New Voices: Jessica Kim & Risa Nyman Talk Truth in Fiction

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I’m interviewing two debut middle grade authors about what inspired them as well as how truth emerges through their fiction.

While Jessica Kim’s Stand Up, Yumi Chung! (Kokila, 2020) is a humorous read, and Risa Nyman’s Swallowed by a Secret (Immortal Works, 2020) is more serious, both books are heartfelt.

Jessica Kim

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book? 

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New Voices: Arianne Costner & Sarah Kapit and the Journey to Publication

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Welcome to middle grade authors Arianne Costner and Sarah Kapit who discuss both their publication journeys, starting from the inspiration for their debut novels, as well as their favorite craft books. And we want to wish Arianne a very happy book birthday as her debut, My Life as a Potato (Random House, 2020), comes out today!

Arianne Costner

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

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New Voices: Adalyn Grace & Rabiah York Lumbard on Character, Career & Connection

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am pleased to introduce YA debut authors Adalyn Grace and Rabiah York Lumard to our Cynsations readers. Both of these authors talk about the importance that their main characters’ identities bring to their work, their transitions to writing as a career, as well as connection to community.

Adalyn Grace

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

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New Voices: Lyla Lee & Susan Hansen on Writing the Stories Only You Can Write

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today I’m interviewing two Texas authors whose childhood experiences inspired them to be writers and shapes the stories they’re writing today.

Susan Hansen is the author of From Behind All the Veils: The Story of Táhirih, illustrated by Susan Reed (George Ronald Books, 2019).

For Lyla Lee, 2020 is a double debut year with the Mindy Kim chapter book series,

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New Voices: EM Castellan & Betty Culley on How “Place” Inspired Their Fiction

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

In her essay, “Place in Fiction,” Eudora Welty writes, “The truth is, fiction depends for its life on place. Location is the crossroads of circumstances….”

Today, I am pleased to welcome two debut YA authors for whom place stirred their creativity.

EM Castellan is the author of In the Shadow Of The Sun (Feiwel &

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New Voices: Chris Baron & Aimee Lucido on What Inspired Their Middle Grade Debuts in Verse

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Welcome to Chris Baron and Aimee Lucido! These two debut authors of middle grade novels in verse discuss inspiration, MFAs, and the mentor texts that stimulated their writing.

Chris Baron

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I’ve certainly been writing for a long time in the more academic range of poetry,

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New Voices: YA Authors Kat Cho and Olivia Hinebaugh

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we welcome debut YA authors Kat Cho, author of Wicked Fox (Penguin Teen, 2019) and Olivia Hinebaugh, author of The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me (SwoonReads, 2019).

They discuss their paths to publication and emphasize the importance of reading to their writing apprenticeship.

Kat Cho

In terms of publishing,

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New Voices: Brian Weisfeld & Alicia D. Williams Share How the Children Around them Inspire Their Writing

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Brian Weisfeld’s novel with Nicole C. Kear, The Startup Squad (Imprint, 2019) and Alicia D. William’s novel Genesis Begins Again (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy, 2019) were both inspired by the children around them. They’ve shared their inspirations and insights they’ve gained along their writing journeys. Welcome, Brian and Alicia!

Brian Weisfeld

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

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New Voices: Gita Trelease & Jodie Lynn Zdrok with YA Debuts Set in Paris

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Gita Trelease, author of Enchantée (Flatiron Books, 2019) and Jodie Lynn Zdrok, author of Spectacle (Tor Teen, 2019) both set their magical, historical novels in Paris. They share their inspirations, moments along their writing journeys, and advice for fellow writers.

Gita Trelease

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

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New Voices: Natasha Diaz & Kendra Fortmeyer, YA Debuts, Draw on Personal Experience

By Stephani Martinell Eaton & Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome two debut YA authors with powerful stories grown from personal experience. Natasha Diaz‘s novel, Color Me In (Delacorte, 2019) explores the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds. Hole in the Middle (Soho Press,

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