Malinda Lo is the author of the young adult novels Ash, Huntress, Adaptation, and Inheritance. Ash was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s nonfiction has been published by The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Toast, The Horn Book, and AfterEllen. Malinda is co-founder with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA, a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog.
I always knew [I wanted to be a writer]—it just took me a long, long time to get up the nerve to do it. I grew up in Colorado but I came to this country from China when I was three-and-a-half. My mother is a pianist—she was a professional musician in China. When she came to the United States she had to work a lot of odd jobs she didn’t like but eventually she quit her job and became a piano teacher. My parents wanted me to be able to support myself and I never thought being a writer would be a viable job opportunity and my parents drummed it into me that I must have a job! And even though I always wanted to write—I wrote my first novel at age 13 and then two others shortly afterward, all of them fantasy (they weren’t good but a load of fun to write)—in college the pressure to get a job thing was very powerful. I even majored in economics at Wellesley and tried to become an investment banker. One of these investment banking firms interviewed me. Then they called me afterward to say I didn’t get the job, but good luck in my career as a writer.
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