Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Author Events, Balance, Social Media & What She’d Change About Publishing

Thank you, Cynsations readers, for joining us in the 16th year of this blog! We are so grateful to you all for reading, sharing and supporting our efforts. You’re the whole reason we’re doing this.

Thanks also to those of you who submitted questions for Cynthia over our winter hiatus. Full disclosure: Some of the wording was changed to fit the style of this blog. E.g., no profanity, even when  used in enthusiastic praise.

Continue Reading Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Author Events, Balance, Social Media & What She’d Change About Publishing »

Editor Interview: Louise May on I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome Lee & Low editor Louise May to Cynsations to share her insights into poetry anthologies, working with Lee Bennett Hopkins, and I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage, edited by Lee (Lee & Low, 2019).

Congratulations on I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage! The book has received excellent reviews.

Continue Reading Editor Interview: Louise May on I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage »

New Voices: Natasha Diaz & Kendra Fortmeyer, YA Debuts, Draw on Personal Experience

By Stephani Martinell Eaton & Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome two debut YA authors with powerful stories grown from personal experience. Natasha Diaz‘s novel, Color Me In (Delacorte, 2019) explores the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds. Hole in the Middle (Soho Press,

Continue Reading New Voices: Natasha Diaz & Kendra Fortmeyer, YA Debuts, Draw on Personal Experience »

Career Achievers: Magarita Engle on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Margarita Engle is a successful children’s-YA 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? 

Continue Reading Career Achievers: Magarita Engle on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author »

Career Achievers: Varsha Bajaj on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Varsha Bajaj 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-artist’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success? 

Continue Reading Career Achievers: Varsha Bajaj on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author »

Career Achievers: Pat Cummings on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author-Illustrator

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Pat Cummings is a successful children’s author-illustrator with a long, distinguished career.

In children’s-YA writing and illustration, 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-artist’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success? 

Continue Reading Career Achievers: Pat Cummings on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author-Illustrator »

New Voices: Lisa Moore Ramée & Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo on Questions Arising During Middle Grade Years

by Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am excited to share the publishing journeys of Lisa Moore Ramée and Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo. Both are members of the Novel Nineteens author group. Both of their middle grade novels debuted this month.

Lisa Moore Ramée

What was your initial inspiration for writing A Good Kind of Trouble (Balzer + Bray)?

Continue Reading New Voices: Lisa Moore Ramée & Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo on Questions Arising During Middle Grade Years »

Guest Post: Diane Telgen on Stories of Foreshadow: A Serial YA Anthology

By Diane Telgen

Fans of young-adult short stories may have noticed the anthology format making a comeback in recent years. But other outlets for original YA fiction, like magazines and websites, are few and far between—especially if they pay their writers. The options can be even more limited for new voices trying to break into the market.

Enter Foreshadow: A Serial YA Anthology,

Continue Reading Guest Post: Diane Telgen on Stories of Foreshadow: A Serial YA Anthology »

Guest Post: Padma Venkatraman on Golden Silence, Gilded Words

By Padma Venkatraman

On the flight home after a recent conference, I read Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, 2018). It struck a chord in part because, although I was elated that so many people had read advanced reader copies (ARCs) of my novel The Bridge Home (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2019) and loved it, I also realized I’d been suppressing a sense of hurt as a result of unintentional microaggressions I’d witnessed.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Padma Venkatraman on Golden Silence, Gilded Words »

New Voices: Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith on Joshua and The Biggest Fish

Nancy stands behind co-author & grandkid, Kaylee.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

What an honor and joy it is to welcome debut children’s authors, Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith, who’re also citizens of Muscogee Nation!

Their picture book is Joshua and The Biggest Fish (Doodle and Peck Publishing, 2017). From the promotional copy:

The big fish are way out in the deepest part of the river.

Continue Reading New Voices: Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith on Joshua and The Biggest Fish »