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Its Personal Podcast

Author: Gary R. Gray Jr

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Welcome to ItsPersonalPodcast hosted by Gary R. Gray Jr. Gary is a teacher in Manila (Philippines). He enjoys talking with anyone who is willing to listen and share their stories with him. On this podcast you will find a talk series from Gary in which he dives deep into his childhood and current life. He takes the time to dissect his decision making and "accomplishments" up until now, and if he is truly living a full life. On his second podcast series #ItsPersonal, Gary speaks with educators, authors, teachers, parents, people from all walks of life on who they are behind the computer. His mission is to speak with those from the Global Majority, and listen. He takes guest on a ride down memory lane, asking personal questions about identity and true meaning of life. It's not your typical pod. And don't expect professional editing. You can find Gary on all social media platforms @GaryRGrayJr
126 Episodes
Janae Marks is the author of critically acclaimed middle grade novels, From the Desk of Zoe Washington and A Soft Place to Land, as well as the forthcoming novel On Air with Zoe Washington. She has an MFA in Writing for Children from The New School, and lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughter and miniature schnauzer named Cookie. Janae chats about motherhood, writing/publishing during a pandemic, growing up in New York, and new books. Website: Instagram: Twitter:
Jyoti Rajan Gopal is a writer, mom and Kindergarten teacher. Growing up, she lived in Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, India and China. Twenty-eight years ago, she moved to New York and now lives in Yonkers in a quirky old Victorian, with her husband and two daughters. Her favorite place in the house is the wrap around porch where she loves to gather with family or friends, read, write and drink coffee. Jyoti talks about her course with the Writing Barn (see link below), living in many different countries, family values, education, and new books! Jyoti, is such a treasure to the world. Listen to her share her story on Its Personal Podcast. Website: Writing Barn: Instagram: Twitter:
Jarrett has been a storyteller most his life, both on his own and in collaboration with Jerome. While their earliest work remains locked in a drawer—the key long lost for good measure—their first co-authored book, Creepy Things Are Scaring Me, was published by HarperCollins in 2003. Jerome is a designer, illustrator, and writer, originally from Houston, TX. He studied graphic design at the Art Institute of Austin and has worked as a technical writer, freelance graphic designer, and illustrator. Together the brothers talk about growing up with influential parents, and 4 brothers. A busy house, made with a lot of love. We take a deep dive into fatherhood, and family traditions they try to continue now that they have their own families. And of course, we find out who is the favorite brother, and up and coming projects! Website: Jarrett: Instagram: Twitter: Jerome Instagram: Twitter:
Tracy Badua is a Filipino American author of books about young people with sunny hearts in a sometimes stormy world. According to her grandmother, Tracy inherited this love of the written word from her great-grandfather, a school teacher in the Philippines. To Tracy, this means writing is in her blood, and she continues this family tradition by telling stories with her own spin in an accessible, heartfelt way. By day, she is an attorney who works in national housing policy and programs, and by night, she squeezes in writing, family and pup time, and bites of her secret stash of candy. School and work brought her from California to Washington, DC, and back, and she now lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, family, and photogenic Maltese. On the podcast Tracy talks about motherhood, writing as an attorney vs middle grade, story building, and her first book (Freddie vs the Family Curse) Website: Instagram: Twitter: Buy Freddie vs The Family Curse:
Dane Liu believes in the power of stories to affirm, transport, and transform. Her debut for young readers FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS, FOREVER is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, an Indie Next Pick, and a Best Book of the Year from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Dane was born in China and moved to the US and Canada when she was a tween. On this podcast, we chat with Dane about living in multiple places, growing up in an immigrant family, being "good enough, biking and her most recent book, Friends are Friends, Forever! Website: Instagram: Twitter:
Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Callaloo, BOAAT, and the Watering Hole. Julian is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian is the winner of the 2019 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle. On this podcast (part 2 of 2) Julian talks about The Dead Don't Need Reminding (Essay Collection), running from a REAL tornado, the Chicago Bulls and their playoff hopes, and so much more! Apologizes for the audio on my end. It is a little muffled during the conversation. I hope it does not ruin your experience listening to Julian and his story. Website: Instagram: Twitter:
Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Callaloo, BOAAT, and the Watering Hole. Julian is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian is the winner of the 2019 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle. On this podcast (part 1 of 2) Julian talks in-depth about his first published book, accepting the idea of being a "writer", family influence, and is magic just for white kids. Apologizes for the audio on my end. It is a little muffled during the conversation. I hope it does not ruin your experience listening to Julian and his story. Website: Instagram: Twitter:
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich was born in New York and later moved A LOT. She's spent a lot of time in many different countries, so she was a new kid in many different places (up until 8th grade). On this podcast, Olugbemisola shares childhood stories with her parents, the freedom to read, the feeling of being in different schools, and the impact of digital media. Instagram: Twitter: Website:
Erika Meza is a Mexican Migrant, who loves tacos and doodling! After studying graphic design (and moving houses nearly 30 times)She lived in a dungeon with a princess in Paris to attend the Illustration program at ENSAD, which got her addicted to chocolate éclairs and 2 am bike rides by the river. Erika now lives with a cat in the UK where she works with ink, gouaches, and watercolor pencils as an author and illustrator represented in my exploits by Claire Cartey. During this podcast Erika speaks about her writing/illustration journey, banned books, new projects, and important writing advice for new, and up and coming creatives. Twitter: Instagram: Website:
Ashley Woodfolk is the ultimate reader and writer. She graduated from Rutgers University and worked in children's book publishing for over a decade. She is now a full-time mom and writer and lives in Brooklyn her husband, dog, and the cutest baby in the world. Some of her books include The Beauty That Remains, When You Were Everything, Blackout and the Flyy Girls Series. On this podcast Ashley talks her Day in the life as a momma and writer, what it looks like taking care of a new little guy with her amazing husband. She also deep dives into relationship building, and what has worked for her (She's been with her partner since high school). Ashley also shares a NEW book that is coming out with her friends! Website: Twitter: Instagram:
Derek Desierto is a Vancouver-based illustrator whose books with Eva Chen include the New York Times bestseller Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes. Currently, he is living the dream as a freelance artist for animated TV shows and picture books. His ultimate goal in life is to meet Oprah and become one of her Favorite Things. On this podcast, Derek chats about his move from the Philippines to Canada, his creative process, the idea of "writer's block", family support during his artist journey, and "if not art, then what". Website: Twitter: Instagram:
Anne Wynter has always loved to write; advertisements, poems, test questions, short stories, illegible grocery lists, press releases, white papers, and plays. But her love is with children's books. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, running, and puzzling through an idea for a new book, or spending time with her husband, two sons, and cat at home in Austin, TX On this podcast, Anne chats specifically about the importance of the revising process, and her writing journey. Website: Instagram:
Andrea Wang is an acclaimed author of children’s books. Her book Watercress was awarded the Caldecott Medal, a Newbery Honor, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, a New England Book Award, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. Her other books, The Many Meanings of Meilan, Magic Ramen, and The Nian Monster, have also received awards and starred reviews. Her work explores culture, creative thinking, and identity. She is also the author of seven nonfiction titles for the library and school market. Andrea holds an M.S. in Environmental Science and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing for Young People. She lives in Colorado with her family. During this podcast, Andrea talks about winning awards, her writing process, early family life, and what it means to put your heart into your work. Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram:
Jerry Craft is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels New Kid and Class Act. New Kid is the only book in history to win the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature (2020); the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (2019), and the Coretta Scott King Author Award for the most outstanding work by an African American writer (2020). Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City. In this podcast we chat about his drawing influence, speaking with students, and his idea around "spare time" (which he rarely receives). Jerry shares memories of himself releasing some of his most popular books, and the feeling of being known by the general public. Instagram: Twitter: Facebook: Website:
On this podcast, Gary talks with spoken word artist/author Andrew Fenton, from North End Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is a special podcast for Gary, for he speaks with someone from home who has been writing amazing books for some time now. Andre chats representation in text growing up in Nova Scotia at a young age. He also shares his writing journey, and how it started through poetry/spoken word. Andre shares an important message to kids back home in Nova Scotia who are interested in writing and sharing stories. This is a podcast you do not want to miss. Instagram: Twitter:
What an honor to speak with the one and only Deesha Philyaw. Deesha's book Secret Lives of Church Ladies won the 2021 Pen/Faulkner Award, 2020/21 Story Prize, 2020 LA Times Book Prize and was a Finalist 2020 National Book For Fiction. On this podcast, Deesha speaks about her family in Jacksonville, and their influences on her upbringing. What it was like to write during a pandemic, and what strategies she use to produce some of her best work yet. Later in the podcast, we find out what Deesha is really good at besides the pen and the paper. You will never guess! And what here next big project is coming soon. Website: Instagram: Twitter:
Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the water, taking film photos, or eating a bowl of bingsu. On this episode, listen to Sarah talk about her new book Made In Korea, along with the yummy treats she enjoys. Sarah also spends time talking about growing up in Canada and some of the differences when she visits Korea. Website: Instagram: Twitter:
Gail D. Villanueva is the author of Sugar and Spite, and debut novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly! She was born in the Philippines, in which she currently lives, and enjoys her many pets at home (dogs, ducks, turtles, cats and random birds) On this episode Gail shares her experience talking with kids about books, and the importance of representation in text. She shares some of the most interesting questions she's had from school visits. And she talks specifically about her childhood/adult reading journey. Later in the podcast Gail shares some hobbies that you may not know about, and her writing inspiration. You may never guest who it is! Website: Twitter: Instagram:
Tami Charles is the New York Times bestselling author of All Because You Matter, and many other books for children and young adults. On this podcast she stops by to talk all things personal. She starts with live and times during the pandemic, new math, educational influences and writing during covid-19. Later Tami shares some important insights on raising a Black son, and her steps in how to make this work in todays world. All in connection to her New York Times best selling book All Because You Matter. Find out how this book came about. Tami is apparently an UNO master and enjoys beating her family during game night, and order Thai take out. These are some of the little things that make Tami so awesome. Though she is a magnificent writer (and singer) she loves many of the same things we do. Tami thanks for kicking it with Its Personal Podcast. Website: Twitter: Instagram: Youtube:
Shelly Anand was born and (mostly) raised in Georgia by immigrant parents from India. Besides writing amazing books, Shelly is a civil and human rights attorney for immigrants and workers from marginalized communities. On this podcast, Shelly talks about how her name changed over time. She talks about her families transition to America, and what those ups and downs looked like vividly. She also talks about raising mixed raced kids, and how she beginnings to prepare her little ones for the world. Shelly shares it all! We also get a detailed outline of what her writing process looks like. Website: Twitter: Instagram:
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