New Voices: Ernesto Cisneros & Ash Van Otterloo on Being True to Themselves & Their Roots

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Welcome to Ernesto Cisneros and Ash Van Otterloo! These two middle-grade debut authors will share with us the inspiration and challenge of staying true to their roots while writing for a young audience.

Ernesto Cisneros

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

Efrén Divided (Quill Tree Books,

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New Voices: Kelly J. Baptist & Jess Rinker on the People Who’ve Influenced Their Writing

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

A big welcome to middle-grade debut authors, Kelly J. Baptist and Jess Rinker. Both authors share with us how the people around them influence their writing as well as moments along their journeys to publication.

Kelly Baptist 

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I think it was when I was reading Laura Numeroff’s If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,

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New Voices: Adiba Jaigirdar & Kim Johnson on Their Journeys to Publication

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today Cynsations celebrates the debuts of YA authors Adiba Jaigirdar and Kim Johnson. They discuss their journey to publication—the inspiration, the challenges, and the accomplishments. Both authors drew from their own experiences and identities to create their compelling stories.

Adiba Jaigirdar

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

I was really inspired to write The Henna Wars (Page Street,

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New Voices: Tziporah Cohen & Donna Barba Higuera on Writing Their Own Experiences

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I’m so excited to welcome debut middle-grade authors Tziporah Cohen and Donna Barba Higuera to Cynsations today. Both authors share with us the joys and challenges of writing to their own experiences.

Congratulations on your debuts!

Tziporah Cohen

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I sort of fell into it,

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New Voices: Hayley Barrett & Jasmyn Wright on Inspiration & Bringing Their Texts to Life

 

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

We welcome picture book debut authors Hayley Barrett and Jasmyn Wright to Cynsations today! They share their inspiration for their debut books as well as some of the challenges in bringing those stories to life.

Hayley Barrett

What were the best and worst moments of your publishing journey?

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New Voices and Visions: Larissa & Keith Marantz on Succeeding as an Author & Illustrator Team

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am so pleased to welcome the illustrator/author debut duo Larissa and Keith Marantz. From being inspired by their own children to working as a team, they’ll share their unique path to publication.

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

Keith: Well, we had young readers at home.  Our kids were our inspiration and first audience (and first critics).

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New Voices: K.T. Mather & Cameron Kelly Rosenblum on Hearing Your Character’s Voice

By Gayleen Rabakukk, photo above Cameron Kelly Rosenblum, flanked by her Writers House co-agents Bri Johnston and Allie Levick and foreign rights agents Aless Birch and Cecilia de la Campa.

K.T. Mather

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

So my character, Elaine, ends up writing a book-within-the-book…and she hits a point where she’s really struggling and says to her friend,

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Native Voice: Darcie Little Badger on Writing, Persistence & Elatsoe

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Darcie Little Badger is the debut author of Elatsoe (Levine Querido, 2020). From the promotional copy:

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not.

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New Voices: Francesca Flores & June Hur Share Inspiration & Advice

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Welcome to YA debut authors Francesca Flores and June Hur! Today they will share their journeys to publication. I found inspiration in how each came to her subject and crafted her protagonist.

Francesca Flores

Please describe your pre-publication craft apprenticeship. How did you take your writing from a beginner level to publishable?

I got a lot of practice with drafting,

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New Voices: Vicky Fang & Janae Marks Share Their Journeys to Publication

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am so pleased to introduce debut authors Vicky Fang author of Layla and the Bots (Scholastic, 2020) and Janae Marks, author of From the Desk of Zoe Washington (Katherine Tegen, 2020).

Vicky Fang

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I started writing children’s books to inspire and empower kids in STEAM,

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