Kalynn Bayron is an author and classically trained vocalist. She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. When she’s not writing you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, attending the theater, watching scary movies, and spending time with her kids. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with her family.
S. Renée Bess is a Philadelphia bred former high school teacher, who has been writing fiction, in one form or another, for many years. Her short stores have been published in the “Labyrinth Newspaper”, Piece of My Heart, A Lesbian of Colour Anthology, and Ma-Ka Diasporic Juks: Contemporary Writings by Queers of African Descent. She is thrilled to have had the opportunity to publish her novels. Renée is dedicated to crafting well-written books about diverse characters, as well as telling stories that explore personal and societal issues.
“It’s important for us to tell our own stories because we need to affirm our right to exist in the world and in the body of lesbian and gay literature…many times we are not only invisible to the non-black gay and lesbian community. We are invisible to each other.”
As a writer, I’m the author of three books for adults: two collections of short stories and a volume of poetry. My short stories have been widely anthologized, and some of my writing has appeared in textbooks. More recently, I’ve written two children’s picture books. I’m also a parent, a Quaker, was an adoption worker for many years, and currently live in Delaware County, PA, just outside Philadelphia. I enjoy visiting schools to share about my books.
As a reader, I got my first library card at age seven, and I still approach books in much the same way that I did as a kid. I go to the library a lot. I pick out books on the shelf by the author, or the topic, or– yes, often, the cover. Usually I skip the jacket copy because I don’t want the story spoiled– I want to make up my own mind about the book. And though I’ve read plenty of adult books in my lifetime, I mostly read children’s books these days– probably because that’s also what I’m writing these days. I’m especially interested in books by other African American writers and with African American, black, or biracial kids as characters. I read lots of picture books. Few things are better than having a bag full of picture books to savor, one a night, before going to sleep.
A 30 something married lesbian, proud middle eastern woman of color, carb connoisseur, lover of animals, sarcasm, and traveling. I love stories. I love to read them, share them, and once in a while, write them. I’m not a writer by trade, just ambition. I grew up watching Wonder Woman and have wanted to be a super hero since.
Laurinda D. Brown uses her writing to tell universal stories that apply to all cross-sections of society. A graduate of Howard University, she writes about life, not lifestyles. She currently resides in the Atlanta metro area with her two daughters.
Brown was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where she currently resides with her partner.
Brown is involved with the gay community and was co-creator, with Betty Couvertier, of the annual Rock, Rhythm, and Rhyme Artist Explosion, a concert of independent singers, bands, poets, and dancers that has taken place during the Atlanta Pride Festival since 2003. She was named the female grand marshal of the 2008 Atlanta Pride Festival.
Brown wrote and published her first novel, A Deeper Love, in 2002. Her writings have appeared in the anthology Ma-Ka Diasporic Juks: Contemporary Writing by Queers of African Descent, among other publications. She founded and maintained an arts and entertainment, technology company designed to market and promote emerging artists. In 2007, Brown released the first anthology in her Nghosi Books New Voices Series, Longing, Lust and Love: Black Lesbian Stories, a collection of African-American lesbian erotica under her Nghosi Books imprint
In 2005, Brown was awarded the Community Builder Award from the Atlanta Pride Committee. In 2008, she received recognition from the National Black Justice Coalition through their annual Black LGBTIQ History Month campaign as an example of an accomplished Black LGBTIQ individual.
Darlene has been across the United States and back in her lifetime. Unbeknownst to her in a friendly conversation, she decided to take up her love of writing again. Her first novel was published in 2012 and has been received with rave reviews. She is a mother of three beautiful, young adults.
The 2nd Installment was released in March 2019.
In her own words…
“My sole purpose in life from this point on is to educate, network, and fight for my beliefs. I finally found my truth and I have never been happier. It something to be said about living your life everyday as if it’s your last day on earth. I love to share ideas and engage in thought provoking dialogue. It is my goal to become more than a writer. I am well-rounded enough to pursue several interest and enjoy the fruits of my labor.”
Her hobbies include but not limited to;
Reading, writing, scuba diving, traveling and she is seriously addicted to Pinterest.
Celeste Castro, she/her, is an American Mexican, Own Voices author from small-town, rural Idaho, where most of her stories take place. She grew up with learning disabilities, though she always kept a journal. When she was a young adult, court-ordered volunteer work helped her find her way—community outreach. In 2009, she graduated from Seattle University with a Master of Public Administration. She began writing fiction in 2015. Her writing credits include HOMECOMING, Bella Books, 2017. LEX FILES, Bella Books, 2018. WE’VE GOT THE POWER, Brisk Press, 2018. THE TAKING, Bella Books, 2019, SAVE THE DATE, Bella Books 2021 and PRIZE MONEY, Interlude Press, 2021. In addition to fiction, she is a staff writer with Hispanecdotes, an online magazine for Latinx writers, where she publishes essays and poetry. https://www.writerceleste.com/
I am a Mexican American woman from San Antonio, Texas, and my culture is my first inspiration. There are so many stories I could tell you, but I’ll save those for the books 😉
My Instagram is littered with old photos of my early years growing up in Texas. I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel the world, which heavily influences my writing. Motherhood has also shaped what I write and how I write it.
Besides writing, I love to cook, travel, try different cuisines, browse grocery stores in foreign countries, binge watch Netflix, watch horror with my sisters and drink wine whenever possible. Life is too damn short.
General dislikes: People who take themselves too seriously, self importance, unnecessary snobbery, dictators, English weather, extremists, right wing Christians, people who hurt animals or children, RomComs EXCEPT “Love Actually”.
Shows I’m lovin’ : Peaky Blinders, Empire, Westworld, Stranger Things, GoT, Chef’s Table, Poldark, Mindhunter, True Detective, The Alienist, The Dark, Penny Dreadful was awesome, but finished 🙁
Music: Music and writing go hand in hand for me. As a ’80s and ’90s kid I have so many memories locked in those decades. Anything ’90s hip hop/R&B gets turned waaay up.
Fav song when I want to dance: “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo. Reminds me of underage drinking in college without a care in the world. Same for “Back that Azz up” by Juvenile.
When I’m feeling meh: “Creep” by Radiohead. Don’t we all feel like a fraud at times ( like trying to create a website for oneself).
I love rock (all versions) – Metallica, Guns ‘n Roses, Danzig, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails AC DC, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Santana, Def Leppard….
ALL LATIN from all decades!!! SELENA!!! Rap and Grime -Yes! Pop- Always!
Favourite Films: The Godfather, Scarface, Inglourious Basterds, The Shining, Stand and Deliver, Angel Heart (for when I don’t feel like sleeping), The Piano, Apocalypse Now, Predator, Aliens (doesn’t Vasquez have a spin off ?!). ANYTHING with vampires (obviously), Star Wars, Deliverance, Labyrinth, Legend, Hellraiser, American Werewolf in London, The Exorcist, Selena, El Mariachi, The Deerhunter, Hustle and Flow, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Favourite Foods: ALL Food. I will try everything, but I could easily survive on breakfast tacos alone.
Books: All books, even the shitty ones. I don’t have a favourite, but I remember the first book series I read over and over and over was “Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark” by Alvin Schwartz. That’s when my love affair with horror began. My desire to write about my culture was sparked after reading “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel and “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros.
I currently live in London with my husband and children.