New Voices: Alda P. Dobbs & Debbie Zapata Create Books Inspired by Family

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Spotlight image: Debbie Zapata reads Up and Adam, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang (Kids Can Press, 2022) with the assistance of an American Sign Language Interpreter for a group at an Austin park.

Today we welcome two Texas authors to Cynsations to share their path to publication for books inspired by their own families.

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Guest Interview: Liz Garton Scanlon & Carol Kim on Finding the Story You’re Meant to Write

By Liz Garton Scanlon

The Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is particularly vibrant, and among its many offerings is a mentorship program named for Cynthia Leitich Smith!

I have been the program’s mentor twice, most recently working with the wonderful Carol Kim.

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New Voices: Casie Bazay & Ginny Myers Sain on Persistence

By AJ Eversole & Gayleen Rabakukk

We’re happy to welcome two debut Oklahoma YA authors to Cynsations today! Casie Bazay’s novel, Not Our Summer (Running Press Kids) released on May 11, 2021 and is a #1 Oklahoma Bestseller. Ginny Myers Sain‘s novel, Dark and Shallow Lies was published by Razorbill/Penguin on September 7,

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New Voices: Tina Mowrey & Amy Mucha on Pitching Picture Books

By Gayleen Rabakukk and Stephani Martinell Eaton

Image above: Author Amy Mucha with her daughter, declaring their rights.

Today we welcome two picture book authors who used Twitter pitch events to connect with agents and editors to get their debut books published.

Tina Mowrey

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

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Heart & Spirit Author Interview: Eileen Meyer on Persistence

By Carol Coven Grannick

I’m an author and poet and recently retired clinical social worker who loves to explore the writer’s emotional and spiritual journey, and more recently, how that journey intertwines with our characters’ journeys.

I’ve long been particularly interested in the many facets of emotional resilience—the behaviors and beliefs that fuel and flow from it,

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Guest Post: Kate Messner on The Secrets to Writing Lots of Books, Promoting Them, and Still Having a Life

By Kate Messner

I’ll start this post with a confession. I don’t really have any secrets.

The truth is, when my first novel came out in 2009, I made all of the same overeager mistakes other debut writers make when that first book is released–over-promoting and dragging my wonderfully supportive family to book event after book event for an entire season.

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Native Voices: Christine Day on I Can Make This Promise

By Kim Rogers

I had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Day (Upper Skagit) for Cynsations. Her debut middle grade novel, I Can Make This Promise (HarperCollins 2019), was inspired by her own family history and tells the story of twelve-year-old old Edie who discovers her family secrets and finds her own Native American identity.

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Career Achievers: Kelly Starling Lyons on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author

By Traci Sorell

I love books that celebrate multigenerational family gatherings and connections between family members of all ages. Going Down Home With Daddy (Peachtree, 2019) combines rich language by Kelly Starling Lyons and spectacular illustrations by Daniel Minter.

When you sit with the book,

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