Hearts Unbroken: Writing Stories “Loosely Inspired By” Your Real Life

On our way out to a high school winter dance.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

The first in a series of four posts celebrating the Oct. 9 release of my realistic contemporary YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick).

My senior year of high school, “Back to the Future” was a hot new release, Duran Duran was ruling the radio waves,

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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, Samantha M. Clark to get the inside scoop.

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Full Cover & Author Quotes (Blurbs) for Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

click image to enlarge

My deepest thanks to distinguished authors An Na, Joseph Bruchac and Guadalupe Garcia McCall for sharing their thoughts about my forthcoming contemporary realistic novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, Oct. 2018).

Here’s what they had to say:

“I loved her irreverent, hilarious, and subversive dismantling of stereotypes.

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Guest Post: Ann Jacobus: Critique Group Makes Frances Lee Hall’s Publishing Dream Come True

By Ann Jacobus

It’s an unusual moment when our writing group is in full agreement. But in this case, we knew we had to bring our friend Frances Lee Hall’s wonderful middle grade story to young readers.

The question was how?

Frances Lee Hall

We had all just attended her memorial service. Frances died suddenly on Nov. 26, 2016.

She had also been through hell and high water,

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New Voice: Laney Nielson on Peppermint Cocoa Crushes

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Laney Nielson is the debut author of Peppermint Cocoa Crushes (Skypony, 2017). From the promotional copy:

Sasha is so excited for her school’s Winter Variety Show! She and her best friends, twins Karly and Kevin, have been working on a song and dance routine for it, with super cute candy cane costumes. 


Sasha is sure they’ll be the best.

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Cover Reveal: Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Wow! Today, BookRiot is hosting the official cover reveal for my upcoming realistic YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, Oct. 2018).

Click this link for the inside scoop on my initial inspirations for the story. You can also pre-order the book from IndieboundBarnes and NobleAmazon and other book retailers.

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Survivors: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

Shelley Ann Jackson, Chris Barton, Jennifer Ziegler, Cyn & P.J. Hoover

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Writers put so much emphasis on that first children’s-YA book sale, the debut launch—but maintaining an active publishing career is arguably a much bigger challenge than breaking into the business.

So, let’s talk about career endurance as authors of books for young readers.

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Tantalize-Feral Verse 10-Year Anniversary

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Happy 10th birthday, Sanguini’s!

The Tantalize series features YA Gothic fantasy novels in both prose and graphic formats. These stories, set in the Tantalize-Feral universe, are suspenseful with high action and include romantic elements as well as some humor.

The first novel was released in 2007.

The Feral trilogy is a spin-off of the Tantalize series.

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Podcast: Pat Mora, Cynthia Leitich Smith & Don Tate

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

What an honor to be interviewed for a podcast also featuring author Pat Mora and author-illustrator Don Tate by Professional Book Nerds.

Peek from my segment:

“It [writing for kids] was a heart decision, not a head decision and part of that heart decision wasn’t just about my work.

“It was about the power and importance and necessity of bringing goodness into the world,

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Guest Post: Lindsey Lane on Marketing & Paperback Release of Evidence of Things Not Seen

By Lindsey Lane

What are you supposed to do when your debut novel releases in paperback?

a) Nothing

b) Heave a sigh of relief

c) Let everyone know

d) All of the above

Ahhh, the conundrums of marketing.

Guess what? There is no prescribed method for marketing our books. There is no must-do, have-to do, should-do list.

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