Author Spotlight: Sylvia Liu

© K. Woodard Photography

 June 10, 2022

We are excited to feature author & Kidlit411 co-creator Sylvia Liu and her middle grade science fiction novel, HANA HSU AND THE GHOST CRAB NATION (Razorbill/PRH), out on June 21! Enter to win a signed copy plus swag!

Enter to win a signed book + swag!

Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.

Growing up, I was an avid reader, but never imagined being an author. I always enjoyed making art, and in the decade I was a public interest environmental attorney, I drew and painted as a hobby. When my kids were young, I quit the law to try my hand at children's illustration, which led to writing picture books and eventually middle grade.

Congrats on your middle grade sci-fi, Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation! Tell us about it and what inspired you.

cover art by Fiona Hsieh; design by Jessica Jenkins

In a hyperconnected world under corporate control, twelve-year-old Hana can’t wait to get meshed—her brain connected to the multiweb. When she discovers a corporate plot that threatens her classmates about to be meshed, she must rely on her wits and newfound allies—new friends, junkyard hackers, and a qi gong master—to save them, all while navigating complex family dynamics. 

I was inspired to write the type of sci-fi that I love to read: an adventurous and twisty story that makes one think. I also wanted to write the classic middle grade themes of friendship and family. 

What are one or two interesting things you learned while researching this book?

I have a whole file of interesting scientific facts and research from this book. Here’s a fact that didn’t make it into the story: our human brains may hold a petabyte of data, which is almost the entire internet.

What advice would you to aspiring authors?

Read avidly, in and out of your genre and across age categories. Retype out passages that you love to get a sense of the rhythm of other authors’ sentences. Believe in your unique voice and life experiences that will make your work special.

What is one thing most people don't know about you?

When I was in college, I did an art project involving a box of live crickets that accidentally escaped into the art building. So all those hundreds of crickets running around that building for a few weeks? Um, that was me. 

Where can people find you online?

My website is and I'm on Twitter @artsylliu and Instagram @sylliu.

Sylvia Liu grew up with books and daydreams in Caracas, Venezuela. Once an environmental attorney protecting the oceans, she now spins stories inspired by high tech, cephalopods, and the intricacies of family and friendship. She’s the author of the middle grade books HANA HSU AND THE GHOST CRAB NATION (Razorbill, June 21, 2022) and MANATEE'S BEST FRIEND (Scholastic 2021) and the picture book A MORNING WITH GRANDPA, illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books 2016). Sylvia lives in Virginia with her family and a very fluffy cat.

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  1. Congratulations on your exciting book! I am thankful I was able to read an e-ARC because I devoured this novel. Thank you for the chance to win a physical copy to reread and enjoy even more!

    1. Thank you so much Danielle! I appreciate your support

  2. So funny about the crickets! And your book sounds awesome! Can’t wait to read it. 😊

  3. Replies
    1. I love it too! Fiona Hsieh is the awesome artist.

  4. Book sounds amazing 😻

  5. This sounds like a great book! I have a few avid sci fi readers at my school that would love to get their hands on it.

  6. This book looks so great! Congrats! Melissa Miles

  7. What a fabulous concept for a sci-fi MG book! Can't wait to read it!


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