Book Friends Forever
Episode 1: How it all began… Join best friends Grace Lin and Alvina Ling as they discuss going from childhood friends to becoming author and editor. Grace Lin is a bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator, and Alvina Ling is Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (a division of Hachette Book Group).
Episode 2: The Caldecott Honor! Grace Lin and Alvina Ling talk about the news that Grace’s picture book A Big Mooncake for Little Star was awarded a Caldecott Honor, and share how they each first heard the news. They also discuss what’s on their minds: extroversion vs. introversion, and share what they’re grateful for this week.
Episode 3: Kindling Words, and controversial photos in Grace’s high school yearbook. Grace and Alvina talk about when they first attended the Kindling Words retreat together, where Grace shared an early draft of her first novel The Year of the Dog. They also discuss what’s on their minds: the recent discovery of photographs with students in blackface in Grace’s high school yearbook—for which Grace was the editor. And they end with what they’re grateful for this week.
Episode 4: What success means to us, and we remember Grace’s first novel, the Year of the Dog. Grace and Alvina talk about how they measure success in their fields, remember when Grace first wrote and published her first novel, The Year of the Dog, and end with what they’re grateful for.
Episode 5: Public Speaking! Grace and Alvina talk about how Sales Conference at a publishing company works, and how they’ve both developed as public speakers when it doesn’t come naturally to either of them. And, they end as always with what they’re grateful for.
Episode 6: Work-Life Balance. Grace and Alvina talk about how they balance work with life (do they?), and take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about what they thought they wanted to be when they grew up when they were kids. And, as always, they end as always with what they’re grateful for.
Episode 7: Widows. Grace and Alvina share about their love stories with their late husbands, and how both of them had to deal with caring for their loved ones while they battled cancer, how they survived after their husbands deaths, and how caregiving and grief affected their work. They end as always with what they’re grateful for.
Episode 8: How We Grieved; and Publisher Quotas. Grace and Alvina follow up on episode 7 and discuss the ways they grieved and coped after their husbands deaths. They also discuss a listener’s question about whether or not publishers have official or non-official quotas that limit the acquisitions of books by and about POC and other underepresented groups. And they end as always with what they’re grateful for.
Episode 9: Who gets a piece of the pie? And, Asian parents! Grace and Alvina continue their conversation from the previous week and talk about whether being white or POC in publishing is a help or a hinderance, touching on issues of college admissions, white privilege, and affirmative action. Grace remembers the time her father gave her a surprise review on Amazon and what he said, and we talk a little bit about our parents and the different ways we were raised. And they end as usual with what they’re grateful for.
Episode 10 Our ideal lives, and our China trip. Grace and Alvina talk about what their ideas of paradise would be, and what their ideal lives are. Alvina talks about the Walter Awards Symposium and the two books she edited that were honored, GHOST BOYS by Jewell Parker Rhodes and THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER by Emily X.R. Pan. Grace shared a gross but fascinating fact about angler fish! They discuss Alvina’s upcoming sabbatical, and take a trip down memory lane and remember their vacation to Beijing and Shanghai together. And they end, as always, with what they’re grateful for.
Episode 11: Early success vs later success, and blogging! Grace and Alvina are in the audio studio together! They discuss the technical details of how they usually record this podcast, talk about the differences between having success early in your career versus later in your career and the pros and cons, and remember when they started blogging, particularly the group blog the Blue Rose Girls. And they end as always with what they’re grateful for.
Episode 12: Our trip to the Grand Canyon and Goal setting! As Alvina prepares for her sabbatical, Grace and Alvina talk about their past trip to the Grand Canyon, the importance of setting goals and admitting your dreams (Alvina wants to go the Oscars and Grace wants win gold!). They end, as usual, with what they are grateful for.
Episode 13: Being mistaken for other Asians and all the answers about Book Auctions! Grace and Alvina talk about Alvina's upcoming trip to South Africa and tips on what to do if you are stranded at the airport. They also discuss the microaggression of being repeatedly mistaken for other Asians; and then Grace grills Alvina on the intricacies of book auctions (Is it better to have a huge advance? What is the difference between a fall book and a spring book?). They end with what they are grateful for.
Episode 14: Parallel Careers, Professional Jealousy and the Hustle w/ Guest Host JJK. Author/illustrator & longtime friend Jarrett Krosockza fills in for Alvina! Jarrett and Grace talk about their parallel careers, being served road-kill pate, professional jealousy, how things have changed for them after becoming parents and the hustle of making it (so far). Jarrett also admits, to Grace's great surprise, that he finds public speaking challenging.
Episode 15: Who are we without our work? Alvina calls in from South Africa! Grace finished her novel! Both talk about their work identities and their first international trips and end with what they are grateful for.
17 - Social Media and Publisher loyalty. Alvina is back to work after sabbatical! She and Grace talk about their philosophy on social media, and how it plays into work and life. They also discuss the one time Alvina almost left Little, Brown for another publisher (she doesn't say which one!), and the pros and cons of both editor and creator loyalty to a publisher. And they end as always with what they're grateful for.
Episode 18: Chickens! And, secondary loss and BookExpo talk. Grace finally gets chickens! They talk about how that brought up some conflicted thoughts about how different Grace's life has become after Robert's death, and they discuss secondary loss (what is it, how it manifests in both of them--for Alvina, it involved the probable loss of being a mother.). They also discuss BookExpo and BookCon, and end as always with what they're grateful for.
Episode 19:The Newbery-Caldecott banquet, Grace’s dress, and Imposter Syndrome! Alvina talks more about BookExpo, and they take a trip down memory lane and talk about the Caldecott-Newbery banquet for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (including what Grace wore and how she found her special dress!), and they also discuss imposter syndrome, when they have felt it, and how they manage it. And they end as always with what they’re grateful for. Some things mentioned: Write or die podcast, The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert, Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, Tomi Adeyemi, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin, Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen, Always Be My Maybe, Crazy Rich Asians, Connie Chung.
Episode 20: Pride month, blind spots, and bookselling! Grace and Alvina discuss LGBTQIA+ issues in honor of Pride month, including their own blind spots, and some related debates that arose during the creation of Kidlit Women*. They take a trip down memory lane and discuss their bookselling backgrounds, including some diversity-related issues they encountered. They discuss Diversity 1.0 vs Diversity 2.0, and end as always with what they’re grateful for. Some things discussed: PRIDE month, Lord Rabbit, Mulan, Disney, The Princess and the Frog, Tomi Adeyemi, Lupita Nyong’o, Eoin Colfer, Curious George Goes to Wordsworth, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, Elisabeti’s Doll, Kidlit Women*, Laurel Synder, Karaoke, Rebecca Sherman, Writers House