Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Vlog Post with Kelly Loy Gilbert

Photo Credit: Dayna Falls

Kelly Loy Gilbert believes deeply in the power of stories to illuminate a shared humanity and give voice to complex, broken people. She lives in the SF Bay Area and is represented by Adriann Ranta Zurhellen.


1. It’s full of explosive family secrets

2. It’s got an all-Asian cast of main characters

3. It’s set in my hometown of Cupertino––tech capital of the world and an incredibly high-pressure environment—and it’s also set in my high school

4. The main character, Danny, is in love with his best friend Harry and I adore their super-tight, bantery, complicated relationship laced with (potential?) romantic tension

5. Danny’s parents, who have been through a tragedy they don’t talk about, love him fiercely and I loved writing them and the power of their sacrifices

6. It speaks to our political moment

7. It’s about the bonds between family and also created families—those friends who matter to you so deeply that they shape who you are

8. It’s about how to exist in the world as an artist, especially when you’re surrounded by a world that doesn’t always value art

9. There is a good deal of food porn

10. It’s the book of my heart and my favorite thing I’ve ever written

Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father's closet filled with old letters and a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there's much more to his family's past than he ever imagined.

Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD and his family's blessing to pursue the career he's always dreamed of. Still, contemplating a future without his best friend, Harry Wong, by his side makes Danny feel a panic he can barely put into words. Harry and Danny's lives are deeply intertwined and as they approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Danny can't stop asking himself if Harry is truly in love with his girlfriend, Regina Chan.

When Danny digs deeper into his parents' past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundations of his family history and the carefully constructed facade his parents have maintained begins to crumble. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him.


"A searing exploration of buried secrets and the heart-wrenching ways that they can tear child from parent, friend from friend and a community from its long-held identity." ―Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times best-selling author

"Picture Us in the Light illuminates the intricate bonds that draw us together. Danny Cheng, a young artist growing up amongst Ivy-League minded peers, will break your heart into a million pieces, and then quietly put it back together. Impressively layered and real." ―Stacey Lee, 2017 Pen Center USA Literature Award Winning Author of Outrun the Moon

"Heartbreaking and transcendent. Gilbert is a true artist of character, both obscuring and illuminating with each brilliant turn of phrase. In Danny, she gives us a narrator who, in so deeply and completely revealing his own inner life, shows us each other and ourselves." ―Anna-Marie McLemore, author of Stonewall Honor Book When the Moon Was Ours and Wild Beauty

*"All together, it's a heady concoction: a compelling story of all kinds of love and all kinds of heartbreak overlaid with the unveiling of all kinds of secrets." ―BCCB

*"The author demonstrates exquisite facility with tech-savvy teen-speak in every scenario and balances the authentic dialogue with elegant prose. An excellent choice for YA collections." ―School Library Journal (starred review)

*"With grace and respect, Gilbert manages to address the existential quandaries of both second-generation American teens and their immigrant parents Gilbert methodically lays bare her characters' secrets as if she was slowly pulling a cloth off a fine painting." ―Booklist (starred review)

*"Family, art, love, duty, and longing collide in this painfully beautiful paean to the universal human need for connection Exquisite, heartbreaking, unforgettable." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

*"Gilbert masterfully negotiat[es] plot twists and revelations while keeping the focus on her characters." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

You can purchase Picture Us in the Light at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KELLY LOY GILBERT for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert.