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Kelly Loy Gilbert Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Conviction (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Picture Us in the Light (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
When We Were Infinite (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Everyone Wants to Know (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kelly Loy Gilbert is an Asian American author that writes young adult novels which explore complex themes about life, family, and faith.


Even though Kelly Loy Gilbert’s first novel hit the shelves in 2015, she was writing even before that. Her work has appeared in publications like ‘The Kenyon Review’ and ‘San Jose Mercury News’.

She has also participated in the facilitation of writing workshops especially at UC San Diego and San Francisco State. The author had garnered quite the reputation for her contribution to the writing community and to the efforts of aspiring writers long before she secured her first publishing deal.

Kelly was born to a white father and a Chinese mom. She grew up in a community with a heavy Asian population. As an Asian American, the author never quite felt like she fit in. Even though she was not necessarily made to feel out of place, Kelly always felt either too Asian or too white depending on the sorts of people with whom she interacted.

As such, she struggled against a sense of insecurity that was rooted in her racial and cultural identity. It came as little surprise when Kelly proceeded to produce novels featuring diverse characters that feel marginalized.

The author has been reading for as long as she can remember. Her love for writing was ignited at a young age and by the time she was six, Kelly was already experimenting with the activity.

Kelly eventually attended UC San Diego from where she majored in literature and writing. Kelly believes that her studies were adequate preparation for the rigors she encountered in the publishing field.

The author admits that the path to success in the arena was anything but simple. Even though Kelly had determined from an early age that she would pursue publishing, it did not take her long to realize how difficult it could be to make a career out of an art form.

Things were definitely simpler when Kelly was a young student that only ever wrote for herself. That wasn’t the case when she began to pock and prod the field of publishing. She was shocked by the number of voices that assaulted her. From publishers to editors and even reviewers, everyone seemed to have an opinion on Kelly Loy Gilbert’s writing process and she had to learn to take so many varied voices into account without drastically compromising her own unique voice.

The author believes that aspiring writers can only succeed if they realize early on that the creative works they produce are not just for their own consumption.

As a published author, Kelly Loy Gilbert has always sought to encourage the emergence of new voices in fiction. Kelly believes that the publishing industry has always been too slow in its efforts to adapt to the changing social and economic landscape in the United States.

The field has done little to provide opportunities to people outside traditional sexual, racial, and cultural boxes. As a member of the National Novel Writing Month Associate Board, the author has worked to nurture a culture of diverse storytelling.

Kelly practices what she preaches in her own works. Her characters do not always fit in and they are driven to undertake perilous journeys because they do not know where they belong.

Kelly gets a lot of her ideas for stories from the News. She takes current affairs and contemporary social trends and transforms them into complex plots.

The author admits that writing has greatly debilitated her reading habit. She still finds the time to crack open a book or two. However, as a published author with multiple projects on her docket, Kelly Loy Gilbert tends to prioritize news articles and magazines over fiction novels.

Writing isn’t an easy process for Kelly, or at least it is no longer as easy as it used to be back when Kelly wrote for herself. The author does her best work during the revision process.

Kelly remembers doing major revisions for ‘Conviction’, her first novel before she finally convinced her agent to shop it out. At one point, she rewrote it from scratch, changing the core concept and moving some of her characters around.


Braden is watching his family fall apart and he is helpless to do anything about it. Ten years ago, Braden received divine assurance that all would be well on the home front.

But then Trey, his older brother, broke away from the family. Braden learned to lean on his father but even that support pillar was taken away from him when the only parent he had ever known was accused of murder.

Now Braden’s life is spiraling. His father was a popular Christian Radio host before the police took him in and turned him into a national sensation. His fate lies in Braden’s hands, the key witness in the upcoming trial.

Braden tries to find some comfort in baseball. The sport has always given him an escape from the rigors of life. And as the star pitcher of his small town, the young man has learned to attach his identity to his performance on the field.

But the sport is doing little to insulate him this time around. At a time when other kids in his situation would be thinking about impressing minor league scouts, Braden is more concerned about playing against Alex Reyes, the kid whose uncle Braden’s father supposedly killed.

The first book from Kelly Loy Gilbert finds her protagonist facing an impossible situation. He must make choices that will define him for decades to come.

+Picture Us in the Light

Danny Cheng is an artist. Creativity has always been in his blood and his scholarship to RISD will place him on the path to pursuing the career of his dreams. And Danny is pretty fortunate because his family completely supports his ideal career.

Yet things are not so clear-cut for Danny. Harry Wong is his best friend but Danny must contemplate a future without him. The thought always leaves him heaving with panic and yet Danny’s friendship with Harry will never be the same, not after a tragedy that shook their bond.

Danny already has enough on his plate. He didn’t want to add his parents’ secrets to his load. But then he discovered a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family in his father’s closet and it changed everything.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kelly Loy Gilbert

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