K. Dai published this novel when she was fourteen years old and a freshman in high school. Since childhood, she has always been greatly inspired by fantasy books, some of which accompanied her into her adolescence. Her love for reading books led her to become a writer. She began writing this novel when she was only nine years old, by simply opening up a new Word document and asking herself a single question: What would happen if I tried writing my own fantasy novel? Gradually spun from that single question and the untamed, vivid imagination that she has always possessed, Clarity is Dai’s first published work, but definitely will not be her last. Dai lives in California with her family and her dog, Misa, whose clumsiness and lovable personality.
Mona Ahuja has been telling stories her entire life. She draws inspiration from the imaginations of children, their innocence, and the simplicity with which they view the world around them. This story stems from the author’s ever-growing fascination with the moon. Chanda Mama is a story meant to comfort children at night, opening their hearts and minds to the light and mystery that the moon holds. Continue reading Mona Ahuja
Sanjana Dantuluri is an artist, writer, and musician from the San Francisco Bay Area, and has been a student at Lekha since 2014. She has had her artwork published in Celebrating Art, a nation wide art anthology. Sanjana’s passion for writing grows as she continues to explore the infinite possibilities that come about when one combines art with story telling. Continue reading Sanjana Dantuluri
A native Californian, Bill Eddie is an author, dentist,and practicing grandfather. he spent his high school years in Los Gatos, California, and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Following military service, Bill majored in biochemistry at the University of California at Davis and later received his dental degree from The University of the Pacific Dental School in San Francisco. Dr. Eddie is a previously published author, having written The Whole Tooth and Nothing but the Tooth, a humorous and educational book about teeth and the dental profession. He and his wife Marion live in Eugene, Oregon, near their three grown children and four grandchildren. Continue reading Bill Eddie
Novella Genelza is a writer, artist, graphic designer and poet from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing with a concentration in poetry from University of California Santa Cruz. During her time at UC Santa Cruz, she guided freshman writing students as a teacher’s assistant and worked for the school’s literary magazine, Chinquapin, helping with magazine layout, design and written contributions. She also did journalistic writing for BSN (Banana Slug News), the school’s own student-run television station.
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Ruchira Khanna, a biochemist turned writer, left her homeland of India to study in America, where she obtained her master’s degree in Biochemistry from SJSU and a degree in Technical Writing from UC Berkeley. After finishing her studies, Ruchira worked as a biochemist at a Silicon Valley startup for five years. After the birth of her son, Ruchira took a job as a technical writer, so that she could work from home. Soon, she began doing freelance writing work as well. Continue reading Ruchira Khanna
Richard J. McKenzie
Richard J. McKenzie was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, receiving his B. A. in Political Science from San Jose State University in 1979. When he reached middle age he began volunteering at his daughter’s elementary school, where he ran the computer lab, tutored students, ran a popular workshop for Literacy Night, shelved books in the library, and served as President of the Home and School Partnership. Through his volunteer experience, Richard feels that he ended up learning more than the children did. Continue reading Richard J. McKenzie
The Price of Being Ashley Rich, and Aashka Pandya’s interest in writing, began one afternoon when she and her friends wrote a story out of boredom. Their story was about six girls: Thalia, Ashley, Alexa, Jenny, Lily, and Analise, or “TAAGLA,” as they called it. This simple story turned into a series of skits that Aashka, her friends, and their sisters performed for their parents. One skit was about the wealthy character Ashley’s sudden loss of her fortune. This particular skit remained close to Aashka’s heart, and when she started taking classes at Lekha in 2010, she knew exactly what she wanted to write about. Continue reading Aashka Pandya
Sanjana Rao was born in 1994, and has always had a passion for communication with other people, especially children. In addition to her love for youth and children, she has also always enjoyed studying health and the human body, especially with regard to illnesses such as Diabetes. When her younger brother was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, she felt the need to create a bridge between her two greatest passions and write Comida Deliciosa y Saludable: Barriga Feliz!, an interactive and educational book for children about Diabetes prevention through good nutrition. Continue reading Sanjana Rao
Tyler Sadoff is a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy books and movies, and enjoys writing stories in those genres. He was inspired to become a writer shortly after reading Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series. Tyler wrote his first novel, A Journey in Time, when he was only ten years old, during a creative writing summer camp held by Lekha Writing Center. He also won an award for his short story, “The Sixth Dimension,” in The Wooden Horse Spooky Story Contest. Continue reading Tyler Sadoff
Yalda Alexandra Saii
Yalda Alexandra Saii is an avid reader, writer, and a student of Lekha Writing Center, which she has attended since 2009. Her short stories and creative works have been published in numerous anthologies, including Adventures of the Imagination, the annual Lekha student anthology. The Sassy Divas is her first solo novel. Yalda began writing The Sassy Divas during a Lekha class when she was ten years old, and completed it at the age of twelve. Her passion for writing is ever-growing, and she hopes to publish many more books in the future. Continue reading Yalda Alexandra Saii
Ghazal Sajeev wrote and illustrated Stuck in Space at the age of eight and Saving Santa one year later. She is an artistic and creative young girl who enjoys drawing, painting, reading, and writing. In addition to writing stories, she also likes to compose poems. Her poem “Riding my Bike” and her essay “Swimming with Dolphins” were published in Creative Communication, and her poem “Together We Can” was selected by her school for the PTA Reflections Program. Continue reading Ghazal Sajeev
Jyoti Yelagalawadi has enjoyed the art of telling stories for her entire life. She passes on this love of storytelling to her students at Lekha Writing Center, of which she is the founder. An avid animal lover who grew up in a family of scientists, Jyoti was initially drawn to the veterinary field, and received her B.S. in Biology and Computer Science and a minor in Creative Writing. Despite her love of science, her passion for writing took over, and many of her written works reflect her love of animals and her interest in the relationship between man and nature. Continue reading Jyoti Yelagalawadi