Guest Post: Erik Talkin on Finding the Book You Are Uniquely Qualified to Write

By Erik Talkin

I had been the talented “nearly” man for a while, with a middle-grade that was purchased by a mid-level publisher that promptly decided to get out of the MG market before the book was published.

This was followed by a novel that went to the final stages of acquisition with a major publisher, before the marketing department decided that series were out that week.

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Author Interview: Martha Brockenbrough on Real-Life Inspirations for Stories

By Gail Vannelli

If you love old dogs and small kids, Martha Brockenbrough’s newly published picture book This Old Dog, illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo (Levine Querido, 2020) will capture your attention and your heart as you experience a friendship blooming between “old dog” and “his girl.” The story is remarkably well written, using one-syllable words that children—and dogs—can understand.

A nominee of the 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Awards,

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Awesome Authors: Danna Smith on How Poetry Inspires Picture Books

By Linda Joy Singleton

As a talented author and poet, how does your love of poetry influence your picture books?

Poetry is where I got my start. I have loved words from the moment I meet them and found it was great fun to twist them around and make them sing! I wrote my first poem when I was eight years old and continued to and through adulthood.

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New Voices: Hayley Barrett & Jasmyn Wright on Inspiration & Bringing Their Texts to Life

 

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

We welcome picture book debut authors Hayley Barrett and Jasmyn Wright to Cynsations today! They share their inspiration for their debut books as well as some of the challenges in bringing those stories to life.

Hayley Barrett

What were the best and worst moments of your publishing journey?

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In Memory: Jennifer Lane Wilson

By Suma Subramaniam

Jennifer Lane Wilson—a beloved author, loving mother, and wife—passed away from cancer Oct. 13 in Topeka, Kansas. She was forty-eight.

Obituary: Her family and friends shared their reflections here.

As news of her death broke, Jennifer’s friends shared their reflections: Clelia Gore, Michele Helsel, Jody Jensen Shaffer,

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New Voices and Visions: Larissa & Keith Marantz on Succeeding as an Author & Illustrator Team

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am so pleased to welcome the illustrator/author debut duo Larissa and Keith Marantz. From being inspired by their own children to working as a team, they’ll share their unique path to publication.

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

Keith: Well, we had young readers at home.  Our kids were our inspiration and first audience (and first critics).

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Author-Illustrators Flavia Z. Drago & Nicola Killen on Cultivating Lots of Ideas

 

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we welcome author-illustrators Flavia Z. Drago (whose sketchbook is pictured above) and Nicola Killen, who highlight the importance of having lots of ideas as creators of children’s books. They’ll share the inspirations behind their recent works, Gustavo the Shy Ghost (Candlewick, 2020) and The Little Kitten (Simon & Schuster, 2020), just in time for Day of the Dead and Halloween!

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New Visions: Qing Zhuang Shares Her Motivation to Illustrate Books for Kids

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am happy to welcome debut illustrator Qing Zhuang to Cynsations today to talk about her journey and what motivates her to create books for kids.

What first inspired you to write/illustrate for young readers?

Books were my best friends. Growing up, I had a lot of things I wanted to say but couldn’t do so directly, partially due to language,

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Native Voices: Author & Illustrator Interview: Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade

By Kim Rogers

Today, we’re chatting with Carole Lindstrom (Anishinaabe/Métis) author of We are Water Protectors (Roaring Brook, 2020) and Michaela Goade (Tlingit), who is the book’s illustrator. I met Carole and Michaela at Kweli in New York City in 2018.

Carole is also the author of Girl’s Dance, Boys Fiddle, illustrated by Kimberly McKay,

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Author Interview: Supriya Kelkar on Writing Personal Stories

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m excited to welcome author Supriya Kelkar to Cynsations.

Her debut middle grade historical novel, Ahimsa (Tu Books, 2017) received starred reviews and made the Amelia Bloomer Top Ten list from the American Library Association.

Her picture book, The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, illustrated by Alea Marley (Sterling, 2019), was named to the ALA’s Notable List for 2020 and her newest title,

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