Malinda Lo is the critically acclaimed author of several young adult novels, most recently the duology Adaptation, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of 2013, and Inheritance, winner of the 2014 Bisexual Book Award. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA, a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books. She lives in San Francisco with her partner and their dog.
Malinda Lo is the critically acclaimed author of several young adult novels, including most recently the science fiction duology Adaptation and Inheritance. Adaptation was a finalist for the 2013 Lambda Book Award and a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of 2013, and Inheritance was the winner of the 2014 Bisexual Book Awards for Bisexual Teen/Young Adult Fiction. Malinda is co-founder along with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA, a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books.
Malinda’s first novel, Ash, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the Lambda Literary Award for Children’s/Young Adult, and was a Kirkus 2009 Best Book for Children and Teens. Her second novel, Huntress, is a companion novel to Ash and was a Lambda Award finalist, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and was longlisted for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.
Before she became a novelist, Malinda was an economics major, an editorial assistant, a graduate student, and an entertainment reporter. She was awarded the 2006 Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Journalism by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association for her work at AfterEllen. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and has master’s degrees from Harvard and Stanford Universities. She now lives in San Francisco with her partner and their dog.
Miscellaneous Biographical Facts
- I was born in China and moved to the United States when I was 3 years old. I grew up in Lafayette and Louisville, two small former coal-mining towns, and I was always one of only three other Asian-American kids in my class.
- My grandmother, Ruth Earnshaw Lo, was a huge influence on me as a writer. Her book, In the Eye of the Typhoon (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), tells the story of my family’s experiences during the Cultural Revolution in China.
- I was first published when I was 12 years old. My grandmother suggested that I send a poem about my cat, Fluffy (I did not name her), to Cats magazine — and they paid me $10 to print it. As my grandmother said at the time, “Now you will always be a published writer.”
- I wrote three fantasy novels when I was a teenager! One was a knock-off of Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword (one of my favorite books ever), another was an epic novel about war and the afterlife, and the third was about a prince who comes into power before he’s ready for it. None of these shall ever see the light of day, and those are not famous last words.
- I used to work in book publishing — I was an editorial assistant at Ballantine Books for two years after college. I even pulled a manuscript out of the slush pile, Judy Fitzwater’s Dying to Get Published, and it was published.
- My graduate research at Harvard, where I got a master’s degree from the Regional Studies—East Asia department, was about Chinese cookbooks in America. Really.
- My graduate research at Stanford, where I intended to get a Ph.D. in Cultural and Social Anthropology (but left with a master’s) was about The X-Files. I even got to go on-set for a week at Fox Studios, sit in on production meetings, and watch them shooting an episode.
- I started writing for AfterEllen.com after I dropped out of the Stanford Ph.D. program. Sarah Warn, a friend of mine from college, called me and said, “You’ve got nothing better to do — how about you write an article for this website I just started?” I wrote AfterEllen.com’s first article about Ellen DeGeneres.
- For my job at AfterEllen, where I was the managing editor, I’ve interviewed interviewed celebrities such as Melissa Etheridge, cornered Joss Whedon at Santa Monica Pier, and climbed into a photo booth with Lena Headey.
- In the first draft of Ash, the Cinderella character falls for the prince. It wasn’t until my good friend Lesly read it and said, “You know, the prince guy is kinda boring,” that I realized that Cinderella was gay.
- I have lived in Boston, New York, Beijing, London, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but now I live in a small town in Northern California with my partner and our dog, 007*.
* not her real name