As a reporter for Cynsations, I love sharing articles and interviews. This is the first time I’m turning the tables and sharing an interview between myself and my illustrator, Richard Smythe, as we celebrate the March 2022 release of our second book together, Sun & Son (Amicus Ink).
My First Critique Group
When I was a new young writer, a friend invited me to her critique group. I was told to bring a chapter of my work-in-progress to share. It was a casual group open to many writers. I had no idea what to expect and was so shy that reading in front of a dozen-plus writers terrified me.
I’ve attended the SCBWI Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles every summer since 1991—and for good reason! It’s a wonderful conference with something for every writer and illustrator.
The 2019 conference will always be extra special to me because of the amazing moment that happened just hours after I arrived at the Marriott Hotel.
Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for your coverage here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?
When I joined SCBWI, my biggest dream was to sell a middle-grade novel. I attended as many workshops as I could and was excited when there were speakers who wrote MG or YA.
But often I had to sit through talks on writing picture books.
A few years ago, I thought my career was over.
Due to slow sales and a changing market, I’d lost both my publisher and agent—and I was devastated. Also, a science fiction/mystery YA that I’d been positive would sell when it went to acquisition meetings at major publishers had ultimately been rejected.
Blame it on the SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators).
When I joined SCBWI over two decades ago, I’d already sold a middle-grade and was interested in writing young adult books, too. Yet most of my writer friends wrote picture books.
Whenever I went to SCBWI conferences,
Linda Joy Singleton on Linda Joy Singleton: “As a kid, I was always writing. During a two-week school vacation, when I was 14, I challenged myself to write a chapter a day, completing a 200 page manuscript. I kept many of my stories and show them to kids I speak to at school.
Nancy Drew was my first plotting teacher. Kidnapped, bound, gagged, trapped in the dark hull of a ship and sailing into unknown peril. Would Ned rescue her? Would Nancy escape on her own? Or would she perish in some terrible, torturous way?
Fascinated and worried,
We last spoke in April 2007 about The Seer series (Llewellyn, 2004-). Could you update us on news of your writing life since that time?
Well, at that time I was getting a little nervous about what would sell next since I’d finished the fifth The Seer. I happened to mention my Dead Girl Walking book in an email to my editor,