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Spring 2019 Author List
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Afternoon Tea with Special Author Guests 

(Ticketed)

Anika Fajardo - Speaker

Magical Realism for Non-Believers

A young woman from Minnesota searches out the Colombian father she’s never known in this powerful exploration of what family really means

He loved Colombia too much to leave it. The explanation from her Minnesotan mother was enough to satisfy a child’s curiosity about her missing father. But at twenty-one, Anika Fajardo wanted more. She wanted to know her father better and to know what kind of country could have such a hold on him. And so, in 1995, Fajardo boarded a plane and flew to Colombia to discover a birthplace that was foreign to her and a father who was a stranger. There she learns that sometimes, no matter how many pieces you find, fitting together a family history isn’t easy.

With her tentative entry into her father’s world, Fajardo steps on a path that will take her in surprising directions, toward unsuspected secrets about her family and herself. Set against the changing backdrops of Colombia and the American Midwest, her journey carries her back to the 1970s and the beginnings of her parents’ broken marriage, and forward to the present day, where the magic and reality of love and heartache—and her own experience as a parent—await her. The way is strewn with obstacles, physical and metaphysical—from the perils encountered on a mountain road in Colombia to the death of a loved one to the birth of her own child—but the toughest to negotiate are the shifting place of memory and truth while coming to understand her place in her family and in the world.

Vivid and heartfelt in the telling, Fajardo’s story is powerfully compelling in its bridging of time and place and in its moving depiction of self-transformation. Family, she comes to find, is where you find it and what you make of it.

Anika Fajardo was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota. She has earned awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Loft Literary Center. The manuscript for Magical Realism for Non-Believers was a finalist for the Bakeless Literary Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She lives in Minneapolis.

 
 

LAUREN SHIPPEN - Speaker

ABOUT THE EMPATH AND THE OCEAN
A YA debut that asks: “What if the X-Men, instead of becoming superheroes, decided to spend some time in therapy?” – Vox

Caleb Michaels is your average sixteen-year-old. He goes to school, plays football, and teases his little sister. But when Caleb starts experiencing mood swings that are out of the ordinary for even a teenager, his life moves beyond just typical. Caleb is an atypical—an individual with special powers. Which sounds pretty cool except Caleb’s ability is extreme empathy—he feels the emotions of everyone around him. Being an empath in high school is hard enough, but Caleb’s life becomes even more complicated when he keeps getting pulled into the emotional orbit of his classmates, Adam. Adam’s feelings are big and all-consuming, but they fit together with Caleb’s feelings in a way that he can’t quite understand. Caleb's therapist, Dr. Bright, encourages him to explore this connection by befriending Adam. As he and Adam grow closer, Caleb learns more about his ability, himself, his therapist who seems to know a lot more than she lets on, and just how dangerous being an atypical can be.

LAUREN SHIPPEN is a writer and actor with experience in podcasts, film, and books. She is the creator and head writer of The Bright Sessions podcast, one of iTunes' Best of 2016. She was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media 2018 and one of MovieMaker Magazine and Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch. Lauren was born in New York City and grew up in Bronxville, New York. She currently lives in Los Angeles but travels frequently to New York
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Speaker

 
 

Adam Popescu - 
Guest Author

Nima: A Novel 

Nima lives in the foothills of the Himalayas, a range so immense and a place so isolated it is impossible to imagine anything existing beyond it. Nima and her sister are both betrothed to Norbu, a local Sherpa, but when Norbu stuns both families by only wanting to marry Nima, Nima flees her father’s wrath and the destiny that had been arranged for all of them.

It is bad luck to be a woman on the mountain, so disguised as a man, Nima is hired by an American journalist to guide their small group up to Everest Base Camp. The journey is treacherous, and Nima challenges every restriction her culture places on her gender while balancing the duties of her new role as guide.

Popescu brings to life the many contradictions of the region through the eyes of Nima: trails strewn with litter overlook majestic views, Buddhist clarity is marred by sexual oppression, and a tourism industry that fuels the local economy also threatens to destroy it.

Adam Popescu is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, Marketplace, Playboy, Fast Company, Scientific American, Outside, The Guardian, New Scientist, Los Angeles Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2013, he climbed 18,000 feet up Mount Everest, covering the impact of tourism on the land and local people for the BBC. That experience would inspire his debut novel, Nima. He is based in Los Angeles
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Jaya Nicely - Guest Author

Offline Journal:
An Illustrated Guide for a More Connected, Creative Life


Nowadays, being offline is a state of mind. It is a choice we can make each day--an opportunity to be present and awake. Artist Jaya Nicely's Offline Journal helps you experience the world around you. Designed as a journey through the day, The Offline Journal is beautifully illustrated in hand-drawn detail. Brimming with inspiration, activities, prompts, and pages for you to use however you like, it's an opportunity to reconnect and appreciate the beauty around us.

The Offline Journal is a creative workbook for anyone looking to express themselves phone-free, providing inspiration for a less Internet-y life and connecting, with:

Friends
Community
Nature
Creativity
Yourself

Divided into three parts – morning, afternoon, and night – The Offline Journal accompanies you throughout the day, focusing on: connecting to yourself and the world more deeply, being productive, and finding rest and renewal. Screen-free.
Jaya Nicely is an illustrator and designer. She is the art director for Unnamed Press and the co-founder of the art and food magazine, Compound Butter. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Design. Her work has appeared in Vulture, The Ringer, Variety, and Huck Magazine. Offline Journal is her first book. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

 
  Mina Javaherbin - Guest Author
My Grandma and Me
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In this big universe full of many moons, I have traveled and seen many wonders, but I have never loved anything or anyone the way I love my grandma.

While Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart. At once deeply personal and utterly universal, Mina Javaherbin’s words make up a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader. Soft, colorful, and full of intricate patterns, Lindsey Yankey’s illustrations feel like a personal invitation into the coziest home, and the adoration between Mina and her grandma is evident on every page.
In a true tale of a young girl in Iran and her grandmother, this beautiful ode to family celebrates small moments of love that become lifelong memories.

MINA JAVAHERBIN has written several award-winning picture books, including Soccer Star, illustrated by Renato Alarcão, and Goal!, illustrated by A. G. Ford. She lives in Southern California.
 
 

Carter Higgins - Guest Author

Maurice rides his bike to his shop every day. Lotta rides her bike to collect sticks every day. Both go about their separate routines, unaware of the friendship that awaits them just a few blocks away. But what happens when a branch and a lemon peel get in the way? This delightful falling-in-like story from acclaimed picture book creators Carter Higgins and Zachariah OHora celebrates the power of coincidence to lead us to the friends we're meant to meet all along
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Carter Higgins is an elementary school librarian and the author of Everything You Need for a Treehouse and This Is Not a Valentine. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

 
 

Sarah Gailey - Guest Author

Mix the sly, coming-of-age elements of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians with the noir and edge of Jessica Jones, shake well, and serve over ice to get MAGIC FOR LIARS, the debut novel from Hugo Award nominee and debut author Sarah Gailey (on sale June 4).
MAGIC FOR LIARS channels the flushed, youthful intensity of Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me with a school for mages, hidden in the hills of southern California, as its backdrop. Ivy Gamble, a disagreeable and non-magical private investigator with a slight drinking problem, works to solve a murder at a school for mages where her estranged (and very magically talented) sister teaches. The dark and fantastic secrets she uncovers not only shed a stark light on her case, but on her own family history and the life she could have had.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hugo and Campbell finalist SARAH GAILEY came onto the scene in 2015 and has since become one of the sharpest, funniest voices in pop culture online, going viral frequently for their stories and joie de vivre. They are a regular contributor to multiple websites, including tor.com, where their Women of Harry Potter series was named a Hugo finalist for Best Related Work. Gailey’s nonfiction has appeared in Mashable and The Boston Globe, and writes short fiction for various popular outlets

 
 

Sarah Hoffman - Guest Author
Jacob’s Room to Choose
Jacob, the beloved character who made national headlines by wearing a dress to school, is back in an encouraging story about gender expression. When Jacob goes to the boys’ bathroom he is chased out because the boys think he looks like a girl because of the way he is dressed. His classmate, Sophie, has a similar experience when she tries to go to the girls’ bathroom. When their teacher finds out what happened, Jacob and Sophie, with the support of administration, lead change at their school as everyone discovers the many forms of gender expression and how to treat each other with respect.

Sarah Hoffman (who has written for Cookie, Babble, and The San Francisco Chronicle) and Ian Hoffman are co-authors of a previous book about Jacob, which School Library Journal praised by saying, “Warm cartoon illustrations convey the mood well and offer readers visual clues to the cruelty, teasing, and struggle with self-acceptance that can occur when children are different from their peers ... Encourage[s] discussions of gender, identity, and self-confidence.” Sarah and Ian live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their two children. This is their second book. Visit them at www.sarahandianhoffman.com.

 

 
 

Danielle Dufayet - Guest Author

You Are Your Strong
Soothing and empowering, You Are Your Strong reassures kids that they can handle big emotions and highlights the benefit of developing inner strength and confidence in oneself. With diverse characters and scenes featuring a range of different family relationships — from parents, to grandparents, to an older sister in the military — this book shows kids that they will have help along the way to being strong and in control. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers by Julia Martin Burch, PhD, with advice for building skills to navigate and cope with big emotions.

Danielle Dufayet teaches English and public speaking/self-empowerment classes for kids. She has a bachelor's in English literature and a master's in psychology. She was always been drawn to the beauty and simplicity of picture books and attracted by their powerful psychological impact on young minds. She believes that books are magic little gems that can change one's life. She lives in San Jose, California. Visit www.danielledufayetbooks.com.

 
  Abdi Nazemian - Guest Author

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance...until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart—and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.

This is a bighearted, sprawling epic about friendship and love and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds.

About Abdi Nazemian:
Abdi Nazemian is the author of The Authentics. His novel, The Walk-In Closet, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction. His screenwriting credits include the films The Artist's Wife, The Quiet, and Menendez: Blood Brothers, and the NBC television series The Village. He has been an executive producer and associate producer on numerous films, including Call Me By Your Name, Little Woods, The House of Tomorrow and Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. He lives in Los Angeles with his fiancé and two children. Find him online at www.abdaddy.com.

 
 
  Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White - Guest Authors

In this heartwarming and hilarious reimagining of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a secret potion accidentally turns eager-to-please eighth grader Jaclyn into Jackie, a goblin-like monster who’ll do anything to win at everything she does—no matter how much chaos she creates along the way.

Jaclyn Hyde is almost perfect. Whether she’s baking cookies for her classmates, building a replica Mt. Vesuvius for the science fair, or practicing her lines for Fog Island: The Musical, she almost never makes mistakes.

But when she discovers the last batch of perfection potion in an abandoned laboratory, Jaclyn decides that being almost perfect isn’t perfect enough anymore.

But instead she finds out that trying to be perfectly perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it’s downright horrifying. The potion turns Jaclyn into Jackie, a goblin-like monster who’ll do anything to make sure Jaclyn comes out on top.

Suddenly, she’s wreaking havoc on the school play, stealing someone else’s brownies to pass off as her own, and even destroying someone’s painting to get herself crowned “Artist of the Week.” And that’s just the beginning. Jackie will stop at nothing to make sure everyone knows just how perfect Jaclyn really is.

So now, if Jaclyn wants to save her school, her friends, and herself from her perfectly horrifying alter-ego, she’s going to have to screw up her courage and risk it all—even if that means admitting that she never was as perfect as she seemed.

Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White, the authors of Time Tracers and the Shivers series, bring their signature wit and humor to this thrilling new take on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—just right for anyone who’s ever wished to be more perfect.

About Annabeth Bondor-Stone & Connor White:
Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White are the authors of Shivers! The Pirate Who's Afraid of Everything, Shivers! The Pirate Who's Back in Bunny Slippers, Shivers! The Pirate Book You’ve Been Looking For, and Time Tracers: The Stolen Summers. After graduating from Northwestern University, they moved to New York to eat huge slices of pizza, then moved to Los Angeles when they got full. Now Annabeth and Connor travel to schools across the country promoting literacy and writing through comedy. Annabeth and Connor once ran a half marathon together. After that, they decided to never run again. You can follow them on Twitter @ABandConnor or follow them around in person if you live in LA. Find out more at www.annabethandconnor.com.

 
 
 

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