Monday, February 29, 2016

Carry On - An Incredibly Fun (And New York Times Bestselling!) Gay Teen Wizard Fantasy

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a "complete git," but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here--it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

I flippin' LOVED this book. And I'm not alone (that best-seller thing.) If you liked Harry Potter, if you wanted to see more GAY content and characters in Harry Potter, if you wished Dumbledore had been out about being gay inside the seven Harry Potter books... Read "Carry On."

You're welcome.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl - A 13 year-old girl comes of age (with a LGBT main character, and an LGBT parent and step-parent)

Freak Camp: Posts From A Previously Normal Girl by Jessica V. Barnett

Thirteen-year-old Celeste Jardine has one priority for the summer: to identify her source — earth, air, water, or fire. Only then can she register for one of the four public source schools and avoid being sent to Fluidity, the local private school for unidentified teens. Things explode the last day of school when Celeste learns that her perfect best friend, May, is going away to earth camp for eight weeks. To add insult to injury, Celeste's mom has decided to send her to summer camp at the very place she has been trying so hard to avoid ... Fluidity. Celeste resolves to try anything under the sun—or on the Internet—to get into source school in the fall. But, after rekindling a friendship with her estranged neighbor, Rainie, Celeste must confront startling new truths about who she is, who she loves, and where she wants to be when fall classes start.

The author self-published this novel. Add your review of "Freak Camp" in comments!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#MoreThanMarriage - a great video by a College Sophomore

Check out this video that Kinsey did in collaboration with Family Equality Council:

And there's an excellent interview with Kinsey about the video (and her moms who helped win marriage equality for all) here.

My thanks to Kinsey and the Family Equality Council!

Monday, February 22, 2016

"It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health" For Ages 10 and Up - an excellent resource for ages 10 and up

"It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health" by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley

I checked out this "New Edition: 20th Anniversary" from the library because the book was among the top 10 most challenged books in 2014 in the USA, as cited by the American Library Association's Banned Books Week.

While I wish there was more acknowledgement of gender variety (the presentation of gender is very binary, "Gender is another word for whether a person is male or female.") I applaud the clear, non-judgmental approach, especially in the "Who You Are: Straight, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender" chapter on pages 8-11.

Chapters (about four or so pages each) cover a wide range of topics, including sexual desire, sexual intercourse, puberty, masturbation, genes and chromosomes, the many ways to have a baby and family, birth control, abortion, cyber safety, sexual abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and making responsible choices.

Throughout are illustrations of three kinds. The first are a cartoon bird and bee character who banter and comment on the content, the bird more interested, the bee more reluctant to talk about sex. It's a touch of humor that is reassuringly there across some difficult topics. The second kind of illustration is frank and very diverse watercolor and pencil drawings of people: young, old, gay, straight, asian, black, white, latino/a, abled, disabled, thin, fat, tall, short, naked and clothed... The third are cartoon pages that reinforce and re-state the text's explanation of topics like puberty for boys and girls and "The Further Adventures of the Egg and Sperm: Pregnancy."

As author Robie H. Harris (a parent herself) explained, she wrote the book because she realized,

"How difficult but necessary it is to talk with children and teenagers about sex and answer questions about this complicated topic. I wanted my kids to stay healthy, so I had to give them accurate information."

I think that is absolutely true. And as a parent of a pre-teen myself, I just ordered a copy from our local indie bookstore to give them, so we can read and discuss together.

Add your review of "It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health" in comments!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Every Inferno - a teen mystery with a gay and a questioning character

Every Inferno by Johanna Parkhurst
Depressed. Defiant. Possible alcoholic. These are just a few of the terms used to describe fifteen-year-old Jacob Jasper Jones. Lately, though, JJ has a new one to add to the list: detective. He’s been having strange dreams about the fire that killed his parents ten years ago, and he thinks he finally has the clue to catching the arsonist who destroyed his family.

A murder investigation isn’t the only thing the dreams trigger for JJ, though. They also lead to secret meetings with his estranged sister, an unlikely connection with a doctor who lost his daughter in the fire, and a confusing friendship with McKinley, a classmate of JJ’s who seems determined to help him solve the mystery.

All JJ wants is to shake the problems that have followed him since that fire, and he’s convinced he must catch the arsonist to do it. But as JJ struggles to find the culprit, he sees there’s more than one mystery in his life he needs to solve.

Add your review of "Every Inferno" in comments!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The next time someone asks about why we need Black History Month...

Share this bit of wisdom, from a teenager:

Brilliant. True. And painfully honest. I can't improve on that answer, so I'm cheering her on, and sharing it here.

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Dozen Highlights of #NY16SCBWI

What a conference!

Here are some of my conference highlights. I'd love to hear yours. Share your highlights in comments!


Rainbow Rowell talking about writing a character, and saying, "as an author, you need to find your way in." (She spoke about Agatha in Carry On, and how her key was the idea that for Agatha, magic was religion. She's born into it. But she gets to choose.) And yeah, I got to meet Rainbow Rowell. I admit, I kind of had a FanBoy moment, there...

@KimBriggs_Write captured the moment and tweeted it, with the very accurate tweet: @leewind fanboying with @rainbowrowell **heartsquee** #NY16SCBWI

Me and... Rainbow Rowell!

Linda Urban saying, "I believe that, if we write well, we can create and stretch empathy muscles for readers."

Liz Bucknell, Executive Vice President, Executive Editorial Director & Associate Publisher at Candlewick Press, speaking of the 2015 re-issue of "Heather Has Two Mommies," and how it's not had a single challenge. (When it came out the first time round, it was #9 on the ALA's most challenged books list.) After she told us of the no challenge thing, Liz said, "which is good... though for sales, challenges can be handy."

Gary Schmidt saying, "You write the book for you... you work with an editor to make it even more you."

and another Gary Schmidt moment, "We write, we write, we write to share a world that is broken and lovely... we write to serve."

Jane Yolen saying, "You are my tribe."

The LGBTQ and Allies Q&A - Thank you to Jane Yolen, Laurent Linn, Mike Curato and Michael Joosten for representing as our special guests and to all the attendees for being part of our diversity-focused tribe-within-a-tribe circle!

Michelle Parker Rock saying "Being different crosses lots of barriers... let your voices ring out!"

"There are no rules you can never break." - Liz Bicknell

"A lot of success is what your expectations are." -Mallory Loehr

11. Spending time with my community and friends - all of us passionate about writing and illustrating and editing and art directing and blogging and reviewing and publishing books and content for children and teens.

I'm so grateful for the continuing opportunity to blog for SCBWI, and to lead the remarkable SCBWI Team Blog. Shouting out to Martha Brockenbrough, Jolie Stekly, Jaime Temairik, and Don Tate. Thank you!

And thanks to you, my online community, for letting me share.

Friday, February 12, 2016

It's #NY16SCBWI, The SCBWI Winter Conference!

One of my favorite times of the year!

I'm especially looking forward to hosting the Saturday February 13th LGBTQ Q&A, with special conference faculty guests, from 8:30pm - 9:30pm in Uris/Juilliard on the Conference Level.

Much more blogging at the Official SCBWI Conference blog here, and follow along on twitter with the hashtag #NY16SCBWI

Here's to a great conference for all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Intervention - A High School Senior Sets His Sights On The Hot College Guy Who Works At The Same Cafe, And Discovers "...a whole new understanding of what sex can be when love is there too."

Intervention by Mia Kerick

As a musician at the popular college café Coed Joe’s, high school senior Kai Manter is never lacking for male attention. Out, proud, free-spirited, and sexually aware, Kai sets his sights on his darkly Gothic and undeniably bad-tempered coworker, Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university. Sporting long hair and alluring hippie style, Kai expects his interest will be reciprocated, with satisfying sex as the end goal. That’s what usually happens. But Jamie’s lessons in life have been harsher. Having been sexually abused by his older stepbrother for several years, Jamie has grown an impenetrable outer shell meant to keep the world at a safe distance.

Kai is angry at first when he takes the brunt of Jamie’s bad temper, but after Kai accidentally discovers the abuse Jamie has suffered, he wants to fix things. Kai’s plan is based on what he knows best—music—and he stages a “musical intervention” to let Jamie know he’s not alone and things can get better. When Jamie’s perspective changes and he emerges from his shell, Kai changes, too, gaining a whole new understanding of what sex can be when love is there too.

Add your review of "Intervention" in comments!

Monday, February 8, 2016

It's OFFICIAL! I've sold my first book!


I am so excited to finally get to share this news. Here it is, in the February 8, 2016 issue of Publisher's Weekly:

This issue

Inside, on page 9, is something crazy-wonderful:

This page

Here's a close-up:

This announcement!

Here's what it says. And yeah, I'm fighting back tears as I type this. Happy tears.

Wind Takes 'Queer History" to Aladdin
Lindsay Brown at Aladdin's Beyond Words imprint nabbed world English rights to Lee Wind's nonfiction middle grade book, The Queer History Project: No Way, They Were Gay? Wind is a writer and LGBTQ activist—he's behind the popular blog "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?"—and was represented in the deal by Danielle Smith at Red Fox Literary. Smith said the book will "explore surprising LGBTQ loves and lives across time and around our world." The Queer History Project is set for a September 2017 publication.

Beyond Words is a super-cool imprint of Simon & Schuster, and I'm so so so so so so so excited!

My 11-year journey so far in children's literature has been a roller coaster of hope and rejection and working on my craft and encouragement and then rejection and hope again... I know the ride will continue to twist and turn and even loop-de-loop, but knowing I've sold a book (!) means I will probably have this silly grin on my face for the rest of the ride!

Most of all, this book of LGBTQ profiles and primary sources matches my mission that I printed out and hung on the wall above my desk some seven years ago:

"My mission is to write the books that had I read them as a kid would have changed my life."

Had I known just one of these true stories of men who loved men, women who loved women, or people who lived their lives outside gender boundaries...

Had I known that Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln, was in love with another guy, Joshua Fry Speed, and gotten to read some of Lincoln's letters to Joshua.

That Shakespeare, William Shakesepeare, wrote over 120 Sonnets—love poems—to a young man, and gotten to read some of them.

That Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, was in love with a German-Jewish architect, Hermann Kallenbach, and gotten to read the contract between them pledging "more love and yet more love... such love as, they hope, the world has not seen."

I didn't come out as a gay man until I was in my mid-twenties. A book like this, like my The Queer History Project: No Way, They Were Gay?, would have changed EVERYTHING for me. So since I don't have a time machine, I'm writing it for young people today.

I'm writing it for every LGBTQ young person out there so that they can be authentic now.

I'm writing it for every hetero and cis-gendered young person out there so they know that our history—the world's history—is full of amazing men who loved men, incredible women who loved women (like Eleanor Roosevelt and Frida Kahlo), and remarkable people who lived their lives outside gender boundaries (like the Pharoah Hatshepsut and Christine Jorgensen.)

I'm writing it for every LGBTQ adult who, like me, never learned any of this in school,

and for every hetero and cis-gendered adult willing to consider that it's just not that likely that everyone famous and important in history was hetero and cis-gendered, too.

I'm writing my book to change the world.

And it's going to be published by Beyond Words/Aladdin/Simon & Schuster!

There's a huge circle of people to thank, and most of those appreciations will come later. For now, three THANK YOUs that can't wait:

Thank you, Danielle!

Danielle Smith of Red Fox Literary is my literary agent, champion, and friend. I'm so grateful to have you with me on this journey!

The news is sparkling, and so is the photo!

Thank you to my awesome kid! No one has been more excited (or encouraging) about this. I'm so blessed to be your Papi.

The smiley face inside the "d" makes my congratulations note even sweeter!

And thank you to my words-can't-really-express-it-but-I-keep-trying-wonderful husband. Your love gives me wings!
Best. Guy. Ever!

And one more appreciation that can't wait -- to you, reading this. Thank you for being part of my fantastic community, and for letting me shout my news from the rooftops:


One more 'Thanks!' to my Dad for the celebratory bottle of Champagne!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Vivaldi In The Dark - Jayden Falls In Love With Darren, A Troubled Violinist

Vivaldi In The Dark by Matthew J. Metzger

Sixteen-year-old Jayden falls in love with Darren Peace, a troubled violinist who is both everything Jayden wants, and everything he doesn’t: his brilliance is tempered by severe depression that gets worse the more he is forced to play. Jayden is torn between knowing he can’t help, and desperately wanting to regardless – until a mugging that goes wrong gives him the chance to change everything.

Add your review of "Vivaldi In The Dark" in comments!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! - Nate's Broadway Dreams Are Coming True (And this Middle Grade Book Won the Lambda Literary Award!)

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle

It's the sequel to "Better Nate Than Ever," and this time...
Nate Foster's Broadway Dreams are FINALLY coming true. Armed with a one-way ticket to New York City, small-town theater geek Nate is off to start rehearsals for E.T.: The Musical. It's everything he ever practiced his autograph for! But as thrilling as Broadway is, rehearsals--full of intimidating child stars, cutthroat understudies, and a director who can't even remember Nate's name--are nothing like Nate expects.

Now, as the countdown to opening night is starting to feel more like a ticking time bomb, Nate is going to need more than his lucky rabbit's foot if he ever wants to see his name in lights. He may even need a show-biz miracle.

Check out the fun 'behind the story' video with Tim here:


Add your review of "Five, Six, Seven, Nate!" in comments!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Thao Le (Sandra Dijkstra & Associates Literary Agency): Agent Looking For Diversity


That's the idea. And this series is an effort to do just that.

For now, we're focusing on agents, and today's post features agent Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra & Associates Literary Agency.

Agent Thao Le

Thao's bio:
THAO LE handles the financials and select contracts at the Dijkstra Agency. She is also an agent.
She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a double major in Econ-Management Science and Chinese Studies. While interning at the agency during college, she realized where her true love lies — books — and joined the agency full-time in the spring of 2011.

Thao is currently looking for: Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy, Young Adult, Middle Grade, and is selectively open to Romance/New Adult, and Picture Books by authors who are also illustrators.
For Adult and YA SF/F, she enjoys stories rooted in mythology, fairytales, and legends with atmospheric settings and strong world building. For contemporary YA, she’s seeking witty, heartfelt writing with an authentic teen voice. Think Stephanie Perkins, Jenny Han, or Sarah Dessen. For Middle Grade, she’s looking for fantastic adventures and clever heroes/heroines the likes of Lemon Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, and Soman Chainani’s School of Good and Evil. She’s a fan of picture books by Jon Klassen, Kate Beaton, Cale Atkinson, and Liz Climo and would like to add picture books in the same vein to her list. For Romance and New Adult, she’s drawn to strong, memorable characters whose individual journeys brings them together. She’s particularly seeking unique historical romance and speculative romance similar to Gail Carrier’s Parasol Protectorate series. She also loves magic realism and beautiful literary writing with a commercial hook. She is always on the lookout for more diversity and LGBTQ stories.

And our interview:

Lee: Hi Thao!

Thao: Hi Lee!

Lee: Thanks so much for agreeing to talk about your interest in Diversity in Children's and Teen Literature!

Thao: I’m excited to be chatting with you! Diversity is an important and personal topic for me so I’m glad it’s gaining more attention.

Lee: There's been growing discussion about how the 5,000 or so traditionally published books a year don't reflect the actual diversity of our world, including the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement and the stunningly low numbers of representation revealed in "Children's Books by and about People of Color Published in the United States," put out by the CCBC (The Cooperative Children's Book Center.)

To start us off, of the submissions you get, let's say in the past year, how many of those projects included some kind of diversity of characters or theme?

Thao: This is really difficult to accurately answer since I get so many submissions it’s hard to keep track of what is what and at what percentage. That said, I do believe that the number of submissions featuring diverse characters and themes are slowly rising. I think a lot of that is thanks to movements like #DiversityInYA and #WeNeedDiverseBooks. It also helps that I am getting more vocal about saying I want to see diverse stories, specifically making it one of my MSWL items, and I think being a POC myself makes me more approachable with these types of queries.

Lee: Interesting. Let's unpack that a bit: Are you seeing many stories featuring protagonists of color?

Thao: I am seeing a few, though I’m finding that the stories are often written by non-POC writers. Which is fine, but I’d love to see more from writers who come from different cultures. A lot of the stories I get that feature POC have a plot that deals with racism or discrimination directly. This can be done well, but I want POC writers and readers to know that they can have stories about romance, adventure, and magic too. I think it is important that POC authors feel like they can write stories beyond about being POC or POC issues and POC readers can see themselves reflected in all sorts of stories. I particularly want to see more SFF stories featuring diverse protagonists.

Lee: Yes, yes, yes! How about LGBTQ characters, and please break that down - are you seeing lesbian characters? gay? bi? trans*? questioning? queer or gender non-conforming?

Thao: I’m definitely seeing more LGBTQ characters. This is probably the fastest growing group of diversity in fiction from what I can see. I get quite a few lesbian and gay submissions, but I notice very few bi or trans stories. Similar to what I said earlier about the POC topic, I’d like to see more stories featuring LGBTQ characters who go beyond dealing with their sexuality, beyond coming out or being confused. I want to see them go into space, I want to see them fight monsters, I want to see them compete in intense debate competitions and everything in between.

Lee: Oh, Space monsters! Awesome, yeah. I want to read that.

How about characters with disabilities?

Thao: Of the three, I’ve gotten this the least. I’ve received a small handful of queries about characters with mental disabilities, but not many about physical disabilities. One of the things I really like about the How To Train Your Dragon movies was that they dealt with physical disability in such a candid way. Does it affect the way the character lives his life? Sure, but I never felt like the character’s disability controlled the story. I’m always looking for stories that present new insight and new perspectives. Also Furiosa from the new Mad Max movie is my favorite. Bring on more badass ladies like her (prosthetic limbs and all)!

Lee: Are you seeing other types of diversity in the works submitted? - And please share any specific categories that spring to mind.

Thao: I’m seeing more combinations of diversity which is awesome. It’s great to see more than one diversity being represented in a character because that’s how it is in real life. People aren’t just one thing and no one thing defines them.

Lee: Wait! That's so important I have to call that out, so everyone hears that again:

"People aren't just one thing and no one thing defines them."

Thao: I want to see more characters who are POC, who are LGBTQ, who are disabled, who are a combination of all these things without the story being a big red arrow pointing at all these issues. I’m also seeing more stories featuring heroines who are plus size and stories that feel more feminist which makes me really happy.

Lee: How about the creators? Are you seeing under-represented writers and illustrators submitting to you?

Thao: Not enough! For picture books, I actually chase illustrators whose work I’ve discovered through etsy, tumblr, etc. Many of whom are from cultural diverse backgrounds or based overseas. My agency works with a lot of international authors. On the novel side of things, I think diverse writers should feel they can write about things beyond their own culture. For instance, a Hispanic author should feel okay writing about non-Hispanic people and not feel pigeon-holed into just writing just Hispanic stories. I think the important thing is when writing about a culture that is not your own, do it respectfully. Don’t just add a flat token character in there to call your book diverse.

Lee: There's a lot of discussion about who has the 'right' to tell the story of an under-represented type of character. What's your take?

Thao: I don’t think there is one “right” way to tell any story. No group of people have a single formulaic cookie-cutter type of experience. To say there is only one right way to experience something would be to stereotype it. I identify as Vietnamese-American, but I was born in Vietnam before I became a citizen of the United States. That makes my experience immediately different from another Vietnamese-American who was born in the United States. Furthermore, the fact that I live in California makes my experience different from someone who lives in say… Texas or New York. Everyone’s experience is different and yet authentic and genuine to themselves. I think it’s important to keep an open mind and accept these different experiences. That’s the definition of diversity after all. If someone is writing about characters outside of their experience then again, be respectful, research, do it right. Don’t fall prey to the stereotypes just because it’s easy. People are always going to have their opinions, but I think it’s better to try and include diversity rather than not doing anything about it at all because you’re afraid of the backlash. If everyone was afraid then we would get nowhere.

Lee: When you're submitting projects to editors, do you think stories with under-represented characters take more 'selling' on your part?

Thao: With book editors, I feel like a lot of them are becoming much more open to diverse stories. I have several who, knowing my list, have explicitly told me they want diversity. With Hollywood, however, I am still hearing things from our film agents or scouts saying, “Oh this story has a lesbian romance? That’ll be a hard sell.” Or things like, “The cast in this story is too Asian, no one is going to do an all Asian cast.” Which is definitely disheartening, but I’m hoping it’ll change as more people clamor for more diversity.

Lee: We'll keep working towards that!

I often feel the sense of ‘otherness’ is transferable. That from my own experiences being marginalized (for being Gay, being ill as a teen, being Jewish, being an Atheist, etc…) I feel tremendous empathy for people who are marginalized for other kinds of ‘otherness’ as well.
Can you share what’s driving your desire to see more diversity in Children’s and Teen books?

Thao: It’s personal for me. I know first-hand how it feels to grow up never seeing someone like myself in books or TV. I recall being really jealous of my classmate’s long blonde hair and blue eyes when I was in the 2nd grade and I remember wishing I could look like her because she was so popular and everyone wanted to be her friend. It made me want to turn against my own culture. I remember telling my mom I wanted to eat hamburger instead rice and crying about it because Vietnamese food was lame. Thinking back on this now I regret feeling ashamed about my own culture and I don’t want future generations to feel that way. I do believe that books can change the world. That they can shape our society. So if I am in a position to help more diverse books come to life, to get into the right hands, then it’s my duty to do it.

Lee: Tell us about some books that highlighted or included diversity that you loved and that inspired you (maybe even ones you wish you represented). What’s a Picture Book favorite?

Thao: I really love Kate Beaton’s The Princess and the Pony. It’s hilarious, charming, and totally blows all the stereotypes about warriors and princesses (and ponies) out of the water.

Lee: Middle Grade?

Thao: Wonder by R.J. Palacio broke my heart. I’m also super excited to represent Kathryn Tanquary’s The Night Parade, which stars a Japanese heroine in a Miyazaki-esque fantasy.

Lee: Young Adult?

Thao: To shamelessly plug more of my authors… I’m super stoked for Roshani Chokshi’s The Star Touched Queen which is an epic Indian fantasy, and Emily Skrutskie’s The Abyss Surrounds Us because POC queer girls and sea monsters are AWESOME. Plugging done, I’m also very much in love with The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed.

Lee: Queer girls and sea monsters??? Very cool.

Okay, here’s your wish list moment. What are you looking for? Put out the call...

Thao: I have so many! Jenny Han style contemporary YA with diverse cast of characters. More POC and diverse fantasy and science fiction. Queer romances. Stories with disabled characters that go beyond the disability. I could go on and on. I would highly suggest you follow me on twitter for more wish list items (I use the #mswl tag).

Lee: And for writers and/or illustrators reading this who feel a resonance with what you’ve shared and who want to submit to you, how should they go about that?

Thao: Definitely follow me on twitter (@thaole8) for updates. I’m also on tumblr ( I post my #mswl’s on both of these sites fairly often. To submit, email your query letter, short synopsis, bio, and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript (all copy-and-pasted in the body of the email) to thao (at) dijkstraagency (dot) com. Here’s a tip, if you are emailing and your manuscript matches one of my #mswl items please put MSWL somewhere in your subject line.

Lee: Anything I didn’t ask that you’d like to add?

Thao: I think my biggest advice to those who want to see more diverse stories is to write it, to read it, to spread the word. Remember to support diverse authors. Buy more diverse books, tell your friends about it. If more people clamor for it then change will happen. We’re gaining traction, but don’t stop yet. We have to keep it up because in the end it’s all business. Supply and demand. So demand more diversity!

Lee: Yes! Getting the world of Children’s literature to better reflect the diversity of our world -- the world kids today are growing up in -- is so important. Thank you so much for working to make things better!

Thao: Thanks so much for interviewing me! 

Thanks again, Thao! Look for another AGENT LOOKING FOR DIVERSITY interview on the first Monday of next month. Until then,

Illustrate and Write On!