Author Interview: Kate Hosford on Poetry & Science in A Songbird Dreams of Singing: Poems About Sleeping Animals

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author Kate Hosford‘s latest book, A Songbird Dreams of Singing: Poems About Sleeping Animals, illustrated by Jennifer M. Potter (Running Press, 2019), explores the sleeping habits of 17 different animals through poetry and exposition. The book piqued my curiosity, and I’m very exited to share a peek at Kate’s process with Cynsations readers.

Poems about sleeping animals are delightfully specific.

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Guest Post: Abigail Hing Wen on Character Development the Brutally Hard Way

By Abigail Hing Wen

After twelve years of writing and hundreds of rejections as I learned to write, I can’t quite believe my first novel is coming out in just eight weeks.

My biggest struggle had always been my characters. I read dozens of character craft books and asked for advice from character gurus like Coe Booth and Sandra Nickel.

Even as a student at Vermont College of Fine Arts,

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Author Interview: Bethany Hegedus on Crafting Picture Book Biographies With Heart

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Bethany Hegedus is an award-winning writer and a tireless champion of encouraging others to push beyond their fear and obstacles. I’m very excited to share Bethany’s insight on tackling tough subjects and writing from the heart with Cynsations readers!

Her newest book, Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou, illustrated by Tonya Engel (Lee &

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Author & Editor Interview: Caroline Starr Rose & Wendy McClure

 

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Books have power. They can make us laugh, cry or keep us up late into the night when we just have to find out what happens. Books can also inspire action or influence other authors, even many years later. In 1873, when Jules Verne published Around the World in 80 Days, it’s unlikely he had even an inkling of the chain reaction his novel would ignite.

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New Voices: Katia Raina & Sofiya Pasternack on the Challenges of Using Personal or Family History in Your Novel

By Robin Galbraith

I had the pleasure of interviewing Katia Raina and Sofiya Pasternack, two authors who each have a 2019 debut novel that takes place in Russia and deals with anti-Semitism. Although Katia wrote a realistic young adult novel and Sofiya wrote a middle grade fantasy, these two debut authors each chose this very specific setting because of their own personal or family history.

Their discussion on how they were each drawn to such a specific setting,

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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,

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