cynsations

Native Voice: Anthony Perry on Growing as a Writer

By Traci Sorell

Tony, I’m delighted to welcome you to Cynsations! You have written a detailed, well-paced historical middle grade novel, Chula the Fox (White Dog Press, 2018), set in the Chickasaw homelands of what is now Mississippi in the 1700s.

Congratulations on winning the 2019 Ben Franklin Award Gold Medal from the Independent Book Publishers Association and the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Medal for Multicultural Fiction in the Juvenile-Young Adult category for your debut work!

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New Voices: Swati Teerdhala & Kip Wilson on Funneling Inspiration Into a Book

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Ideas for stories have to come from somewhere.

Today, Swati Teerdhala and Kip Wilson, two YA debut authors, share what inspired them to write their stories as well as advice they have for beginners.

Swati Teerdhala

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

Books were such a huge part of my childhood and truly shaped the way I viewed the world.

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Editor Interview: Arthur A. Levine on Levine Querido

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

In a world of various career options for smart, charming folks like yourself, why did you choose editing children’s books?

Ha! Nice of you to say. My parents had the same question in 1984.

To be honest, it started when I was a senior in college because I was (slash am) a poet, and I had made all of $10 and a couple of magazine copies selling my poems.

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New Voices, New Visions: Author-Illustrators Jen Betton & Aidan Cassie Discuss Process

By Traci Sorell

I’m delighted to welcome Jen Betton and Aidan Cassie to Cynsations today to share their interesting journeys to becoming author-illustrators for children.

Jen Betton is winner of the 2012 SCBWI Illustration Mentorship Award and the Portfolio Grand Prize at NESCBWI in 2014. Last year, Putnam published her debut picture book, Hedgehog Needs A Hug,

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New Voices: Joshua S. Levy & Karla Manternach on Reactions to Their Manuscripts Selling

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am excited to introduce you to Joshua S. Levy and Karla Manternach, two middle grade authors whose debut novels surprised some of their friends. Joshua is the author of Seventh Grade Vs. The Galaxy (Carolrhoda, 2019) and Karla is the author of Meena Meets her Match illustrated by Rayner Alencar (Simon &

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Poetry Anthology Editor & Illustrator Interview: Miranda Paul & Marlena Myles

By Traci Sorell

I adore picture book poetry anthologies. The variety of poems and artwork inspire me every time. Thanku: Poems of Gratitude (Millbrook Press, Sept. 3, 2019) marks the debut of artist Marlena Myles as a picture book illustrator. Edited by the award-winning author Miranda Paul, the anthology features many well-known poets and a portion of the book’s sales support the We Need Diverse Books nonprofit organization.

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Survivors: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is a successful children’s author with a long, distinguished career.

In children’s-YA writing, maintaining an active publishing career is arguably an even bigger challenge than breaking into the field.

Reflecting on your personal journey (creatively, career-wise, and your writer’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success? 

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New Voices: Austin Authors Jennifer Coleman & Dan Marvin on Inspiration & Apprenticeships

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m very excited to share the writing journey of two Austin debut picture book authors today. Jennifer Coleman is the author of The Texas Nutcracker, illustrated by Wade Dillon (Pelican, 2018) and Dan Marvin is the author of But I Don’t Eat Ants, illustrated by Kelly Fry (Pow! 2017).

Jennifer Coleman

As an author-teacher-librarian,

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