Our Friend is Here! A Discussion with Adiba Jaigirdar, Author of Hani & Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating – On Why We Need Nuanced Parents in Queer YA

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.

Our Friend is Here: Pride Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of June, queer authors are invited to celebrate being queer, queer books, and their experiences of being a queer author! Find the introduction post for Pride Month here.

‘Family’ is a theme that I will always love to read about in young adult fiction. Family, whether by blood or found, is incredibly important to us and the way that we form, shape, and navigate who we are as people in the world, and I feel like there’s no better age category for such explorations than young adult fiction. However, when I think about ‘queer experiences’ and ‘family’, the crossroads here can be fraught – and it can be doubly fraught for queer people of colour.

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Our Friend is Here! A Discussion with Aliette de Bodard on the Themes of Abuse, Colonialism, & Healing in Fireheart Tiger

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.

How often do we get to glimpse the heart of a book?

One of my favorite things to do, both as an avid reader and a media student, is picking apart the overarching themes in narratives that I love. I enjoy a grand action-packed fantasy quest as much as anyone else, but there’s just something deeply satisfying about digging deeper—uncovering the big ideas at the core of a story, the questions it wants to ask. So, friends, I am over the moon to be hosting acclaimed SFF author Aliette de Bodard here today with a discussion on the themes of abuse, healing, and colonialism in her newest fantasy novella, Fireheart Tiger.

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Our Friend is Here! – A Story with Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Author of Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of the Universe; On Ghosts, Día de los Muertos and Sia Martinez

our friend is here raquel vasquez gilliland the quiet pond dia de los muertos sia martinez and the moonlit beginning of everything

Our Friend is Hereis 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.

Earlier this year, as we were planning our Latinx Heritage Month at the Pond event, Skye mentioned that she really wanted the author of Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, to visit us. Curious, I went ahead and picked up a copy of Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, not really knowing what to expect – but goodness, I have absolutely no regrets going into it without reading the blurb, because I thought Sia Martinez was spectacular.

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Reading Romance While Demisexual

An illustration of Amina the hedgehog, reading a romance book with hearts on it, while under a snug demisexual flag blanket. Title: Reading romance while demisexual. A discussion about my experiences of reading romance, my struggle with connection, and why i love friends to lovers.

I love romance stories. I love the idea that people may cross paths with countless others in their lifetime, only to find someone (or someones!) who they grow to care for and love. I love the idea that people can grow a bond so intimate and so tender that they can build a bridge that crosses valleys of hurt and pain and loneliness. I love the idea that someone can grow to understand and accept you in ways that others may not, and to cherish you despite your flaws. I love love, and I love that love can feel so transcendent and beautiful.

But lately, I’ve been reflecting on my relationship with romance stories. I’ve felt that I often occupy this weird space of really enjoying romance stories whilst also struggling to connect with them. It sounds a little contradictory, right? You’d think that the romance is the highlight of a story – so why can’t I usually connect with the romance and the relationship? I never really interrogated this, but recently, I’ve been mulling over these feelings, trying to parse and explores these complicated thoughts that I have.

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Our Friend is Here! Pride Month Edition – A Discussion with Nina Varela, Author of Crier’s War; If You Don’t Get It, Maybe It’s Not For You

Our Friend is Here! Pride Month Edition - A Discussion with Nina Varela, Author of Crier's War; If You Don’t Get It, Maybe It’s Not For You. Illustration of Xiaolong the axolotl with her arms out wide, as if showing off something, with Nina as a blue and green gecko, smiling andw wearing glasses.

An illustration of Xiaolong the axolotl, waving her hand and winking at you while holding up a flag with the inclusive Pride flag - horizontal stripes of black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Our Friend is Hereis 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.

In the discussions that you would have seen across our Pride Month posts, you would have read how queer spaces can be precarious and fraught for queer people of colour. As evidenced by the gatekeeping by, typically, white queers and the oversight on the nuances that come with how queerness can intersect with identities, giving rise to a diversity of complex experiences, we still have far to go when it comes
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