Created with Sketch.
Middle Grade Ninja
91 minutes | 3 days ago
115 Author David LaRochelle And Illustrator Mike Wohnoutka
David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka join me to discuss their collaboration from its start to how it remains successful, and their newest picture book, SEE THE CAT. We discuss the very different paths they took to publication, the difference in a writer’s workday versus an illustrator’s workday, the difference winning an award makes, school visits, professional pumpkin carving, a contest-winning supermarket run, and so much more. David LaRochelle has been creating books for young people for over twenty-five years. His many picture book titles include The Best Pet of All, How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans, and Moo! He is the recipient of the Sid Fleischman Humor Award, multiple children’s choice awards, and a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award. A former elementary school teacher, David still visits many classrooms around the Midwest (and world!) each year, talking with students about books, writing, and illustrating. When he is not creating new books, he loves to read, play board games, and carve unique jack-o’-lanterns, which you can view at his website davidlarochelle.com. Ever since Mike can remember he knew he wanted to be an artist. His dad, who worked at the Highway Department, would bring home reams of paper that had highway plans on one side and were blank on the other. He would be so excited to have all that paper to draw on and would fill each sheet with snowmobiles, baseball players, superheroes—everything he was interested in. His high school art teacher, Mr. Chase encouraged Mike to pursue art as a career. This, along with a scholarship, led him to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. Since graduating with a B.F.A. in Illustration, Mike has illustrated over 30 books for children. He has worked with various clients including Bloomsbury Publishing, Candlewick Press, Henry Holt, Clarion Books, Disney-Hyperion Books, Holiday House, Scholastic Books, Penguin-Random House, Cricket Magazine Group, General Mills, 3M, Medtronic, and Peaceable Kingdom Press. A native of Spicer, Minnesota, Mike currently lives with his family in Minneapolis.
89 minutes | 10 days ago
114 Literary Agent Holly McGhee
Holly McGhee and I talk about her childhood in the country and how she went from selling corn out of a pickup truck to founding Pippin Properties Inc, an agency that has profoundly shaped the face of modern children’s literature. We chat about her relationship with author Kate DiCamillo both as a client and as a friend, and how it led to the creation of Holly McGhee’s new picture book, WHAT THE WORLD COULD MAKE. We also discuss ghosts, discovering hints of the mystery of the universe, a bird’s eye view of a literary agency, writing for art rather than money, the importance of focusing on your next book, the qualities of a successful author, and so much more. Holly McGhee still carried MADELINE around in 3rd grade — until Mrs. Carrier, her school librarian, tricked her into reading longer books by giving her one with her name on it, HOLLY IN THE SNOW. After college, Holly headed straight into the book world of New York City, where she has enjoyed being a secretary, an advertising manager, a sales rep (for one month), and in the six years prior to opening the doors at Pippin, an executive editor at HarperCollins. Now, as the President and Creative Director of Pippin she is dedicated to shepherding books that make a difference into the world. Someone once told her, “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” and that has proven true for her.
96 minutes | 17 days ago
113 Author Luke Cunningham
Luke Cunningham and I push the boundaries of what is an appropriate podcast conversation to promote a middle grade novel such as his debut, LEO, INVENTOR EXTRAORDINAIRE. We discuss his time writing for THE TONIGHT SHOW, Pomodoro sessions, our dream pedestal arcades, working with Harper Collins Christian, the problem with rich people, writing political jokes on the fly, Pica’s Restaurant of Upper Darby, the time I got fired from a Subway sandwich shop, the time I met Jared Fogel, Leonardo da Vinci, Assassin’s Creed II, Bob Lazar, simulation theory, and so much more. Luke X. Cunningham is an Emmy-nominated writer from Philadelphia. Previously, he spent three years as a writer for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He developed a passion for the Renaissance while earning a history degree from Brown University. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, with his wife and their son, Finn. LEO: Inventor Extraordinaire is his first novel. Luke’s list of games for a 4 person pedestal that I fully endorse: WWF Wrestlefest, NFL Blitz ‘99, Tecmo Bowl, Street Fighter series, Mortal Kombat 1-5, Golden Axe series, Marvel Vs Capcom series, NBA Jam series, Kung Fu, Punch Out, X-Men: Children Of The Atom, X-Men, beat em up, Final Fight, Gauntlet series, Tekken series, Soul Edge, Soul Calibur, TMNT, The Simpsons, Double Dragon series, Contra, Dig Dug, Commando, Choplifter, Spy Hunter , Rampage, Donkey Kong series, Pac Man series, Paperboy
107 minutes | 24 days ago
112 Literary Agent Saba Sulaiman And Author Kyle Lukoff
Author Kyle Lukoff tells the story of how he persisted in publishing and finally landed his dream agent, Saba Sulaiman, who joins him on the podcast to tell how she landed her dream client. We discuss how they revised Kyle’s newest, TOO BRIGHT TO SEE, how they submitted it to editors, sold it at auction, and are now promoting it as well as selling Kyle’s future novels. We also chat about writing trans characters, the controversy surrounding Kyle’s books about them, being cautious when staying in haunted houses, the terrible truth about Roald Dahl’s THE WITCHES, and so much more. Saba Sulaiman is an agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services, a boutique agency located in Milford, CT. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MA from the University of Chicago, where she studied modern Persian literature. In children’s fiction, she is building her Picture Book, Middle Grade and Young Adult lists, and is particularly (although not exclusively) interested in contemporary realistic stories. Being an immigrant who is constantly negotiating her own identity and sense of belonging in a place she now calls “home,” she is committed to highlighting more diverse voices with compelling stories to tell; stories that demonstrate the true range of perspectives that exist in this world, and address urgent and often underexplored issues in both fiction and non-fiction with veracity and heart. Follow her on Twitter @agentsaba and learn more about her at sabasulaiman.com Kyle Lukoff writes books for kids and other people. Right now you can pre-order his debut middle grade novel TOO BRIGHT TO SEE, due out 4/20/2021! Books you can read today include A STORYTELLING OF RAVENS, WHEN AIDAN BECAME A BROTHER (which won the 2020 Stonewall Award!), the MAX AND FRIENDS series, and EXPLOSION AT THE POEM FACTORY. Kyle spent eight years as an elementary school librarian, but now he writes full time, assists in sensitivity readings and consultations, and presents on children’s and youth literature all across the country. He got hired at a bookstore when he was sixteen, which means he’s been working at the intersection of books and people for well over half his life. Kyle is represented by Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch. Find him on Twitter at @Shekels_Library and Facebook at fb.me/kylelukoffwrites.
68 minutes | a month ago
111 Author Carole Boston Weatherford
Carole Boston Weatherford and I discuss poetry, history, and race in her newest picture books BOX: HENRY BROWN MAILS HIMSELF TO FREEDOM and UNSPEAKABLE: THE TULSA RACE MASSACRE. We talk about discussing difficult history for children, how to tailor-make books for Critical Reading elementary school students, what it means to be called to poetry by The Creator, calling out Jinx the Pokémon, a spirit story, race memory, writing with agency, and so much more. Carole Boston Weatherford grew up in an all-black neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. An only child until the age of 10, she has fond memories of riding bikes, drawing and writing, and singing and tap dancing to her dad's collection of jazz records. In the first grade, Carole recited her first poem. Throughout elementary and middle school, her artistic and literary talents were recognized and encouraged by her teachers. Carole continued writing through high school and into college, but it was only when one of her poems was published in a city magazine that she seriously considered becoming an author. For 20 years, Carole Boston Weatherford worked for the National Bar Association in Washington, DC and North Carolina. After becoming a mother, she enrolled in a master's level creative writing program at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Although she entered the program writing poetry for adults, she graduated wanting to write historical fiction and poetry for children. Weatherford's first children's book, Juneteenth Jamboree, was published in 1995. Since then she has authored more than two dozen children's books. Weatherford says that persistence is one of the keys to her success. "I had manuscripts that had been rejected 20 times before finding a home with a publisher," she recalls. "But I keep going and I believe in what I write about." Weatherford creates the kind of books that weren't available to her as a child: ones that feature African-American protagonists. In the late 1990s Weatherford began teaching college courses in composition, creative writing, and children's and adolescent literature. Today Carole Boston Weatherford is an associate professor at Fayetteville State University. She and her husband live in High Point, North Carolina.
87 minutes | a month ago
110 Editor Sara - Jayne Slack And Author Dorothy A. Winsor
Six months after our first conversation in episode 78, editor Sara-Jayne Slack and author Dorothy A. Winsor discuss Inspired Quill’s 10th anniversary and their latest release in the Tales of Rinland series, THE TRICKSTER. We chat about life during the pandemic, the advantages of in-person events vs online book promotion, the dos and don’ts of talking about publishing in an open forum, choosing an ideal cover for a story, ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE (that one’s mostly just me), and so much more. Sara-Jayne is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, SEO nerd and lover of all things stationery-related. She works as an SEO Project Manager by day, and manages the not-for-profit publishing house Inspired Quill by night. Sara can regularly be found discussing inbound marketing, skills development, and non-tokenistic diversity in publishing, but strives to listen at least as much as she talks. She’s also scarily comfortable talking about herself in third person, and believes that ‘To Do’ lists breed when you’re not looking. Dorothy A. Winsor writes young adult and middle grade fantasy. Her novels include Finders Keepers (Zharmae, 2015), Deep as a Tomb (Loose Leave Publishing, 2016), The Wind Reader (Inspired Quill, 2018), and The Wysman (June, 2020). At one time, Winsor taught technical writing at Iowa State University and GMI Engineering and Management Institute (now Kettering). She then discovered that writing fiction is much more fun and has never looked back. She lives in Chicagoland.
101 minutes | a month ago
109 Author Carrie Seim
Carrie Seim and I discuss her newest novel, HORSE GIRL, as well as her bestselling audiobook, THE FLYING FLAMINGO SISTERS, and her performance of both. We talk about her time as a writer for Nickelodeon and a performer on INSIDE AMY SCHUMER, her audition for Saturday Night Live, how she combined her training in improvisational comedy with The Groundlings and her freelance writing career to become an ardent plotter of stories for children, an amazing tale of Area 51, the importance of deadlines, a caterpillar that might be the key to everything, and so much more. Carrie is the creator of The Flying Flamingo Sisters, the best-selling Audible series, hailed by The New York Times as a Best Audiobook for Road Trips with Kids. She is also author of HORSE GIRL, her new comedic novel for Penguin Random House. Carrie has served as a staff writer for several Nickelodeon comedy variety shows, while her essays on awkwardness are featured in the book Mortified: Life is a Battlefield. As a journalist and essayist, she has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, McSweeney's, Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler and NPR's UnFictional. An alum of Northwestern University and The Groundlings comedy theatre, Carrie has appeared Inside Amy Schumer. Dang it, *on* Inside Amy Schumer. You can hear her voice narrating audio books, animated series and commercials (where she's played everything from an evil robot to a sassy pickle). She has also appeared on E! TV, the Today Show and performed her own sketch show, Midwestern Wisdom, at the Comedy Central Stage. Her original animated web series Bad Moms in Movie History was featured on HGTV's uLive.
56 minutes | 2 months ago
108 Author Esabella Strickland
Esabella Strickland is an award-winning actress, screenwriter, filmmaker, and social media influencer who’s just published her first novel, THEN AND THERE, HERE AND WHERE. And she’s 15 years old. We discuss her time as a Variety BC Youth Ambassador speaking about her anxiety, ADHD, and dyslexia, as well as her jeans pocket art. She explains how she charges toward her fears, strives to lift as she rises, and writes about young adult characters as a young adult. Described as a "Renaissance Girl" for her multitude of talent. 15-year-old Esabella Anna Karena Strickland is a Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker, Award-Winning Writer, Award-Winning Actress, Award-Winning Media Host, Artist, and GenZ Influencer based out of Vancouver, BC. She is a young, raw talent who is a learning disability advocate and empowering figure against bullying through the arts. Esabella starred in local indie short film's Enlightenment, Things You Take, and Arthurs Gift. She also co-wrote, co-directed and starred in the Short Film My Red Ball and The Notebook through the Young Movie Makers Program. My Red Ball handles themes of bullying, written through Esabella's own life experience, it has gone to appear in 60 International Film Festivals, winning at 10 of them. Esabella has also made appearances on local productions of Travelers, Goodboys, and Series of Unfortunate Events. Esabella is also the youngest member and supporter of Women In TV and FIlm Vancouver. Esabella is also an Award-Winning Filmmaker and Writer for her feature film screen adaptation of her Novel Then and There, Here and Where which has won at several film festivals for Best Script. She was also behind the camera for A Conversation with E which was made through the CineLab Filmmaking Camp this summer. A Conversation with E is already an official selection of the 2021 Cannes Short Film Festival and has won at several film festivals. This lead to her writing and producing her first Independent film called A Dialogue with Pandora this fall with the support of Actor Paul Greene. Esabella recently joined Graisland Entertainment as a GenZ Script Consultant and is collaborating with Producer and Screenwriter Michael Grais on the next generation of Horror Films. Esabella had the honour of co-hosting the 53rd and 54th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon as their Youth Ambassador and was recently invited back to host the 55th Telethon in 2021. Esabella was also an EveRiathing red carpet host to support the 2019 Joey awards. Esabella was the ambassador and host for Geektopia 2019 to help raise money for the Amanda Todd Legacy. Esabella is also the ambassador and virtual host for the 2020 Meowfest to help raise money for the Langley Animal Protection Society, and Regional Animal Protection Society. Esabella was invited to the 2019 Adobe Summit as an Adobe insider and speaker. She was the young influencer to attend the Las Vegas event and was in the top 10 in Social Media Engagement during the week of the Summit. Many were impressed by her empathy, compassion and insight of a Genz'r Esabella has finished co-writing her first Young Adult Novel. Then and There, Here and Where, which will be published March 2nd, 2021. The main character of the book; Orabella has a learning disability while learning to become a heroine. Esabella's goal is to have girls feel connected and empowered by Orabella. As an artist, she is a painter, drawer and a jean pocket painter for celebrities and special orders of which 10% of sales go towards local charities Esabella has worked hard to train herself with techniques she uses to deal with both her anxiety, Adhd, and dyslexia, Through this process she's discovered what she calls her two superpowers, memorizing and a higher level of sensitivity towards others, including the characters she plays, She has also trained herself with mindfulness and grounding techniques to cope with her anxiety - something she hopes to pass onto those who she works with.
83 minutes | 2 months ago
107 Author Nick Goss
Nick Goss and I discuss self publishing, home schooling, his bought with Covid-19, writing secular stories as a Christian, the pros and cons of social media, the importance of organizing a writing schedule, producing output that meets your personal standard, stories that are premium Nintendo good, a tale of the supernatural, and so much more. And, bonus, if you stick around to the end, I reveal a few behind-the-scenes tidbits about the podcast. NICK GOSS has been a piano teacher, sailboat builder, private investigator, barista, and salesman. He has a collection of more books than he could possibly read in his lifetime and lives with his head firmly stuck in the clouds. He resides in Nashville with his wife, two kids, and their labradoodle, Shelby. His host of eccentric hobbies include woodworking, sailing, fencing, ping pong, hammocking, and playing the penny whistle. Can you imagine what his neighbors must think? Yeah. You guessed it: he was homeschooled. The Traveler’s League Book Series was born when he strayed from the normal bedtime routine of reading, and instead created new worlds full of funny characters, action, magic, and adventure. Since then, he has committed himself to entertaining children through writing books that make kids feel the magic of adventure and friendship. All the books in the series are available on Amazon.
102 minutes | 2 months ago
106 Author Lisa Fipps
My friend Lisa Fipps and I discuss “fat girl rules,” intrinsic self worth, overcoming bullying, and writing a story in free-verse poetry. Her debut novel, STAR FISH, releases this week with starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, me, and many others. You don’t want to miss this book. Lisa and I also chat about her day job handling the marketing for a library and how that helps her market her book, her time as a reporter, her jar of positive affirmations, how she met her literary agent, the importance of networking and cultivating a writing family, a heartwarming ghost story, and so much more. Lisa Fipps is a graduate of Ball State University, award-winning former journalist, current director of marketing for a public library (where she won the Sara Laughlin marketing award), and an author of middle-grade books. Starfish is her debut novel. She’s working on her next novel and several others. She currently lives in Indiana and lived in Texas.
60 minutes | 2 months ago
105 Author Mike Johnston
Mike Johnston and I discuss his new middle grade series, CONFESSIONS OF A DORK LORD, and the stylistic differences between his fantasy writing for adults under the super-secret penname, Michael Johnston. Also, medieval toilets. We chat about working with his illustrator, how experience as a dungeon master in Dungeons and Dragons helps with world building in fantasy, how actual architecture is surprisingly not like plotting a novel at all, collaborating with his wife, author Melissa de la Cruz, and so much more. Michael Johnston was born in 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child and a teen he was an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. He studied architecture and ancient history at Lehigh University and during a lecture on the history of ancient Egypt, the seed of an idea was born. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University, graduating at the top of his class. Michael worked as an architect in New York City before moving to Los Angeles. Sparked by the change of locale, a visit to the desert, and his growing dissatisfaction with the architectural industry, he sought a way to merge his interests in architecture and history with his love of fantasy. By day he worked as an architect, but by night he wrote and researched an epic fantasy novel inspired by the history of ancient Egypt and the tragic story of King Lear. After working this way for several years, he shut down his successful architecture practice and resolved to write full time. He now lives and writes in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can find Michael on twitter @mjohnstonauthor
79 minutes | 3 months ago
104 Author Donna Galanti
Donna Galanti and I discuss how she started her writing career at age 40 and exploded into it with discipline and passion. She shares what she’s learned about being productive and prolific while successfully managing social media. Also, a ghost story. We discuss her newest novel, UNICORN ISLAND, her time in the Navy, how she left her literary agent for a better fit, and a full 10-step course for writing scary stories for children. Donna Galanti decided she was a grown up for far too long. She luckily gave that up to write children’s books. Donna Galanti is the author of the middle grade adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road, which the Midwest Book Review called, “A heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish”. She’s also the author of the follow up, Joshua and the Arrow Realm, and writes the popular Unicorn Island series for Epic!, the leading digital platform for kids 12 and under (hardcover, February 2021, Andrews McMeel). Donna is a writing contest judge at nycmidnight.com, a member of From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors blog, and regularly presents as a guest author at schools. She also teaches writers on marketing and craft at writing conferences and through her online courses. When she’s not writing you can find her on Twitter or Facebook where she loves to share all things about outdoor adventures and children’s books. Donna has lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer where she served with Fleet Intelligence Pacific, and has had a long career in corporate marketing. Visit her at donnagalanti.com. She is represented by Liza Fleissig with the Liza Royce Agency in NYC.
76 minutes | 3 months ago
103 Authors Rucker Moses And Theo Gangi
Theo Gangi and Rucker Moses, the pen name for authors Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr., discuss their collaboration for their novel, KINGSTON AND THE MAGICIAN’S LOST AND FOUND. We talk about their writing for television, subverting the author ego, increasing suspense with a ticking clock, planning a series one book at a time, ghosts and flying saucers, why you should hold your baseball bat like an egg, how to distill one narrative voice from three authors, book marketing during a pandemic, and so much more. Rucker Moses is the pen name of Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr. They both hail from Atlanta and started telling stories together at the University of Georgia. Together, they've been nominated for three Emmys for writing in a children's program and have written for TV shows based on books by R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike. They also make virtual reality experiences and own a production company named SunnyBoy Entertainment. In no particular order, their favorite things to write about are ninjas, magic, space, and abandoned amusement parks. When not doing all that, they are hanging with their wonderful families at home in Los Angeles. Theo Gangi is the author of A New Day in America and the breakout crime thriller Bang Bang. His stories have been anthologized in First Thrills, edited by Lee Child, The Greensboro Review, The Columbia Spectator and the Kratz Sampler. His articles and reviews have appeared in Buzzfeed.com, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mystery Scene Magazine, Inked Magazine and Crimespree Magazine. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of the Arts, he has taught writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is the Director of the Writing Program at St. Francis College and lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
79 minutes | 3 months ago
102 Author Caroline Gertler
Author and former children’s book editor Caroline Gertler and I discuss her debut novel, MANY POINTS OF ME. We also chat about her studies of art history, her time working for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, how she chose her literary agent, how she made the mental transition from editor to author, how she writes intuitively for children while gaining character insights from children, her distinct prose style, and so much more more. Caroline Gertler is the author of the middle grade novel MANY POINTS OF ME (Greenwillow/HC, January 2021). A former children’s book editor, Caroline has an MA in art history, and gives tours of Old Master paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Caroline grew up in New York City and lives on the Upper West Side with her husband, two daughters, and dog, Dash—which happens to be one of her favorite forms of punctuation! https://www.carolinegertler.com/
65 minutes | 3 months ago
101 Author Christina Li
Christina Li and I discuss how she began writing seriously at age 12, secured a literary agent before graduating high school, and is celebrating the publication of her debut novel, CLUES TO THE UNIVERSE, before graduating college. We also talk about researching the eighties, an author’s responsibility when writing about grief for younger readers, how joy is an act of resistance, social economics as a way of understanding people and fictional characters, the importance of Asian stories not being a monolith, and so much more. Christina Li is a student studying Economics at Stanford University. When she is not puzzling over her stats problem set, she is daydreaming about characters and drinking too much jasmine green tea. She grew up in the Midwest but now calls California home. You can find her online at christinaliwrites.com. Clues to the Universe is her debut novel.
381 minutes | 4 months ago
3rd MGN Clip Show
It’s the third ever, ridiculously long mega-sized Middle Grade Ninja clips show, featuring snippets from episodes 60 through 100. New episodes are scheduled to return January 30th. Until then, enjoy this compilation of clips and from conversations with AUTHORS Catherine Linka, Barbara Shoup, Kaela Noel, Sayantani DasGupta, Avi, Anna Meriano, Anne Bustard, Rob Harrell, Joy McCullough, Mitali Perkins, Carlie Sorosiak, Claire Swinarski, Josh Berk, Saundra Mitchell, Hugh Howey, Anne Nesbet, Tracy Wolff, Dorothy A. Winsor, Lillie Evans, Tony Perona, C.L. Shore, Janet E. Williams, Paula Chase, Preeti Chhibber, Annie Sullivan, MarcyKate Connolly, Laura Stegman, Daniel Kraus, Patrick Huellery, Margi Preus, Hayley Chewins, Marcella Pixley, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Victoria Bond, John Gallagher, Hena Kahn, Melissa de la Cruz, G. Neri, LITERARY AGENTS Kristy Hunter, Kiana Nguyen, Jim McCarthy, EDITORS Sarah LaPolla, Sara-Jayne Slack, Mari Kesselring, Elizabeth Law, Cheryl Klein, and PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERT Sarah Miniaci
107 minutes | 5 months ago
100 Editor Cheryl Klein
Cheryl Klein and I talk about writing and publishing and everything good in this 100th episode extravaganza. She shares her journey from growing up in a small Missouri town to becoming the continuity editor for the last three HARRY POTTER novels and the enormity of that experience. We discuss her newest book, A YEAR OF EVERYDAY WONDERS, and her advice for structuring picture books and trusting your illustrator. We also chat about Lee and Low Books, maintaining a healthy level of writer ego, why most editors don’t develop unhealthy egos, the “cheerful privilege of the white reader,” and so much more. Cheryl Klein is the editorial director at Lee & Low Books. She is also the author of two adult books, The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults and Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, and three picture books, Wings, Thunder Trucks, and A Year of Magical Thinking. Prior to her work at Lee and Low, she spent sixteen years at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, where she published a wide array of acclaimed titles and served as the continuity editor for the last two books of the Harry Potter series. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and can be found online as @chavelaque.
71 minutes | 5 months ago
99 Author G. Neri
G. Neri and I discuss CONCRETE COWBOY, the upcoming Netflix film based on his novel GHETTO COWBOY. He explains how he creates character voices, how stories chose him, and how he translates scientists’ studies into fiction. We also talk about writing during a pandemic, looking for alligators, surviving Antarctica, renting videos from a pre-Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino, working with Chick Corea, meeting Ray Bradbury, the advantage of flying under the radar, and so much more. G. Neri is the Coretta Scott King honor-winning author of Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty and the recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award for his free-verse novella, Chess Rumble. His books have been translated into multiple languages in over 25 countries. They include Tru & Nelle, Grand Theft Horse, Hello, I'm Johnny Cash, and Ghetto Cowboy, which was made into the upcoming movie, Concrete Cowboy, starring Idris Elba. In 2017, he was awarded the first of two National Science Foundation grants that sent him to Antarctica. Prior to becoming a writer, Neri was a filmmaker, an animator/illustrator, a digital media producer, and one of the creators of The Truth anti-smoking campaign. He is currently co-chair of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Collective and writes full-time while living on the Gulf Coast of Florida with his wife and daughter.
66 minutes | 5 months ago
98 Author Melissa de la Cruz
Melissa de la Cruz and I discuss the differences between writing original stories such as her newest, NEVER AFTER: THE THIRTEENTH FAIRY, and her best-selling series THE NEW BLUE BLOODS COVEN, and writing for established intellectual property, such as THE DESCENDANTS and GOTHAM HIGH. She also shares how she built her author career by first writing for magazines, how she keeps continuity in her many series, how being married to a writer influences her writing life, how to manage a writer’s ego, how to market a book in the time of COVID-19, and so much more. Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publishers Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of Isle of the Lost and Return to the Isle of the Lost as well as many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her books have also topped the USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and have been published in more than twenty countries. A former fashion and beauty editor, Melissa has written for the New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, the San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney's, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and Fox News. Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from the Convent of the Sacred Heart. At Columbia University, she majored in art history and English. Today she lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her husband and daughter.
92 minutes | 6 months ago
97 Author Hena Khan
Hena Khan and I discuss her career thus far in children’s publishing and her wide range of books from IT’S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE to ZAYD SALEEM, CHASING THE DREAM to her most recent MORE TO THE STORY and the upcoming AMINA’S SONG. We discuss how she strives to create the representation in children’s literature that was lacking when she was a young reader and the importance of writing stories about Muslims rather than stories solely about being Muslim. All this and so much more await Esteemed Audience. Hena Khan is a Pakistani-American who was born and raised in Maryland, where she still lives. She enjoys writing about her culture as well as all sorts of other subjects, from spies to space travel. She is the author of the middle grade novels Amina’s Voice, Amina’s Song, and More to the Story and picture books Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Under My Hijab, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George, among others.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021