Guest Post: J. Albert Mann on Choosing Fiction Over Nonfiction to Write Margaret Sanger’s Life

By J. Albert Mann

The Choice Between Fiction or Nonfiction

Choosing is what writers do. We choose our subjects, our characters, our point of views. If you write fiction, you are literally responsible for every horrible event which befalls your characters because they’re all your choices.

But there are choices in nonfiction, too—an entire universe of choices…even other universes. One of these choices in writing nonfiction is to crossover into fiction.

Continue Reading Guest Post: J. Albert Mann on Choosing Fiction Over Nonfiction to Write Margaret Sanger’s Life »

Guest Post: Erin Cashman on The Role of Research in Writing Fantasy

Learn more about Erin Cashman

By Erin Cashman

Recently, someone commented to me that writing fantasy must be easy, since I can just make up what I need to fit my plot.

I wish! As Lloyd Alexander said,

“Once committed to his imaginary kingdom, the writer is not a monarch but a subject.” 

To me, world building is both the hardest and the most wonderful part of writing fantasy.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Erin Cashman on The Role of Research in Writing Fantasy »

Author Interview: Eric Gansworth on Give Me Some Truth

Eric Gansworth signing Give Me Some Truth
at 2018 Texas Library Association conference.

By Traci Sorell

Eric Gansworth is the YA author of Give Me Some Truth (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, May 29, 2018). From the promotional copy:

Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. 

Continue Reading Author Interview: Eric Gansworth on Give Me Some Truth »

Guest Post: Lori Mortensen on Writing Story Endings & If Wendell Had a Walrus

By Lori Mortensen

Story beginnings are so important, it’s no wonder they get a lot of attention.

Writers not only have to come up with a fresh idea, they have to nail an opening hook that sets up the main character, grounds the reader in a specific setting, and gets a compelling story problem rolling. It’s a big bite of the story-writing apple.

However,

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Intern Insights: Kate Pentecost on Four Writing Tips from My Boy Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro
(image from The Shape of Water media kit)

by Kate Pentecost 

Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro has been My Boy for a long time, way before his monster romance The Shape of Water took home Best Picture and Best Director at the 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony and was nominated for scores of others.

He’s My Boy in that way that some musicians are Your Boy (or Girl,

Continue Reading Intern Insights: Kate Pentecost on Four Writing Tips from My Boy Guillermo del Toro »

New Voice Interview & Giveaway: Kerri Kokias on Snow Sisters!

By Traci Sorell

In addition to covering publishing news pertaining to Native creators for Cynsations, I am excited to shine a spotlight on fellow Epic Eighteen authors and illustrators, all of whom have a debut picture book coming out in 2018.

One of the first releases from our group is Snow Sisters! by Kerri Kokias, illustrated by Teagan White (Knopf, Continue Reading New Voice Interview & Giveaway: Kerri Kokias on Snow Sisters! »

Author & Editor Interview: Jessica Lee Anderson, Madeline Smoot on Uncertain Summer

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’ve always had a fascination with Bigfoot; the idea that an ape/human creature could be secretly living in the woods both intrigued and terrified me as a child.

So when I got the opportunity to chat with the author and editor of Uncertain Summer by Jessica Lee Anderson (CBAY, 2017), I couldn’t pass it up. First, the promotional copy:

For decades something has lurked in the swampy lakes of East Texas. Continue Reading Author & Editor Interview: Jessica Lee Anderson, Madeline Smoot on Uncertain Summer »

Guest Post: Helena Echlin on How to Write (& Rewrite) a Tale of Suspense

By Helena Echlin

Cynsations Note: 


Happy Halloween! 


Yesterday we heard from Gillian French about techniques for building suspense. 


Today Helena Echlin shares her take on giving your readers goosebumps. 


And if you looking for even more ways to scare your readers,

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Guest Post: Gillian French on Hooking Readers: How to Build Suspense

By Gillian French

Cynsations Note: 


What scares you? Snakes? Spiders? Bigfoot? It’s different for everyone. Likewise, authors use different approaches for building suspense. 


Our Halloween treat for you is a glimpse at techniques from two YA authors for upping the stakes. 


We suspect this is a topic you want to know more about,

Continue Reading Guest Post: Gillian French on Hooking Readers: How to Build Suspense »

Guest Post: Sarah Albee on Brain Training: How Writers Must Learn to Shift Gears

By Sarah Albee

If you write for kids, chances are you are working on several things at the same time.

 Most writers of books for kids don’t have the luxury of working on one project for years and years. We are short-order cooks, juggling multiple tasks at multiple stages.

So how do we shift gears between projects?

To answer this question, I thought I’d start by giving you a tour of what’s on my own highly-organized and tidy desk today:

My laptop,

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