturbing if you’ve seen my author photo.
I used to be a journalist. My first job was for Seventeen magazine. You can see some of my articles here.
When I was little I wanted to grow up to be the sun. I was devastated to learn this was not a career option.
Adam from If I Stay was inspired by my husband, Nick. No, you cannot meet him.
Willem from Just One Day/Year was inspired by some Dutch guy who dumped me. (Willem is my revenge.) No, you don’t want to meet him.
I bombed my SATs. I still did okay in life.
I was once an extra in a Bollywood movie. (And yes, that’s where I got that part of Just One Year from.)
I have been to 64 countries. I used to travel a lot. I once wrote a book about it. Favorite country visited: India. Least-favorite country: Tonga. (Sorry, Tonga.)
I can bake a batch of cupcakes from scratch in under 20 minutes.
The worst job I ever had was as a data-entry clerk. Honorable mention to hotel maid and traveling flower seller girl.
I have learned, and forgotten, three foreign languages. Regretfully, French is not one of them.
I took three years off to travel before college.
As a teen, I was so obsessed with Molly Ringwald that I started biting my lip like she did and now I have a permanent scar. And this is why I am a YA author.
Benjamín Alire Sáenz studied at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver Colorado, the University of Louvain in Louvain, Belgium, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Iowa and Stanford University where he was a Wallace E. Stegner fellow in poety. While at Stanford, he also pursued his doctoral studies in American Literature. He has studied philosophy, art history, theology, creative writing and literary studies with a focus on twentieth century American poetry.
In 2005, Cinco Puntos Press published his first young adult novel, Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood. The novel was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and won the Americas Book Award, The Paterson Prize, and the JHunt Award. Sammy and Juliana was also named one of the top ten Young Adult novels by the American Library Association and was also named one of the top books of the year by the Center for Children's Books, Captial Choices, The New York Public Library and the Miami Herald. HarperCollins has just released Sammy and Juliana in a paperback edition and has been released as an audio book from Listening Library (Random House). His second young adult novel, He Never Said Goodbye, was published by Simon & Schuster and won the Tomas Rivera Award in 2009. His most recent young adult novel, Last Night I sang to the Monster has won critical acclaim will be published by Simon and Schuster in the summer of 2008. His next young adult novel, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is forthcoming from Simon and Schuster.