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Representation, diversity, and relatable characters are elements that T.J. believes are critical in young adult books. “People want to hear stories that impact them and take them away, but at the same time can enlighten their minds,” she says.

T.J. hopes that, through her books, readers learn about mixed-race Americans and the racial injustice that they face; that those young adults can come to understand that it’s ok to learn and grow and change their minds about things that they previously thought were true without reprehension. And, of course, enjoy an amazing story rich with characters and dimension.

When she’s not writing fiction depicting societal topics and dystopia, T.J. enjoys watching Bollywood movies and KDramas, reading anything she can get her hands on, having copious amounts of coffee, and going to church with her friends. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her toy Maltese, Mr. Bingley. The Crossed is her debut novel.

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©2019 by T.J. Rao.