Writing Across Formats: Author Interview Round-up

The Writing Across Formats interview series features conversations with well established children’s-YA authors about creating a range of books–why they do so, what it’s taught them, and the pressures of author branding.

Click link from author name for more information about that contributor. Click link from “see WAF interview” to read more of their thoughts.

What first inspired you to write across forms in children’s-YA literature?

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Writing Across Formats: Julia Durango

Learn about Julia Durango.

What first inspired you to write across forms in children’s-YA literature?

When I first started writing for children, I wanted to write a historical fiction novel; but with two little boys underfoot, my progress on the novel was very slow.

At the same time, I was reading and enjoying dozens of picture books with my sons. Soon I found myself with several picture book ideas of my own,

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Writing Across Formats: Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

Learn about Carmen T. Bernier-Grand.

What first inspired you to write across forms in children’s-YA literature?

My editor at Marshall Cavendish asked me to write César: ¡Sí se puede! Yes, We Can! illustrated by David Diaz (2006) with a special voice.

The words started coming to me in the form of free verse. Strange, because I never considered myself a poet before that.

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Writing Across Formats: Michelle Knudsen

Michelle Knudsen is the author of 40 books for children. Her best-known title is Library Lion, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Candlewick, 2006), which was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into several languages. Her latest book is a middle-grade fantasy novel called The Dragon of Trelian (Candlewick, 2009, paperback Jan. 2011)(sample chapter).

Formerly a full-time children’s book editor,

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Writing Across Formats: Sherry Garland

Learn about Sherry Garland.

What first inspired you to write across formats in children’s/YA literature?

It was my red-headed Scotsman frugal nature. I’m a waste-not/want not kind of person, so after doing three years of research for a non-fiction fifth grade book about Vietnam, I had accumulated lots of information that I didn’t want to “throw away.”

Since I am a fiction writer first and foremost,

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Writing Across Formats: Tanya Lee Stone

Learn about Tanya Lee Stone.

What first inspired you to write across forms in children’s-YA literature?

Since I didn’t set out to write across forms in a deliberate way, I’m not sure there was any one moment of inspiration linked to that outcome. However, I do recall having a moment in which I gave myself permission to switch gears.

My career began as an editor of children’s nonfiction,

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Writing Across Formats: Nancy Garden

Learn about Nancy Garden.

What first inspired you to write across forms in children’s-YA literature?

I’m not sure anything in particular did. I think the ideas came first, and they dictated the form and the age level.

I don’t think I ever sat down and said, “Now I’m going to write a mystery,” for example, or “Now I’m going to write a nonfiction book–what shall it be about?”

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Writing Across Formats: Shutta Crum

Learn about Shutta Crum.

What first inspired you to write across forms in children’s-YA literature?

Well, I’ve always loved children’s literature at all levels. However, here is the story of how I specifically came to writing one idea three ways.

Like many writers, poetry was my first love–as far as the written word is concerned. I’d had a number of my poems for adults published in literary journals and taught creative writing at the local community college.

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Writing Across Formats: Joseph Bruchac

Learn about Joseph Bruchac

What first inspired you to write across forms in children’s-YA literature?

Writing across forms seems to be something that comes naturally to me.

I started off as a poet, but when I had children of my own that led me into storytelling and then telling them stories. Which led to my first children’s books that were collections of my retellings of traditional tales.

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Writing Across Formats: Kimberly Willis Holt

Learn about Kimberly Willis Holt.

What first inspired you to write across forms in children’s-YA literature?

Writing for different age groups wasn’t a calculated decision. It just happened. I never thought I’d write a picture book or a series for young readers.

When I created a scrapbook filled with the moments waiting for my nephew to be born, I started to think about how they might also be an interesting subject to explore.

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