Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGail VannelliGayleen Rabukukk, and Stephani Eaton for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Linda Sue Park with Matthew Winner from The Children’s Book Podcast on YouTube. Peek: “When you write for young people you actually get a chance to introduce them to concepts and ideas…You get to provoke them into thinking about things they may not have thought of before.

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Author Interview: Mina Javaherbin on Writing Family & Faith

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Mina Javaherbin‘s latest picture book, My Grandma and Me, illustrated by Lindsey Yankey (Candlewick, 2019) explores the tender relationship between a young girl and her grandmother.

I’m excited to share insights and inspiration about her writing process with Cynsations readers!

Congratulations on My Grandma and Me! It’s a beautiful book and feels a bit more personal than your previous books.

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Heart & Spirit Author Interview: Eileen Meyer on Persistence

By Carol Coven Grannick

I’m an author and poet and recently retired clinical social worker who loves to explore the writer’s emotional and spiritual journey, and more recently, how that journey intertwines with our characters’ journeys.

I’ve long been particularly interested in the many facets of emotional resilience—the behaviors and beliefs that fuel and flow from it, such as optimism, gratitude, hope, joy, persistence, and productivity.

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gail Vannelli, Gayleen Rabukukk, and Stephani Eaton for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Voices of Change by Roxanne Fequiere from Elle. Peek: Elizabeth Acevedo: “We need more writers of color who are given space beyond their first book… editors, copy editors, graphic designers….If it’s just writers, the creativity is there, but the machines behind them that get these books into the spaces they need to be in—mindfully—will be lacking.”

Jacqueline Woodson: “It’s Important to Know That Whatever Moment We’re In,

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Author Interview: Chris Barton on Writing Stories That Heal

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Sometimes a book can take you back to a particular time or place. When I read All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing after the Oklahoma City Bombing by Chris Barton, illustrated by Nicole Xu (Carolrhoda, February 2020), I remembered a day that book would’ve made a big difference.

In February 2001, when President Bush dedicated the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum,

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Guest Post: Kate Messner on The Secrets to Writing Lots of Books, Promoting Them, and Still Having a Life

By Kate Messner

I’ll start this post with a confession. I don’t really have any secrets.

The truth is, when my first novel came out in 2009, I made all of the same overeager mistakes other debut writers make when that first book is released–over-promoting and dragging my wonderfully supportive family to book event after book event for an entire season.

(My daughter was nine then.

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Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Author Events, Balance, Social Media & What She’d Change About Publishing

Thank you, Cynsations readers, for joining us in the 16th year of this blog! We are so grateful to you all for reading, sharing and supporting our efforts. You’re the whole reason we’re doing this.

Thanks also to those of you who submitted questions for Cynthia over our winter hiatus. Full disclosure: Some of the wording was changed to fit the style of this blog. E.g., no profanity, even when  used in enthusiastic praise.

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gail Vannelli, Gayleen Rabukukk, and Stephani Eaton for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Fall 2019 Flying Starts: Christine Day by Erin M. Fry from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Patrick Ness—author of the Chaos Walking trilogy (Candlewick)—gave an author talk at her school. ‘He said that the only thing you really needed to do to become a writer is write and read and write some more,’ she recalls.

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