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.

Read More »

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!

Read More »

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Allison Saft, Author of Down Comes the Night – On Gothic Romance, Bisexual Representation, & the Healing Power of Empathy and Compassion

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.

I have a lot of love for gothic stories: moody, atmospheric tales simmering with shadows and the uncanny. Flashes of claws and teeth, well-concealed beneath delicate or extravagant facades. The tense song-and-dance between friend and foe, romance and repulsion. And in the case of Down Comes the Night: a decadent, crumbling mansion housing secrets, a mysterious illness, and dangerous enemies that only emerge in the dark.

Read More »

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Author of The Mermaid, The Witch and the Sea – On Queer Coming of Age Stories, Tackling Rape Culture with Werewolves, & (Many) Book Recs

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.

So many queer stories are about self-discovery, about coming home to yourself; in young adult books, especially, queer realisation and fulfillment are also often tied to coming-of-age narratives. Being a teenager is a wonderful, volatile, and beautiful thing, and as someone who had her “gay awakening” (so to speak) at the tail end of my teens, I’m always so grateful for stories that shine a light into that awkward and revealing experience of finally beginning to figure out who you are—and, if you’re lucky, who you love. I am therefore delighted to be welcoming Maggie Tokuda-Hall to the Pond today to talk about her wonderful fantasy books about queer teens figuring themselves out!

Read More »

Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Zen Cho, Author of Black Water Sister – On Writing Malaysian Fantasy, and the Intersection of Queerness & Complicated Asian Families

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.

Hello hello hello, and welcome back to Pride Month at the Pond! Today, we’re hosting an author who has written what has swiftly become my favorite book of 2021. As a reader from Malaysia, I can’t tell you how exceedingly rare it is for me to truly see the nuances of my life represented in the fiction that I read, which is why I’m always caught so off guard by the earnestness and authenticity of Zen Cho’s Malaysian-influenced stories. And while I have deeply enjoyed her past work, Black Water Sister, Zen’s most recent urban fantasy Penang-set uban fantasy about gods and ghostly grandmas and generational trauma, may arguably be her best work yet. As such, friends, it gives me so much joy to be welcoming the inimitable Zen Cho to the Pond today!

Read More »