When I was brand-new to Austin, my fellow Vermont College alumnx welcomed me to the local kidlit community, especially Anne Bustard. At a writing retreat six or seven years ago, Anne told us she was working on an intergenerational story set in the 1960s, with a small Texas town planning a UFO welcome festival.
I recently read Lyn Miller-Lachmann‘s young adult historical novel, Torch (Carolrhoda Lab, 2022), and am eager for Lyn to share her insights on writing in multiple points of view with Cynsations readers. First, from the promotional copy:
Seventeen-year-old Pavol has watched his country’s freedoms disappear in the wake of the Soviet Union’s invasion.
Today we welcome Veeda Bybee to the Cynsations team as a reporter. With a background in journalism as well as someone who participates enthusiastically in conversations surrounding the kidlit community, she is well-suited in this role. Veeda has contributed to the anthologies Rural Voices, edited by Nora Shalaway Carpenter (Candlewick,
I am excited to welcome Rita Williams-Garcia back to Cynsations. Rita is the celebrated author of One Crazy Summer (HarperCollins, 2010), Clayton Byrd Goes Underground (HarperCollins, 2017), and Jumped (HarperCollins, 2009). Welcome, Rita.
Tell us a little bit about your newest release,
Today we extend a warm welcome to Lauren Wolk. She is the author of the Newbery Honor book Wolf Hollow (Dutton, 2016), Beyond the Bright Sea (Dutton, 2017), which won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and her latest book,
Anne Bustard is a successful children’s author 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?
I had the pleasure of interviewing Katia Raina and Sofiya Pasternack, two authors who each have a 2019 debut novel that takes place in Russia and deals with anti-Semitism. Although Katia wrote a realistic young adult novel and Sofiya wrote a middle grade fantasy, these two debut authors each chose this very specific setting because of their own personal or family history.
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!
The Choice Between Fiction or Nonfiction
Choosing is what writers do. We choose our subjects, our characters, our point of views. If you write fiction, you are literally responsible for every horrible event which befalls your characters because they’re all your choices.
But there are choices in nonfiction,
I hate weapons, especially firearms. Always have, and always will. Even the sight of a legally sanctioned gun—police office, hunter—makes me recoil and I literally take a step back.
Along with hating weapons, I hate war and though I concede that some wars have been necessary,