New Voices: Evan Griffith & Sajni Patel on Reflecting Strength in Stories

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Above image: downtown Austin from Lady Bird Lake, photo by Ron Rabakukk

Today I’m chatting with two debut Austin authors with very different books, but both feature strong female protagonists who were envisioned by creators dedicated to letting readers see themselves in stories.

Evan Griffith‘s picture book biography Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power,

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Awesome Authors: Erin Dealey on How Her Inner Teacher & Theater Director Inform Her Writing

By Linda Joy Singleton

I’m excited to welcome my dear friend Erin Dealey to Cynsations. I met her at SCBWI and gained valuable writing insight from her when we belonged to the same critique group for a while. Combining her teaching and drama experiences, Erin delights young readers with creatively fun picture books, including Snow Globe Wishes, illustrated by Claire Shorrock (Sleeping Bear Press,

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Author Interview: Karen Cushman on What Sparks Her Inspiration

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we welcome Karen Cushman to Cynsations. She is the author of Newbery Medal winner The Midwife’s Apprentice (Clarion, 1995), the Newbery Honor book Catherine Called Birdy (Clarion, 1994) among many other prize-winning historical fiction novels. Today Karen will talk to us about her newest book, War and Millie McGonigle (Knopf, 2021).

Congratulations on the release of War and Millie McGonigle.

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Author Interview: Ruth Erica on De boom met de bittere bladeren (The Tree with Bitter Leaves)

By Elisabeth Norton

Today I’m pleased to introduce Cynsations readers to Ruth Erica, whose young adult novel De boom met de bittere bladeren (The Tree with Bitter Leaves) has been published in Dutch in the Netherlands and Belgium by Lemniscaat. The novel explores the experience of growing up in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide through the eyes of a teenaged protagonist who was a small child when the events took place.

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Author Interview: Valerie Bolling on the Creative Life & Writing That Moves

By Bree Bender

Cynsations is excited to welcome Valerie Bolling, author of the picture book Let’s Dance!, illustrated by Maine Diaz (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2020) as well as the forthcoming Together We Ride (Chronicle, 2022) and its sequel Together We Swim (Chronicle, 2023). Let’s Dance! depicts various dances from around the world featuring an inclusive cast of illustrated characters.

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Awesome Authors: Patricia Newman on Inspiring & Empowering Young Readers to Protect the Environment

By Linda Joy Singleton

I was sitting next to Patricia Newman in the airport when she got the call notifying her that her book, Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem (Millbrook Press, 2017), had been awarded a Sibert Honor. So exciting! And I’m excited and honored to introduce Cynsations readers to Patricia and her latest book,

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Interview with Linda Sue Park & kiBooka Authors & Illustrators

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we are celebrating Linda Sue Park’s initiative to bring together and highlight Korean American children’s book creators on her kiBooka website. Linda Sue will talk about the site’s inception, and we’ll hear from creators Janet Wong, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Paula Yoo, Aram Kim, Helena Ku Rhee, and Chris Soentpiet about what this site means for them professionally and personally.

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New Visions: Author-Illustrator Isabella Kung Discusses her Journey to Publication

 

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am so pleased to welcome author-illustrator Isabella Kung to discuss her journey to publication and to share her inspiration for her debut picture book No Fuzzball! (Scholastic, 2020).

What first inspired you to illustrate for young readers?

I always loved reading children’s books and the love only grew as I aged.

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Author Interview: Sue Ganz-Schmitt on Vulnerability in Picture Books

By Gail Vannelli

Picture book author Sue Ganz-Schmitt had two new picture book releases last fall, and both contained storylines that embrace differences and fostered inclusion.

In That Monster on the Block, illustrated by Luke Flowers (Two Lions, 2020), which won the 2020 Northern Book Lights Award for Humor, Monster learns that his new neighbor is not a greedy goblin,

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Awesome Authors: JaNay Brown-Wood on Disguised Learning with Books

By Linda Joy Singleton

How does being a college professor and the mother of a young child influence the topics you choose to write about?

I call myself JaNay Brown-Wood, Author & Educator. These titles go hand-in-hand because I feel that I use my books and writing abilities to educate while also using my education to pull inspiration for what I write.

Often, my books have an element of learning to them.

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