Meet Sloane Leong, author of A Map to the Sun!

What initially drew you to comics?

I came to comics late when I was about 13 but before that I had been writing and illustrating my own stories that were basically proto-comics starting back in the 3rd grade. Every week my teacher would give us a vocabulary list to learn, and we’d have to write each word five times. Because that was beyond boring, I asked if I could write a story using all the vocab words instead. So every week I’d have a new story, complete with drawings! The combination of words and art work together so perfectly, filling in the gaps of each other’s weaknesses and complementing one another’s strengths. I love comics!

What was your inspiration behind A MAP TO THE SUN?

My own teenhood experience, shoujo manga and also the general lack of stories in comics centered on young women of color! I wanted a story that centered the challenges we face, the ugly rivalries and the work it takes to hold together a friendship. I also wanted to examine what it’s like to have friends from a multitude of different cultures, navigating expectations of friendships, the expectations from one’s family and also institutions we’re subjected to, like schools.

What scene or panel sequence did you most enjoy drawing?

Oh man, this is hard to answer, I feel like it’s all an emotional blur haha. I would say a lot of the game scenes were fun but I also loved using graphite to draw this dream sequence, it was a nice break from inking!

About the Book

A Map to the Sun is a gripping YA graphic novel about five principle players in a struggling girls’ basketball team.

One summer day, Ren meets Luna at a beachside basketball court and a friendship is born. But when Luna moves to back to Oahu, Ren’s messages to her friend go unanswered.

Years go by. Then Luna returns, hoping to rekindle their friendship. Ren is hesitant. She’s dealing with a lot, including family troubles, dropping grades, and the newly formed women’s basketball team at their high school.

With Ren’s new friends and Luna all on the basketball team, the lines between their lives on and off the court begin to blur. During their first season, this diverse and endearing group of teens are challenged in ways that make them reevaluate just who and how they trust.

Sloane Leong’s evocative storytelling about the lives of these young women is an ode to the dynamic nature of friendship.

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