I remember years ago – and I do mean years ago because I’m talking about the late 90s, people – I was chatting with a girlfriend about how cool it would have been if growing up, we read books with kids that looked like us, maybe shared a similar background, or were at least some shade of brown or black. Spring forward to the present, and diversifying our bookshelves is a frequent topic of conversation, We Need Diverse Books is a serious movement, and YA author Cindy Pon has been one of the key players pushing the agenda way before it became a cool agenda to push.
Back in 2011, she and Malindo Lo joined forces to create the website and blog tour Diversity in YA. Although the blog tour ended, the need for more diversity in literature did not and so they launched Diversity in YA on Tumblr in 2013 and relaunched the website in 2014.
So I was pretty freaking thrilled when I asked her on a humble if she would participate in my interview series and she said yes.
Oh yeah, I totally Homer Simpson’ed while sitting at my desk, doing a little lawyering, when I received her response, because I’m a dork like that. And because the fact of the matter is, for all of the people who have said yes to my interview series, the Jasons and Shanes and Natashas, there are a ton of people who say no or worse, don’t even bother responding.
So thanks, Cindy, for doing all you do to make publishing and literature and reading a truer reflection of our everyday world and for being kind of spectacular and super cool and for letting me fan-girl you for a few minutes on my blog.
You rock, girlfriend.
Keep on with your bad self.
Getting Proustian With…
- What is your idea of perfect happiness? Writing in a bright room with beautiful garden views and my favorite food, snacks, and drinks near
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience.
- What is the trait you most deplore in others? Bigotry.
- What is your greatest extravagance? Corals for my saltwater tank.
- What is your current state of mind? Blessed.
- On what occasion do you lie? When it’s necessary.
- What or who is the greatest love of your life? Living this life.
- When and where were you happiest? Too many to choose! But I’ll say Mendocino and San Diego and Ambergris Caye.
- Which talent would you most like to have? Drawing ability.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? To be less forgetful.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement? Pursuing my love for the arts in writing and brush painting.
- If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Platypus.
- Where would you most like to live? Somewhere with ocean views from the front and garden views in the back.
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Doubt.
- What is your favorite occupation? Writing!
- What is your most marked characteristic? My obnoxious laugh. haha!
- What do you most value in your friends? Acceptance.
- Who is your hero of fiction? Eugenides from Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief novels.
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix, titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Serpentine, the first title in her next Xia duology, will be published by Month9Books in September 2015. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. She is also the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and part of the We Need Diverse Books advisory board. Visit her website at http://www.cindypon.com.