The event brings together the author and audiobook narrator of a gripping YA novel about a boy's attempts to deal with the loss of his older brother in Iraq. The author and narrator will discuss how to present difficult topics to teens, the various aspects of authorship, and will show how different voices make a book more interesting with a side by side reading.
E. M. Kokie writes for teens because she is drawn to stories that grapple with issues of identity and self-determination, and characters confronting the line between childhood and adulthood. Her most recent novel, Radical, explores such themes as family, identity, trust, guns, and what it really means to survive, through the eyes of a teen lesbian who is active in the survivalist movement. Her first novel, Personal Effects, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults and Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Top Ten, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and a 2013 IRA Young Adult Honor Book. She also contributed to the anthologies Things I'll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves, and Violent Ends. A lawyer by training, Emily lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her wife and pet Wookie.
Nick Podehl is a professional voice actor. He has narrated numerous audio books, many of which have won prestigious awards. He is currently seeking to bolster his experience by recording voice overs in video games, movies, commercials, and alternative media while continuing to narrate audio books. He is very passionate about and committed to his work, and truly finds joy in his work. Nick graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Communication and a minor in Theatre. He currently lives and works around Grand Rapids, Michigan with his beautiful wife Erin and their cat Dreams.