Get to Know Asian American Children’s Authors: Livia Blackburne, Author of Midnight Thief

Author Livia Blackburne’s brand new book, Midnight Thief just came out last month. If you haven’t read it already, OMG go out and by a copy now!!! (And, oh yeah, Livia happens to be a writing group buddy, so I might be just a little biased…)

Livia’s responses to my 3 questions:

1) Which of your characters do you most identify with and why?

Livia Blackburne: Probably Kyra [the main character of her new novel Midnight Thief], and to be honest, much of that is because I didn’t know enough about character development to separate her personality from mine when I started writing the novel :-) But a friend once mentioned to me (and it might have been you, actually!) that I write and enjoy reading about highly skilled socially awkward heroines.  And Kyra and I both kinda fit that description — we’re both introverts who get lost in tasks to the exclusion of common sense sometimes. Except she’s much more of a badass.  I mean, she gets into knife fights and breaks into secure compounds.  My skills range more on the nerdy side of things, think Big Bang Theory instead of Alias.

2) If you could give your Asian American kid readers one piece of advice, what would it be?

LB: If you have the opportunity to learn more about your cultural background, be it practicing the language or renewing ties with older relatives, take advantage of it.  The opportunity won’t be there forever.

3) Who is your favorite Asian American children’s author right now (other than yourself)?

LB: I was blown away by Marie Lu’s Legend.  Really action packed and
filled with tension throughout.

Thanks, Livia, for visiting Monkey Poop! (And see you at the next writing group meeting?)


About the author:

Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel, Midnight Thief, while she was a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neuroscience of reading acquisition in children. Upon graduation, she switched to writing full time. Livia still blogs about the intersection of literature and neuroscience.

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