I’m so excited to be interviewing these wonderfully talented authors for this week’s showcase, so without further ado, let’s get right to them!
Author of RAYBEARER. Fan of revolutionary girls, 4c curls, & Jesus. Will work for fried plantain.
Author of Maya and The Rising Dark. Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction and fantasy, ghosts, and superheroes. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.
Author of GIVEN. Nandi Taylor is a Canadian writer of Caribbean descent based in Toronto. She’s a two-time Watty award winner, and her Wattpad story Given has garnered over one million reads and earned the 2018 Worldbuilders Watty award.
Nandi grew up devouring sci-fi and fantasy novels, and from a young age wrote books of her own. Her books are an expression of what she always wanted more of growing up—diverse protagonists in speculative settings. Common themes she writes about are growth, courage, and finding one’s place in the world.
Author of CINDERELLA IS DEAD. Kalynn Bayron is an author and classically trained vocalist. She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. When she’s not writing you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, attending the theater, watching scary movies, and spending time with her kids. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with her family.
Author of THE GILDED ONES. Namina Forna is a young adult novelist/screenwriter based in Los Angeles, and the author of the upcoming epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina loves spicy food and witchy-looking cats, and has been known to wear unicorn onesies to the nearest taco truck.
Author of A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN. Roseanne “Rosie” A. Brown was born in Kumasi, Ghana and immigrated to the wild jungles of central Maryland as a child. Writing was her first love, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to use the power of writing—creative and otherwise—to connect the different cultures she called home. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and was also a teaching assistant for the school’s Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program. Her journalistic work has been featured by Voice of America among other outlets.
Author of Hush of Storm & Sorrow. Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance.
She was born in the Bronx, just after the birth of hip hop, but left before she could acquire an accent. Equally left and right-brained, she studied Film at Howard University and minored in Computer Science. This led to a graduate degree in Multimedia and a career in website development. She’s also an award-winning independent filmmaker, co-founded a literary magazine, and sometimes dreams in HTML.
Leslye lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents.
Evette Dionne, known across the internet as “free Black girl,” is a Black Feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar. She’s the author of the forthcoming Fat Girls Deserve Fairytales Too: Living Hopefully On the Other Side of Skinny, and Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box, a young-adult book about Black women suffragists that will be released in 2020 from Viking.
Presently, she’s the editor-in-chief of Bitch Media where she oversees the BitchReads program in conjunction with Powell’s Books as well as the quarterly magazine and the daily website. Before joining Bitch, Evette worked as a founding senior editor at Revelist.
Author of AND THE STARS WERE BURNING BRIGHTLY. Born in Manchester, Danielle Jawando’s previous publications and broadcasting credits have included a short story “Paradise 703”, which was published by DeadInk in 2012 (and long-listed for the Finishing Line Press Award in 2011). She has also had several short plays performed at the King’s Arms in Manchester, and at Stratford Circus in London. In 2015, she worked on Coronation Street as a storyline writer and last year, her short story “The Deerstalker” was selected as one of the six finalists for the We Need Diverse Books short story competition.
Author of LOVE LOST REVENGE. Porsha Deun (pronounced like Dion) wrote fictional stories as a child but never thought about making that into a career. In trying to find her creative entrepreneurial path, she tried everything from wedding planning, making hair accessories and lapel pins, and many other things. All the while, she worked multiple jobs and went to school for Accounting.
After receiving her B.B.A., she found herself unemployed for about nine months. Six months into this unemployment, Love Lost came to her in a dream. She got up the next morning and wrote the first six chapters of the first draft in two days.
Author of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN. Blair Cousins is an author, daydreamer, and social bumblebee. In her free time, she enjoys pursuing the great American pass time of sleeping. During her waking hours, she grinds hard to make her dreams come true.
Author of Children of the Shadows. C.C. Uzoh originally hails from southeastern Nigeria where he draws the base knowledge of the rituals portrayed in these three volumes.
He lives with his wife and children in Canada. He swims and plays basketball. His goal as a writer is to engage, entertain, enlighten, and create a new experience for the reader.
Author of THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY. Maisy Card is a writer and a public librarian. Her writing has appeared in Lenny Letter, School Library Journal, Agni, Sycamore Review, Liars’ League NYC, and Ampersand Review. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Maisy was born in St. Catherine, Jamaica, but was raised in Jamaica, New York. Maisy earned an MLIS from Rutgers University and a BA in English and American Studies from Wesleyan University. She is the author of These Ghosts Are Family.
Author of THE SOUND OF STARS. Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, food critic, culinary teacher, and Youth Services librarian. When not writing YA sci-fi featuring determined black girls (like herself), you can find her having epic dance parties with her daughter, baking, mentoring, or taking teeny adventures around Europe.
Author of THE BECKWITH BROTHERS. Ivana aka The Novelette ~ Master’s Degree student getting my M.A. in Media and Worship, Editor-in-Chief of The Writer’s Block, Proofreader with Penmob, Lover of Books, and Book Fairy. Also, a Net Galley, Bookouture, Bookish First, Corvus Books, Harlequin Publishing, etc. Book Reviewer. Working on her debut novel, a YA Thriller set in the 1990s, Ivana has a love for Mystery, Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers, Dystopian stories in literature and film. Ivana has written and self-published a Murder Mystery Short Story titled “Chronicles of a Cover-Up”.
Author of OMG Is He Also a Witch. Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be an author. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write multicultural children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. She and her family live in Connecticut with a little pond.
Talia Aikens-Nuñez quería ser meteoróloga, política y abogada. Ella nunca pensó que sería una autora. Fue el nacimiento de su hija lo que la hizo comenzar a escribir. Criar a un niño bilingüe inspiró a Talia para que escribiera libros infantiles multiculturales. La familia de Talia ama tanto la naturaleza que ella y su esposo prometieron que siempre intentarán vivir cerca del agua. Ella y su familia viven en Connecticut con un pequeño estanque.
Stay tuned for more updates this week!