Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Rebecca Kim Wells – On Fairy-Tale Reimaginings, Compelling Character Arcs, & Writing Fantasy with a Human Touch

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

I have a big soft spot for fairytale-inspired stories, especially ones written by diverse authors. I knew I was going to like Briar Girls from its lovely blurb (a mysterious forest, a cursed girl, and a hidden world of magic? How could I resist?), but I wasn’t prepared to fall head over heels for its realistic, compelling characters and intriguing worldbuilding. We’re so honored to have Rebecca Kim Wells at the Pond today to share a few secrets behind her upcoming YA fantasy book!

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Ryka Aoki, Author of Light from Uncommon Stars – On Inspiration, Learning the Violin, and the Magic of Queerness in Speculative Fiction

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Friends, I genuinely think Light from Uncommon Stars is the best book I’ve read this year so far. The premise of a runaway violinist who ends up getting mentored by a legendary musician (who may or may not have struck a deal with the devil) was already so compelling, but I truly did not expect the story to grab me by my heart and shatter all of my emotions—only to put the world back together kinder, sweeter in the end. It is such an honor to have Ryka Aoki at the Pond to talk about her lovely balm of a book today, and I’m so excited to share our discussion with you!

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Xiran Jay Zhao, Author of Iron Widow – On Their Author Journey So Far, Reimagining Historical Characters, & Upcoming Project Hype

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Iron Widow has definitely been one of the more hyped releases of 2021, with its high-concept plot and strong aesthetics—and this time, all the hype has led us true. With the book’s breakneck action-packed plot, surprisingly tender romance, and compelling political intrigue, Zetian’s rage-filled journey is easily one of the best stories I’ve indulged in all year. As such, it’s a real joy today to have Xiran Jay Zhao back at the Pond again for an interview about their roaring debut!

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Our Friend is Here! A Discussion with Ryan Douglass, Author of The Taking of Jake Livingston – On Why We Need Radical YA Books

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Pride Month is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where during the month of June, queer authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer reader. Find the introduction post for Pride Month at The Quiet Pond here.

What a month it’s been, friends! I hope you’ve enjoyed all our lovely author interviews about queer identity and stories, and that the discussions we’ve hosted have helped you to feel seen too, wherever you are on this weird and wonderful journey! Today, to bookend our Pride Month series, we are closing with a post about the importance of radical YA fiction, and its absolutely critical role in helping us imagine better futures—both for ourselves and the teens who will one day grow into the world that we leave for them.

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with K. Ancrum, Author of Darling – On Writing Fiction for Teens, Diverse Ensemble Casts, & Retelling a Beloved Classic

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Pride Month is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where during the month of June, queer authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer reader. Find the introduction post for Pride Month at The Quiet Pond here.

The book we are about to discuss today is—and I do not say this lightly—a masterpiece. It’s a marvelous thing of one-night escapades and nail-biting tension culminating in a horrifying twist; tender and thrilling and hilarious in equal measures. 2021 has been a year of years so far, and it’s truly a testament to the book’s staying power that I still vividly remember the adventure I went on while reading it. I rarely am this certain that a book will make my personal ‘best of year’ list this early on, but goodness, friends, if there’s any story that deserves a spot in 2021, it’s Darling. I am so, so honored and delighted to be welcoming K. Ancrum to the Pond today to discuss her absolutely unforgettable YA thriller retelling of Peter Pan!

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