An Na was born in South Korea and grew up in San Diego, California. As a young person, she never imagined that she would grow up to be a writer. First, she thought she was supposed to be a doctor, but then after realizing how many years of schooling it would take, she moved her sights to being a pharmacist. In college, after taking political science and chemistry, being a lawyer started looking really good. It was only during her senior year in college, when she took a children’s literature class, did she discover her true love of writing. Having always been an avid reader, it had never dawned on her until that class that real people wrote books. Ding!
She left college with a clear goal to write and publish picture books. In the meantime, to keep her parents off her back, she worked as an English and history teacher for middle schoolers, pastry chef, video store clerk, ticket taker for Cirque du Soleil, and scared substitute for kindergarteners. After a few years of working, she went back to school and received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. Her first novel, A Step From Heaven, was written during her time there and went on to be published, garnering awards such as the: Michael L. Printz Award, International Reading Association Award, National Book Award Finalist, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and New York Times Book Review Notable. Wait for Me and The Fold followed a few years after along with two beautiful daughters. Writers can birth multiple entities, but not at the same time.
The Place Between Breaths, a forthcoming young adult spring 2018 novel will be published by Atheneum: Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. She lives in Vermont and teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children and Young Adult’s MFA program. When she is not reading, writing, teaching or moming, she likes to run away from her chickens, make lots of food for gatherings and play amateur architect.