New Voices: Alda P. Dobbs & Debbie Zapata Create Books Inspired by Family

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Spotlight image: Debbie Zapata reads Up and Adam, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang (Kids Can Press, 2022) with the assistance of an American Sign Language Interpreter for a group at an Austin park.

Today we welcome two Texas authors to Cynsations to share their path to publication for books inspired by their own families.

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Picture Book Biographies: Gloria Amescua & Carol Kim Discuss Mentors on the Path to Publication

By Gayleen Rabakukk

We’re wrapping up our picture book biography series with two more Austin authors, Gloria Amescua, author of Child Of The Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter Of The Nahua, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams, 2021) and Carol Kim, author of King Sejong Invents an Alphabet,

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Picture Book Biographies: Candy Wellins & Philip Hoelzel on the Importance of Critique Groups

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Critique partners can play a huge role in taking a manuscript to the next level. Today we’re chatting with critique partners Candy Wellins and Philip Hoelzel about their picture book biographies.

Candy’s book is The Stars Beckoned: Edward White’s Amazing Walk in Space,

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Picture Book Biographies: Bethany Hegedus Explores Social Emotional Learning in Nonfiction

By Gayleen Rabakukk

At Cynsations this week we’re taking a deep dive into picture book biographies by interviewing eight debut biography authors. But first, today we’re kicking things off by featuring Bethany Hegedus, author of five published picture book biographies and more on the way.

Earlier this year I attended an SCBWI workshop where you discussed Social Emotional Learning.

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Author Interview: Bethany Hegedus on Crafting Picture Book Biographies With Heart

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Bethany Hegedus is an award-winning writer and a tireless champion of encouraging others to push beyond their fear and obstacles. I’m very excited to share Bethany’s insight on tackling tough subjects and writing from the heart with Cynsations readers!

Her newest book, Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People,

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Author Interview: Samantha M. Clark on Being a SCBWI Regional Advisor & the Austin Chapter

Author Interview: Samantha M. Clark on Being a SCBWI Regional Advisor & the Austin Chapter

Learn more about Samantha M. Clark,
photo by Sam Bond.

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we take a peek behind the curtain at the planning and preparation required to organize a successful Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators chapter.

I chatted with Austin’s Regional Advisor,

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Author Interview: Bethany Hegedus on Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Author Interview: Bethany Hegedus on Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Just about a year ago, I became a Writing Barn Fellow, which means I serve as a teaching assistant and provide logistical support for classes and workshops.

It also means that I’ve gotten to know author Bethany Hegedus better and I couldn’t pass up the chance to interview her about her new picture book biography, Continue Reading Author Interview: Bethany Hegedus on Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird »