Craft, Career & Cheer: Bonnie Christensen

Learn about Bonnie Christensen.

Note: interior illustrations below are from Bonnie’s Django, World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, 2009) and featured here with permission.

What do you love most about the creative life?

In attempting to answer this question, I ran straight into a wall. There are so very many things to love about the creative life, can I love all of them “most”?

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Craft, Career & Cheer: Warren Hanson

Warren Hanson is an illustrator and author who has helped create some very beloved books.

He illustrated Tom Hegg’s NYT Bestseller A Cup of Christmas Tea (Waldman House, 2004) and four books about a lovable, many-colored bear named Peef (Waldman House). He has written and illustrated The Next Place (Waldman House, 1997), Older Love (Waldman House 2003), Kiki’s Hats (Tristan,

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Craft, Career & Cheer: Melissa Walker

Learn about Melissa Walker.

When and where do you write? Why does that time and space work for you?

I write in the bay window of my garden-floor brownstone apartment in Brooklyn. We don’t get much light on at this low level, but what light does come in dapples my overstuffed pink flowered chair each morning through early afternoon. I sit right in the middle of it so I can create.

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Craft, Career & Cheer: Claudia Guadalupe Martinez

Learn about Claudia Guadalupe Martinez.

Could you describe the your experience working with an editor?

I’ve only written one book, but I couldn’t have asked for a better experience—I may have to light a candle when I submit my next book in hopes that my next experience is this positive. I tell people that working with my editor was like getting a free MFA. I learned so much simply by diving in.

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Craft, Career & Cheer: David L. Harrison

Learn about David L. Harrison.

How do you define artistic success?

Perfection is the goal. Writers see in their imagination what they intend to create–a finished piece without blemish, a stunning accomplishment that holds readers close and thrills them with an astonishing experience. Results rarely match the dream that beckons us on, but some sort of internal scale determines how close we think we came.

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Craft, Career & Cheer: Michelle Markel

Michelle Markel is the author of Tyrannosaurus Math (Tricycle/Random House, 2009).

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had working on a book? Why?

Tyrannosaurus Math was a pleasure for many reasons. It was a quick and easy conception. I was substituting in a second grade classroom, we’d run out of math activities, we’d covered a very dry dinosaur story in the morning, and the classroom library books were uninspired.

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Craft, Career & Cheer: Carolyn Crimi

Learn about Carolyn Crimi, and visit her team blog, Three Silly Chicks.

Carolyn’s latest book is Henry and the Crazed Chicken Pirates, illustrated by John Manders (Candlewick, 2009).

When and where do you write? Why does that time and space work for you?

One of the joys of being a writer is being able to write wherever you want.

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Craft, Career & Cheer: Barbara O’Connor

Learn about Barbara O’Connor.

When and where do you write? Why does that time and space work for you?

I’m a morning person all the way. I love the early morning and am always freshest and most creative then.

Honestly, I don’t think I could write at night if I had to. My mind simply cannot get into the flow of creativity and,

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Craft, Career & Cheer: Bruce Hale

Learn about Bruce Hale.

Could you describe the best experience you’ve had working with an editor?

Working with Michael Stearns, first at Harcourt, then at HarperCollins, has been my best editorial experience so far.

(So it’s all the more disappointing that he’s quit editing for agentry.)

Maybe you never forget the editor who first opens the door and ushers you into that club of published authors.

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Craft, Career & Cheer: David Lubar

Learn about David Lubar.

What do you love most about your creative life? Why?

I love solving problems. And, really, that’s the main job of a fiction writer. We solve our characters’ problems.

We have the added pleasure of giving them the problems in the first place.

What is the one craft book that you refer to again and again? Why?

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