Stories are the work of a community, not a creator in isolation. I am struck by this truth every single time I hold my debut picture book, Gitty and Kvetch, illustrated by the phenomenal Ariel Landy (Atheneum, 2021), in my hands. Its pages carry the fingerprints of all the people who have poured into my life and this story.
We’re wrapping up our picture book biography series with two more Austin authors, Gloria Amescua, author of Child Of The Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter Of The Nahua, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams, 2021) and Carol Kim, author of King Sejong Invents an Alphabet,
We are delighted to welcome author and illustrator Azadeh Westergaard to Cynsations today. Azadeh’s debut picture book, A Life Electric, illustrated by Júlia Sardà (Viking, 2021), focuses on the life of Nikola Tesla.
Liz: I like to imagine we’re together in an actual garden – dirt underneath our fingernails and a bunch of seed packets newly emptied into the ground.
Tricia: Oh, yes! Is anything more hopeful than planting a seed? When I was seven or eight, I grew two straight lines of zinnias.
“You’re on fire!”
“You’re killing it!”
Those are the types of comments that came across my social media feed last fall as I posted screenshots of my most recent book deal announcements.
Due to publishing’s funky and unpredictable timing, I had back-to-back announcements two weeks in a row: one for my middle grade nonfiction about the Thai Cave Rescue and another for my new chapter book series,
Liz Garton Scanlon is a successful children’s author with a long, distinguished career.
In children’s-YA writing, 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’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success?
Gayleen and Cynthia at the Austin SCBWI conference
Cynsations is now officially on summer hiatus. We will return in the fall with more inspiration, insights and information on children’s-YA writing, illustration, literature and publishing.