About Salwa Emerson

Salwa Emerson was once scolded by her 100-year-old great-uncle for her “overweening desire to be different.”

Her answer:
“We’re all different –I’m just being my own, unique version of it.”


As a pre-teen in New York City, Salwa Emerson’s version of different meant wearing 4-inch-high platform clogs and fluorescent orange lipstick.  Besides her funky fashion sense, Salwa Emerson expressed herself by singing and writing cheeky articles for her school newspaper.

Interesting fact: Salwa Emerson thought school was boring, so she skipped 8th grade.

Judy Blume (Are You there, God? It’s Me Margaret); Sue Townsend (The Secret DIary of Adrian Mole, Aged 133/4); SE Hinton (The Outsiders); JD Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

Besides her own children: Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon); Jason Reynolds (Ghost); Stephan Pastis (Timmy Failure)

Emerson has worked for many years as a teacher and mentor to preteens and teens of all backgrounds, from underserved communities to prestigious private schools. Formerly a homeschooling parent, she’s designed dozens of arts-based programs for New York City families and conducted fun creative writing workshops for kids of all ages.

Most of the characters in the Chance Striker series are reincarnations of the people she knew growing up and raising kids in New York City. The character Chance was inspired by Salwa Emerson’s nine-year-old son, whose love for soccer and practical jokes begged to be written about.

When she’s not teaching, writing, or watching her son play soccer, Salwa Emerson can be found: knitting, hiking, reading in her hammock, making art on her ceiling, practicing yoga, or searching for a cure for her chronic case of wanderlust.


Brian Saliba is a writer and editor with more than twenty years’ experience in the publishing industry.

After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in creative writing, he moved to New York to pursue a career in publishing. In the 13 years that followed, he acquired, edited, and/or published more than 60 books and apps with HarperCollins and DK Publishing, including three New York Times Bestsellers.

Soon after Brian joined the Peace Corps, serving as an English teacher and development specialist in Armenia for two years. Upon completion of his service, he began working with The Asia Foundation on a children’s digital library initiative called Let’s Read, acquiring and editing children’s books and conducting authoring workshops in developing Asia.

Recently Brian founded Crowbar Creative, a professional services company specializing in creative writing, copywriting, and editorial services. He now lives in Richmond, California with his girlfriend, dog, and an unhealthy obsession with Alabama football.