Guest Post: Writing Across Gender Lines: Fiction that Appeals to Boys and Girls

By Yona Zeldis McDonough

I’ve alway thought of myself as a girly-girl writer. Although I’ve written bios for kids that appeal to both boys and girls—many of them in the popular Who Was series (Grosset & Dunlap) —my real love is girl-friendly stories. I like dolls—no fewer than five of my children’s books have had the words doll or doll house in the title—and all the girly stuff that goes with them.

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New Voice: David A. Robertson on When We Were Alone

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

David A. Robertson is the first-time children’s author of When We Were Alone, illustrated by Julie Flett (Portage & Main Press, Jan. 6, 2017)(available for pre-order). From the promotional copy:

When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things about her grandmother that make her curious.

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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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