If you have been searching for the next dystopian page-turner to keep you up late into the night, look no further than Dove Arising. This novel sweeps you away to a moon colony where protagonist Phaet Theta has enlisted in the Militia in order to save her family. But the training for protecting the Lunar bases from Earth-dweller attacks is brutal, and Phaet’s world may not be what it seems. Penguin Teen Author Spotlight is proud to introduce Karen Bao, an intelligent young author who started writing Dove Arising at the age of seventeen. School Library Journal says “Fans of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Marie Lu’s Legend should flock to this well-written debut.” The book’s publication is a day away, but in the meantime you can hang out here and learn more about Karen Bao!
Name: Karen Bao
Novel: Dove Arising
Available: Tomorrow! Tuesday, February 24.
Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? Charlotte Brontë. Her books are gorgeous, innovative, and full of self-actualized women.
What’s your favorite thing about your book? The protagonist, Phaet. Her voice was the first thing I nailed down, and the rest of the story just followed. For the past few years she’s been like a kind but sometimes clueless little sister living in my head.
If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? Hermione from the Harry Potter books. In addition to having a lovable personality, she could teach me magic.
Where do you write? I have several workspaces, both at college and at home. Mostly I write on couches and/or beds – the squashier, the better. I’d include a picture, but it would be chaotic.
Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? Marie Curie is seriously awesome. She won two Nobel Prizes for discovering two new elements and for research on radioactivity at a time when women were largely excluded from science; her work hugely impacted medicine and modern physics. Even more impressively, she maintained a humble lifestyle, donated much of her income, and refused to patent her discoveries.
Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? Yep! My handle is @KarenJBao. One time I tweeted this picture of Caribbean sharks confusedly scrutinizing a lionfish.
It’s because the lionfish is an invasive species (introduced by humans) and the sharks are all, “What’s this flappy thingy doing here? Is this even food?” Side note: lionfish are multiplying like crazy and messing up Caribbean reefs. They need to go away.
What is your favorite season? Summer, because no school means I have time to cross stuff off my bucket list.
If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? The deep sea, just to see all the weird organisms that live there.
Do you have any writing rituals? I prefer to drink tea while working. Otherwise, not really.
What is your idea of earthly happiness? All the people I love in one room. With Chinese food.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? The Chainsmokers, an EDM group, performed live at my school last spring. It was hilarious to see a bunch of dedicated students dancing (flailing?) around to “Selfie.”
What are you currently working on? In addition to the 2nd and 3rd books of the Dove Chronicles, I’m also planning my undergraduate thesis. I’ll travel to Fiji this summer with my lab group to study the history of large mollusks like giant clams. Shelly things have stories too.
Thank you, Karen! We can’t wait to read the next book in the Dove Chronicles!