Meet Raina Telgemeier, the author and illustrator of best-selling graphic novels for middle grade readers, including Smile, Drama, Ghosts, and Sisters. Many of Raina’s books are autobiographical and deeply personal, especially her 2019 novel, Guts, which explores with honesty and compassion her own struggles with anxiety.
Raina has also adapted and illustrated graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club series. Her 2019 book, Share Your Smile, is a young writer’s guide to telling your own story, full of writing prompts and idea builders.
In this interview, Raina talks about keeping an illustrated diary growing up, advice she’d give her middle school self, why everyone has a story to tell, how she creates her graphic novels, and much more.
Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of graphic novels for middle school readers. Many of her books are autobiographical and explore her own family life and challenges she faced growing up. Her graphic novels include Smile, Drama, Sisters, and Ghosts — all #1 New York Times bestsellers. Her newest graphic novel, Guts, was published in September 2019.
Raina also adapted and illustrated graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club series, and has contributed short stories to many anthologies. She has received three Eisner Awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Best-of and Notables lists.
Raina was born and raised in San Francisco Bay. She graduated in 2002 with a degree in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and was involved in the independent comics community there. She currently lives and works in San Francisco.