cynsations

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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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

How Safe Spaces Save Lives with Tobly McSmith from YouTube. Peek: “[In the library] I felt safe enough that I could be myself, and that allowed me the space to dream….[P]eople can also be a great safe space…Books are the ultimate safe space…especially fiction.

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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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Guest Chat: Authors Liz Garton Scanlon & Tricia Springstubb on Seeds & Stories

By Liz Garton Scanlon and Tricia Springstubb

Liz: I like to imagine we’re together in an actual garden – dirt underneath our fingernails and a bunch of seed packets newly emptied into the ground.

Tricia: Oh, yes! Is anything more hopeful than planting a seed? When I was seven or eight, I grew two straight lines of zinnias. The magic of watching a small, shrivel-y pod send up a green shoot,

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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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In Memory: Karen Blumenthal

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Our deepest sympathies to the friends, family, colleagues and readers of fellow Texas author Karen Blumenthal.

From Karen’s website bio:

“As a long-time journalist, Karen writes nonfiction for young people with the belief that nonfiction brings context to a complicated world.

“She is particularly fascinated by social change, how it happens and why.”

Obituaries

Former WSJ Bureau Chief and Columnist Karen Blumenthal Dies at 61 from The Wall Street Journal.

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In Memory: Thomas Low, Co-Founder of Lee & Low Books

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Our deepest sympathies to the friends, family, colleagues and readers of Thomas Low, co-founder of Lee & Low Books.

Obituary: Thomas Low by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek:

“Tom Low had been a successful businessman in New York heading his own temporary personnel agency when he changed course and teamed up with fellow Chinese-American businessman Philip Lee to co-found Lee &

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Ashley Bryan Revisits His World War II Letters and Sketches to Create Infinite Hope by Mark Athitakis from Kirkus Reviews. Peek: “Drawing was a way of surviving because war was so dreadful….[O]ptimism is conveyed in the colorful paintings…Bryan produced using his sketchbooks as inspiration.

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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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Author Interview: Jennifer Li Shotz Talks About her New Rescue Dog Series

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I’m thrilled to welcome Jennifer Li Shotz to Cynsations today to talk about her new series of books featuring rescue dogs. Don’t we all love a good dog story?

Congratulations on your new rescue dog series American Dog (HMH Books). What can you tell us about the inspiration behind these stories?

Thank you!

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