Sweet Sixteener Christian McKay Heidicker recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Valynne E. Maetani about her YA mystery/thriller INK AND ASHES (June 1, 2015 from Tu Books/Lee and Low).
Valynne E. Maetani grew up in Utah and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She was once a project manager, developing educational software for children with learning disabilities, and is currently a member of the We Need Diverse Books team. Valynne is dedicated to promoting diversity in children’s literature because all children should grow up believing their stories deserve to be told. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013, a spring 2015 Junior Library Guild selection, and Best Fiction Book in Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Arts Award for 2015.
Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met. Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.
So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life.