Native Voice: Andrea L. Rogers on Writing about the Trail of Tears

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to debut author Andrea L. Rogers.

I met Andrea at Kweli’s Color of Children’s Literature Conference in New York City in 2018. Andrea is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Her debut middle grade book is Mary and the Trail of Tears: A Cherokee Survival Story (Capstone,

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Guest Post: Author P.J. Hoover on Adapting Mythology for Today’s Young Readers

 

By P.J. Hoover

Hello, and a huge shout out to my mythology fans out there! I’ve loved mythology for ages, so when I started spinning stories of my own, there was only one path to take. Of course I was going to create stories with mythology.

My newest book, Homer’s Excellent Adventure (CBAY, 2020), just came out, and if you can’t tell from the title,

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Guest Post: Michele Weber Hurwitz: Taking a Risk with Narration: Trust Your Instincts

By Michele Weber Hurwitz

When I first read Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins, 2012), I remember being completely amazed.

A brown bear or a pigeon narrating a picture book are one thing, but a gorilla narrating a meaningful middle grade novel? This was something else entirely. Applegate’s brilliance took my breath away. The spare yet powerful writing as well as the non-human voice was absolutely perfect.

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Guest Interview: Adrianna Cuevas on Spooky Stories Inspired by Folklore

By Cory Putman Oakes

Welcome to Day 3 of my Cynsations Spooky Middle Grade Takeover!

Today’s post is an author interview with fellow spooky middle grade writer, Adrianna Cuevas. Adrianna’s debut novel, The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez (FSG), comes out May 12. It’s now available for preorder. I’m so happy she agreed to geek out with me over our mutual love of spooky stories.

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Guest Interview: Illustrator Jane Pica on Drawing Spooky Stories

By Cory Putman Oakes

It’s Day 2 of my Cynsations spooky middle grade takeover!

Today’s post is an interview with Jane Pica, the illustrator for The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street (Amulet, Aug. 18, 2020). She is responsible for the gorgeous cover and the interior illustrations.

This is the first book I’ve ever done that was partially illustrated–having an illustrator on the team was an amazing experience.

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Guest Post: Cory Putman Oakes on Writing Spooky Middle Grade Books

By Cory Putman Oakes

My next book, The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street, is coming out from Abrams/Amulet on Aug. 18 and is now available for preorder. To celebrate, I’m taking over Cynsations this week to talk about spooky middle grade!

Today’s post is on craft. I reflect on where I got the initial idea for the The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street and the long road to actually writing it.

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Heart and Spirit: An Interview with Lisa Jenn Bigelow

By Carol Coven Grannick

As an author, poet, and chronicler—and clinical social worker—my writing tends to explore social-emotional learning (SEL). While I deeply value the STEM and STEAM frameworks (and poetry and stories!) my own commitment and abilities lean toward creating work that handles issues that promote and build on SEL, without which STEM and STEAM learning cannot thrive.

I love exploring writers’ and illustrators’ inner lives—what builds and maintains emotional resilience?

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Career Achievers: Laura Ruby on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Laura Ruby is a successful 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?

My first book—a middle grade ghost story—was sold all the way back in 2001 and was released in 2003,

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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.

What were the challenges (literary, research, psychological, logistical) in bringing I Can Make This Promise to life?

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Guest Post: Padma Venkatraman on Golden Silence, Gilded Words

By Padma Venkatraman

On the flight home after a recent conference, I read Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, 2018). It struck a chord in part because, although I was elated that so many people had read advanced reader copies (ARCs) of my novel The Bridge Home (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2019) and loved it, I also realized I’d been suppressing a sense of hurt as a result of unintentional microaggressions I’d witnessed.

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