Kacen Callender started out as a kid in St. Thomas writing fan fiction. Today, they are the author of multiple middle grade and young adult novels full of empathy, learning, and a healthy dose of high school drama.
Their books almost always center queer, trans, Black protagonists learning to navigate the world — and making all kinds of mistakes as they do so. Callender wants their characters to have space to learn and grow, but also to have fun and just be. That’s a space, Callender says, that is rarely afforded to kids who aren’t white.
So on this bonus episode of the podcast — produced in partnership with the Library of Congress Book Festival, we talked to Kacen Callender about the pressure to make characters from marginalized backgrounds “good,” and the fun you can have when you ignore some of that pressure. SOURCE