Misa Sugiura is a first time novelist whose ancestors include a samurai, a stowaway, a poet, and a priestess. After college, Misa lived in Japan, where she fell in love with skiing and sumo. She briefly considered becoming a ski bum in Nagano, but decided to go to graduate school instead. She went on to teach high school English in Santa Clara, California. Queer students who came out to Misa during her eight years in the classroom-in letters, during talks after school, and in emails from college-were part of the inspiration behind her debut novel, It’s Not Like It’s a Secret (Harper Teen).