Winter Author Spotlights!
(Thanks to Anushi Mehta for this compilation!)
Gabriela Martins is a Brazilian kidlit author and linguist. Her stories feature Brazilian characters finding themselves and love. She was a high school teacher and has also worked as a TED Ed-Club facilitator, where she helped teens develop their own talks in TED format to present. She edited and self-published a pro-bono LGBTQ+ anthology (KEEP FAITH) with all funds going to queer people in need. When she’s not writing, she can be found cuddling with her two cats, or singing loudly and off-key. Her YA romances, LIKE A LOVE SONG and BAD AT LOVE, come out summer 2021 and summer 2022 (Underlined/PRH). Find her on Twitter at @gabhimartins, on Instagram at @gabhi, and visit her website at gabrielawrites.com.
LIKE A LOVE SONG:
After a humiliating break-up live on television, teen pop star Natalie needs to find a way to distract the tabloids so her career doesn't end when she becomes a meme. Her PR team's plan? Hiring an indie actor to play her new boyfriend.
Chandra Prasad is the author of the YA novels Mercury Boys, which explores a dangerous secret society of teen girls, and Damselfly, a female-driven survival tale used widely in schools as a parallel text with Lord of the Flies. Her general fiction titles include On Borrowed Wings, a Connecticut Book Award finalist; Death of a Circus, which Booklist calls “richly textured and packed with glamour and grit;” and Breathe the Sky, a fictionalized account of Amelia Earhart’s last days. Prasad is the editor of—and a contributor to—the W.W. Norton anthology Mixed, the first-ever collection of short stories on the multiracial experience. Her shorter works have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Week, Teen Voices, and numerous literary, arts, and poetry journals. Prasad is also a contributor to New Haven Noir, a short story anthology edited by Amy Bloom, and the author of the how-to book Outwitting the Job Market.
Mercury Boys is a tense, pulse-quickening tale about high school girls who decide to form a secret society after they discover a way to visit people in old photographs. At first their society is a thrilling diversion from their troubled everyday lives. But it’s not long before jealousy and explosive secrets threaten everything the girls hold dear.
Dr. Amitha Jagannath Knight is a graduate of MIT and Tufts University School of Medicine. She is also a former social media manager for We Need Diverse Books. In 2012, she won the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award.
While her parents were originally from South India, she and her siblings (including her identical twin!) were born in the United States. Dr. Knight has lived in Texas and Arkansas, and now lives in Massachusetts.
USHA AND THE BIG DIGGER:
Usha and the Big Digger is about three girls, Usha, her sister Aarti, and their cousin Gloria, who see different shapes in the same stars and have to learn to see things from each other’s perspectives literally and figuratively.
Aparna Verma was born in India and immigrated to the United States when she was two-years-old. She graduated from Stanford University with Honors in the Arts and a B.A. in English. The Boy with Fire is her first novel.
When she is not writing, Aparna likes to ride horses, dance to Bollywood music, and find old cafes to read myths about forgotten worlds. You can connect with Aparna on Twitter and Instagram at @spirited_gal.
THE BOY WITH FIRE:
An ex-assassin, an heir, and a tyrant struggle for power when a vengeful god reawakens and threatens to destroy their world.
The first of The Ravence Trilogy, The Boy with Fire is the tale of a world teetering on the edge of war and prophecy, of fate and betrayal, of man’s irrevocable greed for power — and the sacrifices that must come with it.
Srividhya Venkat's first-ever story was illustrated and "hand-published" by her brother when she was eight years old. She then grew up to be just-another-adult. But after reading several books to her children, she sort of became a kid again and began weaving new stories. Today she is a children’s author and storyteller.
Born and raised in India, Srividhya has lived across three countries during different stages of her life, and is extremely grateful to have found warmth and inspiration in each of them. She dreams of a world truly without borders, and tries to do her part by creating and sharing stories about our big, beautiful world where everyone is different, yet the same.
DANCING IN THATHA'S FOOTSTEPS:
Varun is fascinated by bharatanatyam, the ancient classical dance that his sister is trying to perfect. He tries a few moves all by himself at home in secret because, well, boys don’t dance, do they? But when his thatha shares his inspiring story, Varun knows what he must do. A story about being true to yourself.
This list was compiled by Anushi Mehta:
Anushi Mehta is a first generation Belgian-Indian who grew up in charming Antwerp. She pursued degrees in psychology and primary teaching at Warwick University and met her husband while working in London. Now, they live in Mumbai and everyone from her two-year-old to her 88-year-old grandma teases her for always feeling cold.
After moving to Mumbai, Anushi completed an introductory course on learning disabilities and ‘Yoga for the Special Child’ by Sonia Sumar and then worked as a special educator until her son was born. Moreover, she oversees a primary school in her ancestral hometown, where she focuses on raising literacy levels.
Anushi discovered the power of voice when she began inventing stories about spunky Indian girls for her daughter. It is her dream that each of her stories feature masala chai. In addition to honing her craft with courses at Highlights Foundation and The Writing Barn, she is an active participant of 12x12 and Desi Kidlit, a community of writers from the Asian Diaspora.
Anushi has also been selected by WeNeedDiverseBooks as one of the “sixteen creative, rising voices”. Alan Gratz is mentoring her for her MG, LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. She is also a chronicler at #LOVEnotfear, a mental health awareness campaign on the psychological impact of the pandemic encouraging values of love, hope & unity, one story at a time. Finally, Anushi is an interviewer at WeNeedDiverseBooks and a contributor at The Word - A Storytelling Sanctuary.