Sometimes, the best way to tackle tough topics is through stories. An initially taboo subject can be more safely explored through the lens of story. Stories can only capitalize on this power when they reach a full spectrum of readers. Every kid deserves to see themselves reflected within the pages of a book. They also need the opportunity to learn about worlds unlike their own to fire imaginations and develop a strong sense of self worth. #Ownvoices is working to make this a reality. Join in a conversation with debut authors Lora Hyler and Beth Kander as they talk about using fiction to dig into real issues, represent real people, and have fun!
Beth Kander lives and writes in Chicago, where stories keep her warm. Her dystopian epic Original Syn debuts September 25, 2018 (Owl House Books). An award-winning playwright, Beth has several scripts published by Stage Rights Theatrical Licensing. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women, and also holds degrees from Brandeis University and the University of Michigan. She drinks too much coffee and enjoys a variety of activities, from acting to zen (well...yoga; that’s as close to zen as she gets), but her favorite time is spent going on adventures
with her husband and daughter, or snuggling on the couch with their two geriatric rescue dogs and a BBC show or, of course, a good book.
Lora Hyler wants kids to experience the unbridled joys of childhood despite our complex, sometimes confusing world. Her debut novel, The Stupendous Adventures of Mighty Marty Hayes was published in March 2018. Multicultural superheroes, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology, and spy gadgets combine for a fun childhood adventure. Lora began her career as a radio news journalist, has written hundreds of articles, several full-length screenplays, and many short stories. Her first book is the first in a three-part series. Book two with girl power on full display, is slated for next year. Her travels and writing residencies abroad (mostly France) provide cool spaces to reflect and write.