Sona Charaipotra (she/her)
“I’m a big believer in ‘if you can see it, you can be it.’ I rarely saw myself on the page growing up, so I had no idea all the opportunities that existed in the big wide world. That’s why I write, to show kids and teens that they can be the hero of any story. And that’s why I love talking to readers, too, so they know they can achieve anything they put their minds to.”
Sona was born in Iran but grew up in central New Jersey (it does exist!), where she developed a penchant for real pizza and using phrases like “down the shore,” “j’eat?” and “all set.” She completed her bachelors at Rutgers University, where she focused on journalism and American Studies, writing papers on boy bands and Madonna.
Sona got her masters in Dramatic Writing and South Asian studies at NYU, developing her thesis script for the screen at MTV Films and trying her luck in Hollywood before focusing on fiction, earning her MFA in creative writing at the New School’s esteemed Writing for Children program. While there, she co-founded CAKE Literary, a boutique book packager focused on high concept, deliciously diverse titles, including the Tiny Pretty Things series, the Tristan Strong series, the Love Sugar Magic series, The Gauntlet duology, and other lauded YA and middle grade books.
Sona Charaipotra is the author and co-author of five books. Most recently, she published Symptoms of a Heartbreak, which earned raves from Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and People, and How Maya Got Fierce, which draws on her fifteen years of experience as a journalist. She is the co-editor of Magic Has No Borders, a 2023 anthology of short stories by authors of the South Asian diaspora. She is also now senior editor at Parents.com and was a We Need Diverse Books board member.
Recently, after many years of struggling with executive dysfunction issues, Sona was diagnosed with ADHD. She started therapy and medication and has since hyper-focused on learning all she can about neurodivergence, both as it applies to her life and her work.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Sona can be found stirring up trouble in the kitchen with her writer husband and two chatterbox kids at home in New York City.
If Sona’s writing makes you hungry (and it probably will!), you can find recipes at IshqInABackpack.com, or find her on social media (including TikTok!) talking about chai, street foods, Bollywood movies, and books.
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