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Photo: Maya Sharma

Maya Sharma's debut book, on sale this week, features interviews with 25 women who charted their own course to success. It's a topic she knows a lot about — she can now call herself a published author before even graduating high school.

The big picture: Sharma, the 16-year-old daughter of prominent wireless industry consultant Chetan Sharma, said the women featured in "Paving: Conversations with Incredible Women Who are Shaping Our World" all have different stories but that she hopes young girls take away one key lesson: "She did it, and so can I."

The backstory: Sharma's journey to writing "Paving" began three years ago with a single interview for her school newspaper, a chat with Mary Lou Pauly, the mayor of Issaquah, Washington.

  • Pauly is one of the women featured in the book, alongside others including Arianna Huffington, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman, Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, whose district encompasses most of Seattle and several suburbs.

I got an early read of the book and a chance last week to talk to Sharma, who said she was particularly excited about the inauguration of Kamala Harris as vice president.

  • "My parents are Indian, so being able to see Kamala Harris, who has the same heritage I do, is very inspiring," she said.

Sharma said she was probably most nervous interviewing Janet Yellen, who was then the first female Federal Reserve chair (and this week was confirmed as President Biden's Treasury secretary).

  • "My hands were shaking," she recalls. "My voice was shaky."

Between the lines: "Paving" isn't intended to inspire girls only. Sharma said she hopes boys and adults will also get valuable advice on leadership from a wide range of perspectives.

  • "It's got a little something for everyone," she said.

Go deeper

Institutionalizing Trumpism

Protesters supporting Donald Trump march down Fifth Avenue in March. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Republican officials are rendering an unequivocal verdict: They want to cement former President Trump's politics and policies into the foundation of the GOP for many years to come.

Why it matters: The debate over Trump's post-election hold on the GOP is over — it has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Epic's long game against Apple

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Epic's Apple lawsuit is costing the company dearly, but the game developer has its eye on a valuable long-term goal: prying tomorrow's virtual worlds loose from the grip of app store proprietors like Apple.

Between the lines: Epic isn't spending a fortune in legal fees and foregoing a ton of revenue just to shave some costs off in-app purchases on today's phones. Rather, it's planning for a future of creating virtual universes via augmented and virtual reality — without having to send a big chunk of their economies to Apple or Google.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.