OUR FRIENDS & VOLUNTEERS
Heidi grew up in Hawaii where she rode horses and raised peacocks, and then she moved to New York City and grew up even more, as one tends to do. Her favorite thing, outside of writing, is travel, and she has haggled for rugs in Morocco, hiked the trails of the Ko’olau Valley, and huddled in a tent in Africa while lions roared in the dark.
She holds an MFA from New York University in Musical Theatre Writing, of all things, and she’s written books and lyrics for shows including The Time Travelers Convention, Under Construction, and The Hole. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her son, and their pet snake. They do not own a cat.
Amalie is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, School Library Journal, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid’s INDIE NEXT selection. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 bestseller in gothic fiction, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national IPPY silver medalist and Children’s Moonbeam Award winner. She is also the co-author of the #1 bestseller in Regency Romance, My Rogue, My Ruin, in the Lords of Essex historical romance series. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.
Ausma is the author of the award-winning debut novel The Unquiet Dead, the first in the Khattak/Getty mystery series. Her subsequent novels include the critically acclaimed The Language of Secrets and Among the Ruins. Her latest mystery in the series is A Dangerous Crossing. The Khattak/Getty mystery series has been optioned for television by Lionsgate, and Ausma is also the author of a fantasy series for HarperVoyager. The Bloodprint, Book One of the Khorasan Archives was published October 2017. Ausma holds a Ph.D. in international human rights law with a specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. A British-born Canadian and former adjunct law professor, she now lives in Colorado with her husband.
Sandhya is a New York Times and national indie bestselling author. She writes books for teens (and those who still feel like teens inside!). She lives by the mountains in Colorado, where she's on a mission to (gently) coerce her husband, son, and daughter to watch all 3,221 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite. Also, she loves her pets a little too much!
Scott is the author of the Nyxia Triad series. His former career as an English teacher in diverse urban communities in North Carolina taught him the difficult lesson that inspiration isn't equally accessible to everyone. So he set out to write a novel for the front-row sleepers and back-row dreamers in his classes. He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, his son, and their dog Luna.
Rachel is the author of the contemporary YA novels You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone (out now from Simon Pulse) and Our Year of Maybe (out in 2019). A former journalist, she has worked for NPR, produced a radio show that aired in the middle of the night, and currently works in education.
Bridget Watson Payne
Bridget is Executive Editor of art publishing at Chronicle Books, where she coordinates the Diversity and Inclusion Group. She’s on the board of Bay Area Women in Publishing and is a senior mentor for Representation Matters. With over fifteen years’ experience in publishing, she has collaborated with hundreds of authors to make their book ideas a beautiful reality. She is also an artist and the author of several books. Bridget has taught on CreativeLive, at the ICON Conference, and elsewhere; spoken at the San Francisco Writers’ Conference and the California Library Association, among others; and been featured on KTVU San Francisco, Minnesota Public Radio, Publisher’s Weekly, Shondaland, Women Who Draw, and more. She lives in San Francisco.