Memorial Hall Library

The Challenges & Rewards of Being a Debut Author on Zoom

3 authors with book covers
Monday, January 29, 2024 - 7:00pm

We welcome authors Lauren J. A. Bear, Rita Chang-Eppig, and Nishita Parekh to our virtual stage for a panel discussion. We'll be talking all about getting into publishing, the pitfalls, challenges, and roadblocks as well as the excitement, fulfillment, and reader enthusiasm that makes it all worthwhile. Bring your questions as this will be in a Q&A format.

Register on Zoom.

Lauren J.A. Bear is a reader and writer, an educator, a troublemaker, and a fierce mama bear.

Lauren was born in Boston and raised in Long Beach, CA. After studying English at UCLA and Education at LMU, she taught middle-school Humanities for over a decade — and survived! She is a teaching fellow for the Holocaust Center for Humanity, and lives in Seattle with her husband and three young children. She likes crossword puzzles and being on or near the water without getting wet.

Her debut novel, released in August 2023, is Medusa's Sisters, a vivid and moving reimagining of the myth of Medusa and the sisters who loved her.

Rita Chang-Eppig received her MFA in fiction from NYU. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2021, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Conjunctions, Clarkesworld, Virginia Quarterly Review, One Story, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the Writers Grotto, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University. 

Rita's debut novel, released June 2023, is Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea, a riveting, roaring adventure novel about a legendary Chinese pirate queen, her fight to save her fleet from the forces allied against them, and the dangerous price of power and was a Barnes & Noble Discover, Indie Next, Indies Introduce, and Good Morning America Buzz pick.

Nishita Parekh was born and raised in Mumbai and now lives in Texas with her husband and toddler. She is a software programmer but a writer at heart, and loves writing about her experiences as a woman and an immigrant. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers, Crime Writers of Color, and Sisters in Crime, and is a #RevPit contest winner. 

Nishita's just released debut novel, The Night of the Storm, is a fresh take on the classic locked-room thriller that follows a multigenerational Indian American family who find themselves marooned in the house with a murderer during Hurricane Harvey.

This program is hosted by Ashland Public Library and is a collaboration between several MA libraries.