Novelist Malinda Lo shares personal writing journey


Zoe Goldstein

“Everyone says, ‘Dare to dream!’ but daring takes a lot of nerve,” author Malinda Lo told students during her presentation in the Little Theater during e-block.
On Wednesday, April 11, Lo, author of five critically acclaimed novels including Ash, talked about her dream of writing, and how she found the nerve to pursue it.
Librarian Erin Dalbec invited Lo because of her effort to host an author to speak at North every year. She said that the change to anti-bias curriculum inspired her to invite Lo specifically. According to Dalbec, Lo “really fit in with that because she is Asian-American and she’s a lesbian so she could talk about that and her experience being a writer.”
Dalbec added that the point of inviting authors to speak is to “promote reading and creative writing.”
During Lo’s presentation, she explained how throughout her life, her dream of being a writer “stubbornly refused to fade” despite many struggles, including pushback from her parents.
By telling her story, Lo counseled students on how to follow their dreams and let their voices be heard. As a Chinese-American lesbian, she described how she managed to embrace her identity and speak up about it through her writing.
According to Lo, “Boundaries fence in my dreams. Pushing against them is a huge challenge.” She added, “There are many boundaries but you must push back against them.”
She also emphasized the point that while one can face many struggles on the path to their dream, “the message of ‘dare to dream’ is still very important.”
“In order to make change in the world, you must first imagine it,” she said.
After her presentation, Lo invited the audience to ask her questions.
In response to a question about her motivation to write a book, Lo said, “ It has a lot to do with the quality of the idea.” She added, “You have to be in love with it and you have to spend some time with that idea.”
Lo presented during other blocks of the day as well.