New Voices: Jacquetta Nammar Feldman & Sean Petrie: From Poetry to MG Novels

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m thrilled to welcome two Austin/VCFA authors with debut middle grade novels. I met Jacquetta Nammar Feldman at an intensive at The Writing Barn, and Sean Petrie and I were Vermont College of Fine Arts students at the same time. It’s very exciting when passages you’ve read in a workshop become a published book!

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Author Interview: Jennifer Ziegler on Word Play and Developing Characters

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Austin author and friend Jennifer Ziegler to the Cynsations blog for a chat about writing and teaching. Her latest middle grade novel, Worser (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, 2022) has received several starred reviews and lots of positive buzz.

Tell us about your new release,

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New Voices: Alison Green Myers & Meera Trehan Explore Different Ways Of Seeing The World

By Elisabeth Norton

Spotlight image: Alison Green Myers with her son and dog exploring the setting from A Bird Will Soar.

I’m so happy to introduce Cynsations readers to two debut authors, Alison Green Myers and Meera Trehan.

Alison and Meera, thank you for joining us today.

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Native Voice: Brian Young on Writing Healer of the Water Monster

By Kim Rogers

Today, we’re chatting with Navajo author Brian Young. Brian is a film maker and personal trainer. His debut middle grade novel is Healer of the Water Monster (Heartdrum, 2021). From the promotional copy:

“When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation,

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Guest Interview: Kathi Appelt & Cynthia Leitich Smith on Rebirth in the Neversea

By Kathi Appelt

This interview includes plot spoilers for Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Heartdrum, June 1, 2021). You may want to bookmark and return to it after reading the story.

Cover art by Floyd Cooper (Muscogee); from the promotional copy:

Lily and Wendy have been best friends since they became stepsisters.

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Author Interview: Joy Jones Jumps in to Share Stories

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m always inspired by authors who balance writing with running organizations that promote literacy, and I’m thrilled to introduce Cynsations readers to Joy Jones, author, non-profit director and double Dutch jumper!

Congratulations on Jayla Jumps in! The story has a lot of interesting layers. What was your initial inspiration for writing it?

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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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