New Visions: Qing Zhuang Shares Her Motivation to Illustrate Books for Kids

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am happy to welcome debut illustrator Qing Zhuang to Cynsations today to talk about her journey and what motivates her to create books for kids.

What first inspired you to write/illustrate for young readers?

Books were my best friends. Growing up, I had a lot of things I wanted to say but couldn’t do so directly, partially due to language,

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New Voices: Aya Khalil & Anna Crowley Redding on How Journalism Careers Informed Their Work

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am happy to welcome debut picture book authors Aya Khalil and Anna Crowley Redding to Cynsations. Both have journalism backgrounds and discuss how that career helped them as a writer for children.

Aya Khalil

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

One of the best moments was reconnecting with my teacher (after 20 years) who inspired The Arabic Quilt (illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan,

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New Voices: Nicole Kronzer & Suzanne Park on How Improv & Stand-Up Comedy Influenced Their YA Debuts

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

And now, let’s welcome Nicole Kronzer and Suzanne Park to our stage Cynsations! These YA debut authors do have a background on the stage. Nicole is a former actor and improvisor, and Suzanne was a stand-up comedian.

Both share the influence these former pursuits have had on their work as writers.

Nicole Kronzer

Please describe your pre-publication craft apprenticeship.

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Author & Illustrator Interview: Nelly Buchet & Andrea Zuill on Cat Dog Dog

Nelly Buchet and Andrea Zuill are the author and illustrator, respectively, of Cat Dog Dog: The Story of a Blended Family (Schwartz & Wade, 2020). Both are represented by Hen&ink Literary Studio.

Nelly is an actor and a debut author. Bonnier will publish her Can’t Do board book series in 2021.

Andrea is the illustrator of Cat Cat Dog and the author-illustrator of Sweety (Schwartz &

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New Voices: Joseph Elliott & Kate O’Shaughnessy on Writing the Books They Wanted to Read

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we welcome middle grade debut authors Joseph Elliott and Kate O’Shaughnessy as they talk about their inspirations as well as writing the book they needed and wanted to read.

Joseph Elliott

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

When I started writing, I wasn’t necessarily doing it with young readers in mind,

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New Voices: Isabel Ibañez & Phil Stamper on The Journey to Publication

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am delighted to introduce two YA debut authors to our Cynsations readers today.

Isabel Ibañez is the author of Woven in Moonlight (Page Street Kids, 2020), a fantasy drawn from Bolivian politics. Phil Stamper is the author of The Gravity of Us (Bloomsbury YA, 2020), a contemporary queer romance inspired by the lives of NASA families.

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New Voices: Rob Justus & Kirsten W. Larson on Switching to a Career in Children’s Literature

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Rob Justus

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

After not drawing for about 15 years, I picked up a pencil for the first time and rediscovered my love for creating. I would say I’ve always had a quirky mind that would go to outlandish places, but I never really had an idea where I could channel this energy.

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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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