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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Guest Post: Tirzah Price on Retelling Jane Austen with Murderous Intent

By Tirzah Price

The biggest question I’ve received from readers when they hear that I’ve written a murder mystery retelling of Pride and Prejudice is why? I don’t know if they ask this because they think that Austen is somehow sacred, or if the mash up seems so incongruous, but I always think, Why not?

Pride and Premeditation, the first in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries (HarperTeen,

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Author Interview: Eric Gansworth on Apple (Skin to the Core) & Writing Insights

By Kim Rogers

Eric Gansworth (Onondaga) is a visual artist and a professor and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College. (Photo credit on image above: Larry Plant.)

Eric’s young adult novel-in-verse Apple (Skin to the Core) (Levine Querido, 2020) has won many awards and accolades, including TIME’s 10 Best YA and Children’s Books of 2020, NPR’s Best Books of 2020,

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Guest Post: Kelly Jensen Discusses How Much-Needed Anthologies Fill Gaps in Youth Literature

By Kelly Jensen

It was mid-2014 when I got a rush of frantic messages on Twitter from a number of authors telling me to be in touch with Elise Howard at Algonquin Young Readers (AYR). She really wanted to talk with me.

One talk quickly led to a group call with Krestyna Lypen, editor at AYR, and in January 2015, I sold my first in a trio of nonfiction anthologies to Krestyna and Elise.

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Native Voice: Gary Robinson on Standing Strong & Writing About Native Social Issues & History

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m happy to chat with award-winning Choctaw and Cherokee author Gary Robinson. He is also a film maker and digital artist. His young adult book Standing Strong (7th Generation Books, 2019) is part of the Pathfinder series and won the 2019 Moonbeam Children’s Book Gold Award. Congrats on all your accomplishments and accolades, Gary!

From the promotional copy:

“Like some other Native American teens on Montana reservations,

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New Voices: K.T. Mather & Cameron Kelly Rosenblum on Hearing Your Character’s Voice

By Gayleen Rabakukk, photo above Cameron Kelly Rosenblum, flanked by her Writers House co-agents Bri Johnston and Allie Levick and foreign rights agents Aless Birch and Cecilia de la Campa.

K.T. Mather

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

So my character, Elaine, ends up writing a book-within-the-book…and she hits a point where she’s really struggling and says to her friend,

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Career Achievers: Alex Sanchez on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Alex Sanchez is a successful tween-YA author with a long, distinguished career.

In children’s-YA writing, maintaining an active publishing career is arguably an even bigger challenge than breaking into the field.

Reflecting on your personal journey (creatively, career-wise, and your writer-artist’s heart), what bumps did you encounter and how have you managed to defy the odds to achieve continued success?

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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: P.J. Hoover on Writing (& Publishing) the Stories You Love

 

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author P.J. Hoover‘s latest book, The Hidden Code (CBAY Books, 2019), is a fast-paced adventure thriller. From the promotional copy:

Eleven years ago, Hannah Hawkins’ parents disappeared while traveling abroad. Presumed dead, Hannah and her uncle are shocked when a letter from her mom arrives right after Hannah’s sixteenth birthday.

By piecing together cryptic hints from the note and other clues left behind,

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Author Interview: Nikki Grimes on The Power of Words

By Traci Sorell

Memoir is one of my favorite genres to read. When Nikki Grimes shared some poems from hers last summer, I knew I must read Ordinary Hazards (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2019), the entire book.

Written in verse, her words captivated me much as the act of writing did her at an early age. The acclaim she’s already received in starred reviews and from fellow powerhouse creators speaks to the truth telling found within its pages.

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