Alechia Dow, Adiba Jaigirdar, Jonny Garza Villa, and Emery Lee talk food culture and its relationship to queer and BIPOC communities (and maybe show off a little in the kitchen).
Alechia Dow (she/her)
Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, librarian, and author of YA scifi-fantasies: The Sound of Stars (a Junior Library Guild Selection and Hal Clement ALA notable), The Kindred (Locus & Ignyte finalist, Indie Next Kids January 2022 Pick, British Science Fiction Association's Best Book for Younger Readers Nominee, Bank Street College's Best Children's Book of 2023), A Song of Salvation, several short anthology pieces, and middle grade stories Just a Pinch of Magic and The Cookie Crumbles which she co-authored with Tracy Badua. When not writing, you can find her having epic dance parties with her family, baking, reading, taking teeny adventures, and exploring her local food scene.
Adiba Jaigirdar (she/her)
Adiba Jaigirdar is the critically-acclaimed and bestselling author of The Henna Wars and Hani & Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating. A Bangladeshi/Irish writer and teacher, she has an MA in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent, England and a BA in English and History from UCD, Ireland. All of her writing is aided by tea, and a healthy dose of Janelle Monáe and Hayley Kiyoko. When not writing, she is probably ranting about the ills of colonialism, playing video games, or expanding her overflowing lipstick collection.
Emery Lee (e/em)
Emery Lee is an author and artist whose love for chaotic and morally gray characters started at a young age. After graduating with a degree in creative writing, e’s gone on to author novels, short stories, and webcomics across a variety of genres and demographics, though YA fiction has always held a special place in eir heart. Drawing inspiration from Eastern media, pop punk music, and personal life experience, eir work seeks to explore the intersections of life and identity in fun, heartfelt, and inventive ways. In eir downtime, you’ll most likely find em marathoning anime or snuggling cute dogs.
Jonny Garza Villa (they/them)
Jonny Garza Villa is a product of the Great State of Texas, born and raised near and along the Gulf Coast and currently lives in San Antonio. They are a Sagittarius sun, Capricorn everything else, a former very bad baseball player, and a former pretty good drag queen.
Jonny is an author of contemporary young adult novels inspired by their own Tejane & Chicane and queer identities including their debut novel Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun, a Pura Belpré Honor Book, a Finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters' Jean Flynn Award for Best Young Adult Book, and a Kirkus Best YA Fiction of 2021 selection, Ander & Santi Were Here, a Barnes & Noble YA Book Club selection, and Canto Contigo, expected 2024.