Meet the Author: SA Larsen

SA LarsenSA Larsen is a childhood apraxia of speech advocate, former dancer, and Maine-iac ice hockey fan, who has watched more games than she could ever count. Her favorite stories unlock secret passageways and hidden worlds to inspire and challenge the heart. She lives in the land of lobsters and snowy winters with her husband and four children (yes, they all play hockey), where she’s writing the next adventure in her middle grade series.

SA’s debut novel, MOTLEY EDUCATION (Leap Books/Seek, October 10, 2016), is a middle grade fantasy adventure. A class assignment sends misfit medium Ebony Charmed and her legless lizard totting best friend on a ghostly journey for their lives battling creatures from Norse mythology to find a relic that is vital to saving both the spirit world and themselves. But when things go terribly wrong, Ebony must dig deep to find the true meaning of her quest, which has been inside her all along.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak
  • Childhood aspiration: To create, whether through painting, baking, or writing her own little off-Broadway musicals.
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: Early morning or late evening, and usually in her office that’s climbing in books and The Nightmare Before Christmas decor.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: YOU WERE HERE by Cori McCarthy
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Watch a movie or pro sports event as a family, or hang out with her kids during family game night.
  • Favorite sports teams: Boston Bruins, New England Patriots
  • Surprising personal fact: Up until recently, she was part of the Monday Night Hotties – a group of ladies ranging in age from 22 to 60+, who dance and perform onstage.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Being around some of the most talented and creative people she’s ever met and connecting with amazing readers!

Where to find her:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Add book


Meet the Author: Hannah West

Hannah WestHannah West writes for love and for a living; when she’s not writing about magic and teenagers, she pens articles about renewable energy and home renovation. She lives in Dallas, where she enjoys the company of her fiancé and their rambunctious blue heeler/fur baby. She has a French degree that she nevers uses, but she does enjoy the occasional French macaron.

Hannah’s debut novel, KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS (Holiday House, September 15, 2016), is a Young Adult fantasy. When Bristal becomes a powerful, immortal elicromancer, she meets the only remaining two of her kind–one of whom hides dark plans to tyrannize the mortals they are meant to serve. Bristal must use her gifts to protect a cursed princess, pose as a soldier, and forge royal alliances in hopes of unifying the realm’s armies–before the traitor brings supernatural war down on the three kingdoms of Nissera.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levin, THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD by Robin McKinley
  • Childhood aspiration: Hannah’s childhood career aspirations ranged from acting to archeology, but she was writing the whole time and soon realized it was pretty much her only skill.
  • Currently reading/just read: She is currently double-teaming BLOOD AND SALT by Kim Liggett and SWORD AND VERSE by Kathy MacMillan. Before that, she read WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski.
  • Favorite things to do: Hannah loves being outside–walking her dog, camping, hiking. She also loves netflix, going out with friends, and finding the most interesting restaurants in Dallas.
  • Surprising personal fact: This may be no surprise when it comes to a writer, but Hannah has startlingly vivid dreams nearly every night, one of which inspired her current work-in-progress.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: She’s also getting married this year, so it’s an exciting/busy time all around! 

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Add Book


Meet the Author: Destiny Soria

Destiny SoriaDestiny Soria lives in Birmingham, AL, with her cat Sophie. She spends her time trying to come up with bios that make her sound kind of cool. She has yet to succeed.

Destiny’s debut novel, IRON CAST (Abrams/Amulet, October 11, 2016), is a Young Adult historical fantasy. The story follows two best friends and illusionists who live and work in a Prohibition-era nightclub and con the city’s elite, only to find themselves entangled with mobsters when a con goes awry.


Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine
  • Childhood aspiration: An archaeologist, in the vein of Indiana Jones.
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: She loves writing in coffee shops in the middle of the day, to take full advantage of the people-watching. But her day job means she usually has to make do with her bed in the middle of the night, while Sophie the cat tries repeatedly to climb on top of her laptop.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (for the fifteenth time).
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): When the weather is warm (which in Alabama is…almost always), she likes to practice her hula hooping. On those rare chilly nights, she loves nothing more than hot tea and Alfred Hitchcock Presents marathons.
  • Favorite sports teams: The Night Vale Spiderwolves. She has a t-shirt and everything.
  • Surprising personal fact: After college, she spent seven months backpacking across New Zealand, where she ate a lot of kiwifruit chocolate, went bungee jumping and skydiving (twice), and simply walked into Mordor.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Plugging into a fantastic community of writers and readers.

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Meet the Author: Julie Leung

Julie LeungJulie Leung was raised in the sleepy suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, though it may be more accurate to say she grew up in Oz and came of age in Middle-earth. By day, she is the marketing manager for Del Rey—the fantasy and sci-fi imprint of Random House. She is also the mother of, where she interprets her favorite books into outfits. In her free time, she enjoys furtively sniffing books at used bookstores and winning at obscure board games. Her favorite mode of transportation is the library.

Julie’s debut novel, MICE OF THE ROUND TABLE: A TAIL OF CAMELOT (HarperCollins Children’s, October 4, 2016), is a middle grade fantasy. The series retells the Camelot story from the point of view of the court’s humblest creatures, who must save the realm while the human knights of the Round Table are off on foreign adventures.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: Julie had an unholy obsession with THE NEVERENDING STORY by Michael Ende. Something about the possibility of entering a book like BASTIAN BALTHAZAR BUX was endlessly appealing to a young bookworm, go figure. And it also helped that Noah Hathaway who played Atreyu in the 1984 movie version was very easy on the eyes.
  • Childhood aspiration: For a prolonged hot second, Julie wanted to be the person who gets to make movie trailers. These days, she makes book trailers, which is a lot like that except with laughably small budgets.
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: Julie is a recovering night owl. Who is she kidding, she’s writing this at 1:46 am right now. Otherwise, she likes to overstay her welcome at local coffeeshops.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: Julie is currently reading FATES AND FURIES. She just finished YOU’RE NEVER WEIRD ON THE INTERNET (Almost).
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Julie is a board game hipster. The more obscure, the better, like Cones of Dunshire obscure. She also likes to partake in Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. She still has World of Warcraft urges and wonders how things are in Ironforge these days.
  • Favorite sports teams: Julie is an entry-level Patriots fan.
  • Surprising personal fact: In Julie’s first NYC apartment, there was a mouse who brazenly ran out from the stove and chewed on her freshly baked cookies while they were cooling. She named it Ivan—Ivan the Terrible. Also, it was just one little mouse, not like a rat king or anything. Calm down.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: It’s the same year as her wedding. Yay, life achievements unlocking all at once for easy remembering when she’s old!

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Add Book

Meet the Author: Wade Albert White

Wade Albert WhiteWade Albert White hails from Nova Scotia, land of wild blueberries and Duck Tolling Retrievers. In addition to writing, he teaches part time, likes to draw, and has possibly set a new record as the slowest 10K runner. Ever. Also, he owns one pretend cat and one real one, and they get along fabulously.

Wade’s debut, THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, September 13, 2016), is a Middle Grade Fantasy. Set in a world where fantasy meets science fiction and a subversive narrator lurks behind every page, intrepid heroine Anne must triumph over time, destiny, and heretofore unknown levels of bureaucracy to uncover the truth of her quest.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by LM Montgomery.
  • Childhood aspiration: As a kid he enjoyed picturing himself in a variety of careers (although superhero was probably near the top of the list).
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: He prefers to write in the morning while the kids are at school and the cat sleeps in the chair next to him.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: SHADOWSHAPER by Daniel José Older.
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): He likes to draw, run, play guitar badly, play video games, and study ancient languages.
  • Surprising personal fact: He was once bitten by a squirrel.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: That he doesn’t have to wait until 2017.

Where to find him:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Add Book

Meet the Author: Tara Sim

Tara SimsTara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera.

Tara’s debut, TIMEKEEPER (Sky Pony, November 1, 2016), is a Young Adult LGBT Historical Fantasy. In an alternate Victorian era, every city in the world is run by a clock tower. Clock mechanic Danny wants to free his father from a city trapped in time, but to do so, he’ll need to stop a series of bombings taking down towers around London. Easier said than done when Danny falls for a boy who lives in one of the clock towers—and who becomes a target for the bombings.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Childhood aspiration: Tara initially wanted to be a world-famous singer, but when she discovered she could create (and destroy) worlds at her fingertips, she veered towards being an author instead.
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: In a corner of her bedroom, right in front of the window, in the middle of the night.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera.
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Singing, traveling, watching movies, playing video games, cheese-binging, baking (and eating cookie dough), making friends laugh so hard they snort.
  • Favorite sports teams: With utmost loyalty to her home city, the San Francisco Giants.
  • Surprising personal fact: Despite being ridiculously pale, Tara is half-Indian. She recently traveled to India to see her family (and to do research for her next book).
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Getting to connect with talented, funny, intelligent authors.

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Add Book

Meet the Author: Erin Petti

Erin PettiErin Petti lives by the ocean in Massachusetts and loves to read about magic, dinosaurs, folklore, and ghosts. She’s studied literature and creative writing, as well as teaching and improvisational comedy. She suspects her cat likes her better than she’s letting on. Erin lives with her husband, excellent toddler, and aforementioned cat.

Erin’s debut, THE PECULIAR HAUNTING OF THELMA BEE (Mighty Media Press, September 6, 2016), is a middle grade fantasy adventure where science and magic intertwine. Aspiring scientist/explorer/cryptozoologist Thelma must embark on a mission to save her dad. But when the journey brings them deep into the New England woods she realizes it might be harder than she thought—there’s someone wielding dark magic, and Thelma is pretty sure they’re coming after her next.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: REDWALL by Brian Jacques  – but earlier than that, MOUSE SOUP by Arnold Lobel.
  • Childhood aspiration: She was desperate to be an animator for Disney and live in Disney World. That’s how it works, right?
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: If she can make it up, early morning with lots of coffee is best 🙂
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by Victoria Schwab
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Hanging out with her two year old! She’s the funniest person Erin has ever met.
  • Favorite sports teams: Hufflepuff Quidditch all the way.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Fulfilling a lifelong dream! And the incredible support of friends and family.

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter