Simone grew up in rural Illinois, where they were very much an outsider as a queer Jewish-atheist-socialist-feminist killjoy. As a teen, you could often find them lying beside a creek, devouring fantasy and sci-fi paperbacks or scribbling world-building notes of their own. After studying creative writing at Oberlin College, they moved to Houston, where they taught middle and high school English for over ten years. Following the birth of their kid, Simone quit teaching and began writing full-time. They have published short speculative fiction for adults in Metaphorosis, The Colored Lens, Wizards in Space, and other publications. SAND AND SWARM is their first young adult novel.
Zoe Hana Mikuta
Zoe Hana Mikuta currently attends the University of Washington in Seattle, studying English with a creative writing focus. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where she developed a deep love of Muay Thai kickboxing and nurtured a slow and steady infatuation for fictional worlds. She enjoys writing deteriorating worlds inhabited by characters with bad tempers, skewed morals, and big hearts. Her YA f/f sci-fi debut, GEARBREAKERS, is upcoming from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan in spring 2021, with an untitled second novel to follow in spring 2022.
When she needs to unwind, Zoe sews runes onto the belt loops of her jeans and embroiders ‘Bite Me’ on the back pockets. She hopes if she feeds the crows around her campus enough croutons, they’ll begin to gift her quarters, so she can say her laundry is bird-funded.
Brandy lives in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, but was raised by bikers and wolves in the deep south of Mississippi. At an early age, she learned the quickest way to travel outside her own world was through the pages of a book. Since then, she has lived a thousand lives, been to utopian worlds that were anything but, and fought villains alongside heroes and friends.
Her first love was a too beautiful man named Dorian Gray, followed closely by the southern scoundrel Rhett Butler. After high school, Brandy moved to Germany and spent two years eating her way around Europe before returning to the states to further her education. Being a true romantic, she majored in English with a minor in philosophy, but post college she went on to become an award-winning cake decorator. When not writing, she can be found surfing the North Shore alongside her husband and playing with their Persian, Rhett Butler, and doodle, Rick Grimes.
Lynn Jung grew up in California, where the only thing that appealed to her more than rooting around for bugs in the backyard was coming up with outlandish tales. Nowadays, she channels that energy and imagination into writing a variety of off-beat sci-fi and fantasy. Her staples include small towns slightly displaced from time, long road trips through barren landscapes, overindulgent descriptions of food, and dangerous women who like sharp things. Her Korean-American heritage is deeply important to her, and her culture and upbringing influence much of her work.
When she’s not reading or writing, Lynn can usually be found painting, baking, or wrangling grebes at her local wildlife rehabilitation center. Lynn speaks three languages, plays two instruments, and has lived in Paris, a Buddhist temple in Korea, and Vancouver. She is currently pursuing a degree in zoology, although she considers dropping out every other week in order to pursue her true dream of opening a small bakery.