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JOIN US IN EXPLORING OTHERS' CRAFT AND BUILDING OUR OWN

“As a product designer, I am used to solving creative problems. I think that’s partially why I’m drawn to different formats, because I get inspiration from the problem. My design experience also helps me take critique feedback well as I’m very used to harsh critiques and revising based on understanding the problems that a critique uncovers.”

This particular inspiration was already the second or third version of this story, which I knew I wanted to be about girls and friendship. In previous versions, they weren’t cousins. And for each version, I did literally dozens of revisions.

For Ginger and Chrysanthemum, part of that was due to the submission process, during which agents and editors asked to see widely varying changes. The characters of these hot-and-cold cousins never changed once they were born, though, and it wasn’t until then that the story began to attract attention.

With an issue of a debate being at the heart of this story, it’s of course important to try to truly explore the issue, and I hope I did that.

Get to know our September featured author, Lindsay Lackey! Lindsay’s debut middle grade novel All the Impossible Things came out on September 3, 2019. Read on to find out about everything from her book launch to school visits to writing the next novel, as well as the biggest surprise moment of her 2019.

“Like querying, acting is full of rejection. Give up, and you’re done. So, armed with an actress’ resilience in the face of rejection and a publicist’s ability to attract a reader’s eye, I have been well trained for an author’s career. As Lady Gaga says, ‘If you have a dream, fight for it.'”

“Craft study has helped me tremendously to make better books, and to hone my ear so that I know when something is working or not. I’ve become so much better at writing stronger characters with more compelling arcs, I can tell when my language is pitch-perfect and when it’s falling flat, I can revise more quickly than ever before, I can look at comp titles when I get stuck, I can pull from a wider range of craft techniques when I’m struggling to convey something . . . the list goes on and on. Learning craft has helped me become a better writer in countless ways.”

Especially for writers starting out, day jobs are essential. Sometimes those jobs can feel like a drain–of energy, of creativity, of joy. But often, skills you develop on the job can actually help with your writing. This series, comprised of interviews and posts from authors for children, focuses on how non-writing work has helped writers […]

interview by Kristi Wright In A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE, Lisa Moore Ramée has built a wonderful cast of characters that contribute significantly to the overall world building through their complex relationships. (See our post on the main character, Shayla.) In the interview below we asked her how she went about crafting her characters and […]

interview by Kristi Wright Gennifer Choldenko is the Newbery Honor, ALA notable, NYT Best-selling author of Tales from Alcatraz along with numerous other novels and picture books. Recently, she visited our middle grade book club, and we were beyond delighted to ask her all about her very successful Alcatraz series, especially her fourth in the […]

interview by Kristi Wright We are so excited to welcome Jill Diamond back to the blog! (See our first interview with Jill, and our post on world-building in the Lou Lou and Pea books.) Jill’s second book, Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza, came out in April. We wanted to look at the craft […]