I enjoyed chatting with author Jaime Berry about Hope Springs, life in a small town, writing about crafting, and what she learned while writing and publishing her first middle grade book. She also shares a bit about her next book! Enjoy.
lfie is a young perfectionist whose tendency to control others and enforce rules gets her expelled from her new elementary school on the first day! Today, Kristin and I chat about Elfie Unperfect, perfectionism, tips for writing a funny middle grade book, and ways to support kids with a perfectionistic streak.
Rochelle Melander is writer and writing coach whose books help other writers (including kids) improve their writing. Her most recent non-fiction book, Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing is a cross between world history and a writing workbook. It highlights activists who changed the world through their writing, and it helps kids write better too. I loved chatting with her about this book, as well as tips for becoming a better writer. Enjoy!
I loved reading Amy Makechnie’s new book Ten Thousand Tries about a boy coming to terms with his father’s ALS diagnosis. Besides family, this book focuses on sports and being a good friend. I loved chatting with Amy about her book, writing memorable supporting characters, and crafting stories about families going through hard times. I enjoyed this interview and I know you will too!
I’m pleased to be interviewing author Melanie Conklin today. A little known fact is that Counting Thyme was one of the first middle grade books I read (listened on audio) in my adult life — one that triggered the desire to read more middle grade. I loved the protagonist’s family who named both their kids after herbs: Thyme and Valerian. I recently read her latest middle grade novel, Every Missing Piece — and I loved it even more than her debut.
Chris Baron is the author of the new verse novel, The Magical Imperfect. I enjoyed this story set in 1989 San Francisco about a boy who develops selective mutism, until a friendship breaks him open in the best way. I chatted with Chris Baron about his new book, writing about mental health and severe eczema, and why writing in verse comes so naturally to him. I loved this heartfelt interview, and I know you will too. Chris is also giving away two signed copies of his book!
Alexis Nedd is an entertainment writer whose foray into YA fiction is a new novel, Don’t Hate the Player. Alexis and I chat about her new book, the similarities between her and her main characters, the dark side of gaming, and how her day job as a journalist prepared her for this novel. She also shares her intriguing journey to becoming a YA author. Enjoy!
Debbie Rigaud is one of my favorite young adult authors. I thoroughly enjoyed her debut, Truly Madly Royally and was excited to read Simone Breaks All the Rules, especially after seeing that cover! Today, Debbie and I talk about having a dark-skinned girl on the cover of her book, her ideal YA love interest, and loving Haitian culture. Debbie is also giving away a copy of her newest YA! Enjoy!
Remy Lai is the author of the new graphic novel, Pawcasso (which I loved and included in the Summer Reading Guide). Today, I’m chatting with her about her inspiration for the basket-toting dog, writing about difficult family situations, and going from Fine Arts to writing.
Josephine Cameron writes some whimsical stories. I regret not having read her two previous middle grade books (and plan to remedy that ASAP), but I am so glad to have read and enjoyed Not All Heroes. Today, Josephine and I talk about writing quirky stories (why does she love them so?!), writing about grief, and how being a music teacher for elementary school kids affects her writing. I loved this interview and I know you will too.
Ebony Zayzay is the author of the new picture book, The Adventures of Keva: The Power of the Trees. I read and loved this story about caring for the environment and the myriad ways the environment looks after us. Ebony Zayzay has also recently started a publishing company called Zayzay Literary Co. We talk about writing a picture book, getting into publishing, being inspired by African culture, and writing about Black joy and Black kids loving the outdoors.
Marcy Campbell is the author of the debut middle grade book, Rule of Threes. This book handles several sensitive topics — including marital infidelity and substance abuse — with remarkable thoughtfulness. I loved talking to Marcy in this interview about her writing process, writing about hard topics, and her love for design. Enjoy!