Elana K. Arnold writes for and about children and teens. Some of her books have been included on the LA Public Library’s Best Books of the Year list, the Bank Street Best Book list, the YALSA “Best Fiction for Young Adults” list, have been ALAN picks, and have been selected for inclusion in the Amelia Bloomer Project (feminist books for young readers). Her YA novel, INFANDOUS, won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and the Westchester Fiction Prize. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis, where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature.
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She’s the acclaimed author of the romantic southern gothic Heirs of Watson Island series, including Compulsion, Persuasion, and Illusion. She’s also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a three-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site dedicated to encouraging literacy and reader engagement through a celebration of series literature. She’s on the Board of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and runs the CompulsionForReading.com program to distribute books to underfunded schools and libraries.
She lives with her husband, children, and a lopsided cat, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.
Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.
After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.
Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she released two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays and Boys of Summer.
Julie Buxbaum is the New York Times best-selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, and the critically acclaimed novels The Opposite of Love and After You. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and an immortal goldfish.
Romina Russell is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on the ZODIAC series, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a Virgo to the core.
E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, and now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are true.
She is the author of the YA contemporary novel, HOW TO BE BRAVE and the forthcoming THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER.
Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record and Going Geek.
Jessica Love is a high school English teacher who lives in Southern California with her husband, her son, and their two tiny dogs. She’s working on her Master’s Degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University, and her big love is contemporary YA romance. Jessica spends all of her free money on concerts, constantly tries to prove that blondes have more fun, and is pretty much always on the internet.
Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Gretchen’s follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times. In 2013, she released 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places.
In 2014, Gretchen debuted her first series, Don’t Get Mad (pitched as “John Hughes with a body count”) also with Balzer + Bray. GET EVEN and GET DIRTY follow four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school.
Gretchen published two novels with HarperCollins in 2016: RELIC, a horror novel about a group of teens who, while exploring an old mine, accidentally unleash a creature who is hunting them down and cannibalizing their bodies; and I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, a YA contemporary novel about a math-minded control freak who loses her boyfriend to the quirky new girl in school and sets out to reinvent herself as a classic manic pixie dream girl in order to win him back.
Cindy Pon is addicted to twitter and bad reality television. And some good ones too, like Project Runway. Silver Phoenix and Fury of the Phoenix, her two young adult fantasies from Greenwillow Books are available now. Her first published short story, “Blue Skies”, is also available in the Diverse Energies anthology. Serpentine, the first book of her second Xia duology was released in 2015. Sacrifice, the sequel, came out in 2016. WANT, her near-future thriller set in Taipei will be released in summer 2017! When Cindy is not writing or painting, she likes to read, daydream, travel, eat and watch films in the theatre. She loves pastries, americanos and Taiwanese food!
Robin Reul has been writing since she was in early elementary school, when she used to make her own book club flyers for her classmates and then pen them original stories. At thirteen, she had her first meeting with a major publisher, and the dream of someday being a published author firmly took hold.
As the daughter of a film producer, she spent her childhood on location, growing up on movie sets, and developing a fine appreciation for strong black coffee. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Broadcasting and Film, and worked for many years in the film and television industry, both as an actress and in motion picture development. One of her favorite jobs was working as an Outreach Assistant for the Disney/PBS show “Bill Nye The Science Guy.” Ultimately, Robin decided to return her focus to writing young adult novels full-time. She likes to write the same sort of stories that helped get her through her teenage years: funny, honest stories filled with quirky, memorable characters that at the end of the read, make you feel like you’ve just had a visit with a good friend.
When she’s not writing, Robin can be found singlehandedly driving up the profit margin of her local Starbucks and indulging her love of baked goods, particularly those in the key of pumpkin. She lives in Los Angeles suburbia with her husband, son and daughter. MY KIND OF CRAZY is her first novel.
Sara E. Santana is a YA and NA fiction writer. She has worked as a smoothie artist, Disneyland cast member, restaurant supervisor, nanny, photographer, pizza delivery driver and barista but writing is what she loves most. She runs her own nerd girl/book review blog, What A Nerd Girl Says. She lives in Southern California with her dad, five siblings and two dogs. Her debut novel is The Awakened. The sequel, The Sanctuary, was released in December 2016.
Ann Stampler was born in Connecticut, grew up mostly in Santa Barbara, and lived her adult life in Los Angeles, where her novels Afterparty and Where It Began are set.
Her husband is a psychologist and her children are a journalist and a filmmaker. (The common theme here seems to be that they’re all deeply interested in dark secrets and stories.) Ann has a rescue dog, who is mostly interested in finding shoes to chew, and hangs out with her while she writes, which would be perfect if he didn’t enjoy eating paper.
Her forays into other careers notwithstanding, she has always wanted to be a writer, and have always, ever since she was first able to write, had notebooks and file folders and bankers’ boxes full of stories, and pieces of stories, and fragments of novels, and random paragraphs. As a teenager, Ann saw herself as smart and socially hopeless. Now she sees herself as less smart and less hopeless, but she’s still basically the same person she has always been; she’s just a lot happier about it.
K. M. Walton is a graduate of West Chester University, with a degree in elementary education. As a former middle-school language-arts teacher she’s passionate about education and ending peer bullying. Since her novels shine the light onto the hideous effects of bullying, she gives school presentations on the topic “The Power of Human Kindness.” She lives in PA with her husband, two sons, and cat.
Mary Weber is the award-winning author of the bestselling, Scholastic Pick, young adult Storm Siren trilogy, and upcoming Sofi Snow duology, as well as an altogether ridiculously uncoordinated girl. In her spare time she plots taking over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives, sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.