Author Interviews: Kate Hannigan & Janet Fox on Facts in Historical Fiction

By Gayleen Rabakukk

My current work in progress is a middle grade historical fantasy set in 1903. 


Delving into the past has made me think about how history is presented in novels and the balance between real and imaginary. 


For more insight on that topic, I turned to the authors of two of my favorite recently published books,

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Author Rita Williams-Garcia & The Surely Do Dancers

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

CSK Author Award Acceptance Speech by Rita Williams-Garcia from The Horn Book. Peek:

“…upon occasion, our histories are bound by peace and wonder as people of the planet Earth, looking up as we did on one night in the summer of 1969.

“In spite of some current rhetoric, very few of us on this soil can claim a separate and sole history.

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Guest Post: Denis Markell on Once You’ve Found Your Story, How Do You Tell It?

By Denis Markell

As an aspiring writer for children, one of the many dividends of marrying my beautiful and gifted wife Melissa Iwai

(am I right or am I right?)

was finding someone to collaborate with on picture books.

Seeing as I knew she was an extraordinary illustrator, this was to be expected.

What came as a surprise, however,

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Guest Post: Janet S. Fox on Blending History With Fantasy

By Janet S. Fox

Some of my favorite books ever are the books of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series. The fantasy of leaving home and entering a land where a child can experience talking animals, mythological creatures, desperate (and deadly) battles – where a child can be perceived as making real, respected choices – where good deeds are rewarded by kindness and love and bad deeds are punished,

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Author Interview: Deborah Hopkinson on Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

What was your initial inspiration for writing Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, illustrated by Charlotte Voake (Schwartz & Wade, 2016)?

Actually, several years ago my agent, Steven Malk, mentioned that it might be fun to do a book about Beatrix Potter. After reading about her life (and enjoying the film “Miss Potter”

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Guest Post: Shawn Stout on Historical Fiction: How Much Research Is Enough?

By Shawn K. Stout

Several years ago I had a story idea swirling inside my head. It was about three sisters who try to clear their father’s name after he is accused of being a Nazi spy.

The story was based on the real-life experiences of my grandparents, whose restaurant in Maryland in 1939 was boycotted by the townspeople over my grandfather’s purported “secret back room” and rumors of espionage.

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Greg Leitich Smith on Time Travel & Tracking Dinosaurs

Borrowed Time launch party at BookPeople in Austin

By Greg Leitich Smith

There’s a line from the first “Jurassic Park” movie to the effect that the place has all the problems of a major theme park and a major zoo.

I sort of feel the same way about writing time travel fiction: You have all the major problems of historical fiction and all the major problems of science fiction/fantasy.

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Author Interview & Giveaway: Angela Cerrito on The Safest Lie

“The Power of Poetry,” an award-winning play!

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Welcome back, Cynsations reporter Angela Cerrito, and congratulations on the release of The Safest Lie (Holiday House, 2015). Could you tell us a little about the novel and what inspired you to write it? 

The Safest Lie follows the fictional Anna Bauman attempting to hide her Jewish identity and pass herself off as Anna Karwolska in Warsaw Poland during WWII.

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Meg Wiviott on Telling the Toughest Stories & Paper Hearts

Interview with Meg Wiviott.

By Meg Wiviott

History is filled with horrible, frightening events. Still, history needs to be taught. Finding a gentle way to tell a tragic, truthful story is something for which I seem to have a knack.

Kristallnacht, Auschwitz, and death marches are not the usual stuff of books for young readers. Finding an age appropriate manner to tell the story is a trick.

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Cover Reveal & Interview: Author Ashley Hope Pérez & Editor Andrew Karre on Out of Darkness

By Ashley Pérez and Andrew Karre

From the promotional copy of Out of Darkness (Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner, Sept. 2015):

New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them.


“No Negroes, Mexicans, or dogs.”


They know the people who enforce them.

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