Author Interview: P.J. Hoover on Writing (& Publishing) the Stories You Love

 

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author P.J. Hoover‘s latest book, The Hidden Code (CBAY Books, 2019), is a fast-paced adventure thriller. From the promotional copy:

Eleven years ago, Hannah Hawkins’ parents disappeared while traveling abroad. Presumed dead, Hannah and her uncle are shocked when a letter from her mom arrives right after Hannah’s sixteenth birthday.

By piecing together cryptic hints from the note and other clues left behind,

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Author Interview: Nikki Grimes on The Power of Words

By Traci Sorell

Memoir is one of my favorite genres to read. When Nikki Grimes shared some poems from hers last summer, I knew I must read Ordinary Hazards (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2019), the entire book.

Written in verse, her words captivated me much as the act of writing did her at an early age. The acclaim she’s already received in starred reviews and from fellow powerhouse creators speaks to the truth telling found within its pages.

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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,

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Author-Illustrator Interview: Evan Turk

By Traci Sorell

Getting a sneak peek at a beautiful picture book before it’s printed always brings me joy. When the book combines poetry and breathtaking images, my joy increases and my heart sings.

That’s what happened when I saw Evan Turk’s You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks (Atheneum, 2019).

I’m in complete agreement with its five starred reviews from Booklist,

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Guest Post: Suzanne Crowley on Finding Inspiration Close to Home

Young Suzanne with her Grandfather Tio
in Uvalde, Texas

By Suzanne Crowley

As writers, we are frequently asked where we draw inspiration from. I think it’s true that everything we write is somewhat autobiographical.

I know I scatter a bit of myself in everything I write – that’s what gives it a soul and makes my stories “sing,” if you will.

In Finding Esme (Greenwillow,

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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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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick: Let’s Make a Plan: Reminders from Early Childhood Education

By Carol Coven Grannick

I walk into a classroom at the extraordinary early childhood center where I work, and watch a teacher kneeling or sitting at the height of one of her two-year-olds, one hand holding his, eyes meeting eyes.

Noah, I can see you’re having a hard time finding a way to play with Ari. Let’s make a plan for how you can do this.

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Guest Post: Carol Coven Grannick on Does Expecting the Worst Make You a Pessimist? Confessions of a Learned Optimist

By Carol Coven Grannick

The endings of so many wonderful stories – our own and others’ – are different than what protagonists imagine they might be.

And our lives hand us some of the same twists and turns.

As writers and illustrators, there are times we must move through more than the usual vicissitudes.

Something may go terribly wrong and leave us feeling like doors are closing,

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Author Interview: Courtney Stevens on Faith in Lit & Life

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome author Courtney Stevens to discuss her upcoming YA novel, Dress Codes for Small Towns (Harper Teen, August 22, 2017). From the promotional copy:

The year I was seventeen, I had five best friends…and I was in love with all of them for different reasons.


Billie McCaffrey is always starting things.

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Author Interview: Jenn Bishop on Stormy Middle Grade Emotions

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome author Jenn Bishop to talk about her upcoming middle grade novel, 14 Hollow Road (Alfred A. Knopf, June 13, 2017). From the promotional copy:

The night of the sixth-grade dance is supposed to be perfect for Maddie; she’ll wear her beautiful new dress, she’ll hit the dance floor with her friends, and her crush, Avery,

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