Guest Post: Nora Shalaway Carpenter & Challenging the Rural Stereotype

By Nora Shalaway Carpenter

Recently I chatted with Nasugraq Rainey Hopson, Tirzah Price, Rob Costello, and Monica Roe, four of Rural Voices’ (Candlewick, 2020) talented contributors. Here’s what they said about rural stories, stereotypes, and the representation of rural life in literature.

What do you hope readers take away from Rural Voices?

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New Voices: Adiba Jaigirdar & Kim Johnson on Their Journeys to Publication

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today Cynsations celebrates the debuts of YA authors Adiba Jaigirdar and Kim Johnson. They discuss their journey to publication—the inspiration, the challenges, and the accomplishments. Both authors drew from their own experiences and identities to create their compelling stories.

Adiba Jaigirdar

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

I was really inspired to write The Henna Wars (Page Street,

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New Voices: Francesca Flores & June Hur Share Inspiration & Advice

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Welcome to YA debut authors Francesca Flores and June Hur! Today they will share their journeys to publication. I found inspiration in how each came to her subject and crafted her protagonist.

Francesca Flores

Please describe your pre-publication craft apprenticeship. How did you take your writing from a beginner level to publishable?

I got a lot of practice with drafting,

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New Voices: Nicole Kronzer & Suzanne Park on How Improv & Stand-Up Comedy Influenced Their YA Debuts

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

And now, let’s welcome Nicole Kronzer and Suzanne Park to our stage Cynsations! These YA debut authors do have a background on the stage. Nicole is a former actor and improvisor, and Suzanne was a stand-up comedian.

Both share the influence these former pursuits have had on their work as writers.

Nicole Kronzer

Please describe your pre-publication craft apprenticeship.

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New Voices: Isabel Ibañez & Phil Stamper on The Journey to Publication

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am delighted to introduce two YA debut authors to our Cynsations readers today.

Isabel Ibañez is the author of Woven in Moonlight (Page Street Kids, 2020), a fantasy drawn from Bolivian politics. Phil Stamper is the author of The Gravity of Us (Bloomsbury YA, 2020), a contemporary queer romance inspired by the lives of NASA families.

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Guest Post: Nora Shalaway Carpenter & Rocky Callen Talk Mental Health Themes in YA Literature

By Nora Shalaway Carpenter and Rocky Callen

Cynsational Note: Today we are honored to welcome two YA debut authors, Nora Shalaway Carpenter and Rocky Callen, who talk about the importance and representation of mental health issues in YA literature, specifically their novels.

Nora: Hi, Rocky! I’m so excited to chat with you about our books.

Rocky: I’m excited, too! Who knew that when we met at VCFA during my first residency that we’d be debuting together just a few short years later!

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New Voices: Adalyn Grace & Rabiah York Lumbard on Character, Career & Connection

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am pleased to introduce YA debut authors Adalyn Grace and Rabiah York Lumard to our Cynsations readers. Both of these authors talk about the importance that their main characters’ identities bring to their work, their transitions to writing as a career, as well as connection to community.

Adalyn Grace

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

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New Voices: EM Castellan & Betty Culley on How “Place” Inspired Their Fiction

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

In her essay, “Place in Fiction,” Eudora Welty writes, “The truth is, fiction depends for its life on place. Location is the crossroads of circumstances….”

Today, I am pleased to welcome two debut YA authors for whom place stirred their creativity.

EM Castellan is the author of In the Shadow Of The Sun (Feiwel &

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New Voices: YA Authors Kat Cho and Olivia Hinebaugh

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today we welcome debut YA authors Kat Cho, author of Wicked Fox (Penguin Teen, 2019) and Olivia Hinebaugh, author of The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me (SwoonReads, 2019).

They discuss their paths to publication and emphasize the importance of reading to their writing apprenticeship.

Kat Cho

In terms of publishing,

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New Voices: Nikki Barthelmess & Laura Sibson on Using Memories to Create Authentic Fiction

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Both Nikki Barhtelmess, author of The Quiet You Carry (Flux, 2019) and Laura Sibson, author of The Art of Breaking Things (Viking, 2019), revisited personal memories to write authentic stories of teens.

Nikki Barthelmess

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

Growing up in an abusive family,

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