Cohort Update: Author Profile — Maya Bairey

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By B. Zelkovich

Maya Bairey is a native Pacific Northwest author. Her skill has been honed for three decades, culminating in her debut novel, Painting Celia. Maya’s stories draw from her lived experiences of multi-cultural family, LGBTQ+ identity, and street art activism. Underlying themes of trauma, expression, and families of choice are told with poetic hope. 

She joined the Author Cohort in 2022 to prioritize the revisions of her Contemporary Romance novel. A content manager by day, she writes short stories and poetry. Painting Celia is her first novel, and follows Celia, a woman in her mid-40s who wants to work through her trauma by pursuing art. 

Unfortunately, she isn’t very good at it. What she needs is a teacher, so she strikes a deal with a painter – a younger, very attractive painter – and offers him a studio space on her property if he’ll teach her how to paint. Amid obsession and passion, paint and sparks fly. 

Maya loved how the Author Cohort gave her dedicated work time, connected her with so many wonderful people, and helped build confidence in her work. It also offered opportunities to grow and encouraged her to submit her work for publication. 

She’s since joined Willamette Writers and plans to have Painting Celia ready to pitch by this year’s conference. You can find her online at her website or connect with her on twitter @mjbairey.