Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Shutta Crum

www.shutta.com ,  www.facebook.com/shuttacrum , https://twitter.com/shutta

I write poetry, children’s books, children’s novels and nonfiction articles for magazines and journals. By Dec. 2017, I’ll have sixteen books out. My newest book is MOUSELING’S WORDS. I love writing for kids of all ages!

Questions:

1. When you were my age did you like to read? As a kid I loved reading everything! I wanted to read all of the books in our small school library. But I did especially love adventure books.

2. What was your favorite book? One book I loved and still think fondly of is: MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN by Jean Craighead George.

3.Where do you get your ideas for books? Ideas are all around us all the time—it just takes a few quiet moments to think about why something is happening, and how if you just made on little tweak . . . really wild things could happen. I like playing “what if.” That is, asking myself what if this or that? What if a space ship landed on the roof of my house on Christmas Eve, instead of Santa?

4. Is it hard to write a book? It’s VERY difficult to write a good book! It’s easy to write a bad book. Sometimes it can take me years to finish a book. But that’s all right, because in the end I know I’ve given it my all and tried to make it the best book I can.

5. Do you have a favorite book of the ones your have written? All my young readers ask if I’ve got a favorite book of my own that I’ve written. That’s always difficult to answer because I like different ones on different days for different reasons. But, overall, MY MOUNTAIN SONG pulls at my heart because it is similar to how I spent happy summers with my grandparents. And THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN is dear to me because I had my father in mind as I wrote it.

6. What authors are you reading right now? Right now, I love many many authors! I’m reading a lot of Jason Reynold’s novels lately. And I just reread A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness. Really enjoying this reading. As far as books for the very young, I love Rosemary Wells’ books, Sandra Boynton and Jon Klassen.

7. Do you have advice for kids who want to be an author? My best advice: read, read, read! How do you know what you want to write if you don’t read at all levels and in all genres? A good writer needs to really be versed in their field. Read at least a thousand books before you begin your own.

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Jean Alicia Elster

website– http://jeanaliciaelster.com
Facebook author page–
https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Alicia-Elster-Books-160713827312932/
Twitter– @j_a_elster

1. When you were my age, did you like to read? As a youngster, I loved to read!
2. What was your favorite story? My favorite book was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

3. How do you get your ideas? The ideas for my two most recently published books, Who’s Jim Hines? and The Colored Car, came from real events in my family’s history in the city of Detroit during the 1930s. As a young person growing up, I heard the core of many of these tales during family gatherings. Of course, for my books, I fictionalize, expand and embellish these core bits of family lore.

4. Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? Writing is a very complex and exacting activity: taking a thought in your mind and writing words that allow the reader to share that thought. So in that sense, writing a book is not an easy endeavor. However, I love the process of writing and I love the end result (creating a book!), so it is not hard for me to write my books.

5. Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? I do not have a favorite among my many books–they are all very special to me.

6. What author do you really like right now? An author that I am enjoying right now is Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American author.

 7. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? My advice to any young person who wants to be an author is to read, read, READ as much as they can. They should read different genres of literature, and they should read authors of different nationalities. They should immerse their lives in words.

 

Posted in Author Meet Up, General

Special news flash

You can meet your favorite author. Just follow them on social media or write to them. I have found most respond so write!

You can also meet authors and illustrators at events. Check your libraries and book stores for events. I went to an event to meet three authors and saw another author I knew, so authors also support authors. There was another author at Salina Yoon’s library event!

On Saturday, when I met Marcie Colleen, some kids didn’t even realize they were with an author. They didn’t seem to believe it when I told them she was the author. For all you know your favorite kids author is standing next to you.

And if you connect with them, you might just give Jarret J. Krosoczka a ketchup and mustard high five, play mime with Salina Yoon, be on the radio with Guy Raz or get Mike Maihack’s Cleopatra’s before they are released.

So write to your authors and illustrators!

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Jim Benton

Author website/social media: www.jimbenton.com

Tell me a little about yourself: I’m an author and artist, and I created Franny K Stein, Dear Dumb Diary, Victor Shmud, as well as licensed properties like It’s Happy Bunny

When you were my age, did you like to read?: I would read anything. I liked MAD Magazine, and Batman comic books, as well as longer stories. I also liked some old books like The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

What was your favorite story? My favorite story???? I have no idea!! I don’t know how to pick a favorite!

How do you get your ideas?: I just sit down and start doodling or writing. The ideas eventually just come.

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? Only sometimes. Usually it’s a lot of fun, but if a drawing is giving me trouble, or if I’m stuck on part of a story, that can be kind of frustrating.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated?: My favorite is whatever I’m working on at that very moment. Currently it’s a Christmas book.

What author do you really like right now?: One of my all time favorites is an author named P.G. Wodehouse.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?: Keep reading and keep writing. Even silly little things are great practice and your work matters.

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Nancy Shaw

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nancyshawbooks.com

facebook.com/nancyshawbooks

When you were my age, did you like to read? I have always loved to read.

What was your favorite story? In elementary school, I liked Beverly Cleary, Ruth Stiles Gannett, and especially Half Magic by Edward Eager. (I like Harry Potter and I’m sure they would have been favorite books if I’d had them when I was young.) I kept loving to read all the time I was growing up, and I still do.

How do you get your ideas? Why Sheep? Ideas can come from real life–I wrote Elena’s Story because of visiting a middle school in Guatemala. I wrote Raccoon Tune because raccoons kept messing up our trash cans. The Sheep stories started from goofing around with rhymes–I wanted to see if I could tell a whole story that rhymed with “eep”–and then grew because sheep are fun to put in silly situations. They have a reputation for not being very sensible.

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? It’s hard for me to write a book–especially getting started, and then making the characters have enough of a problem to be a real story.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? I’m fond of Raccoon Tune and Sheep Out to Eat, but I like them all.

What author do you really like right now? I have many favorite authors, especially Jane Austen and Anthony Doerr for adults. Some of the authors I like for young people are Maryrose Wood, Gennifer Choldenko, Lisa Yee, Cece Bell, David Wiesner, and Jerdine Nolen. A new favorite is The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Reading what you love is good practice for being an author. You will get a sense of how stories work, even if you are not thinking about it directly. And write what you enjoy writing, too

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Amy Nielander

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Website: amynielander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nielanderamy/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nielanderamy

Blog: http://www.amynielander.com/blog/

I am the Author Illustrator of the wordless picture book, THE LADYBUG RACE. I have always loved being creative since I was your age! I remember drawing my  neighbors houses when I was little for fun and typing stories  out on our typewriter.

When you were my age, did you like to read? I did like to read. I can’t remember exactly what I was reading at that particular time but a few books I do remember enjoying were Where the Sidewalk Ends, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing  and The Littles.

What was your favorite story? My favorite story was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. My favorite picture book was Popcorn by Frank Asch.

How do you get your ideas?My ideas come from many places. Stories sometimes come to me if something happens and it affects me emotionally. Ideas may also come in the form of an object…like pajamas! When my daughter was three she had a favorite pair of
polka dotted pajamas. She loved them so much (so did I) that I created a story about…a polka dot family!

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? It depends. If all parts of the story come together easily, then its not so tough! But, usually its the other way around and I have to try and try (and try!) to figure out the  best solution.

What is it like to both write and illustrate your book? It is fun to do both the writing and illustrating. I am still learning how to be the very best author and illustrator I can possibly be!

What author do you really like right now? I like many authors and illustrators. But, if I were to go back to the very beginning of my journey.  I would say Marla Frazee (Mrs. Biddlebox, The Boss Baby, Walk On!)  was the artist I looked up to most.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Read as much as you can! And write.

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Amy says you can find the Ladybug Medal activity on her website.

Posted in Author Meet Up, Graphic Novels, Illustrators, Meet the authors

Ed Cho & Lee Cherolis

This is a double interview with both the writer and illustrator of Little Guardians series. Make sure to read all the way through for both interviews!

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Ed Cho, writer for Little Guardians

Website/social media: http://www.littleguardianscomic.com  Twitter: @edcho7000

When you were my age, did you like to read and/or draw? I drew and wrote comics extensively when I was a kid.  I made up my own super hero knock off stories.

What was your favorite story? As a kid I was a huge fan of Star Wars.  Still am. 🙂

How do you get your ideas?  Inspiration is a fickle thing.  I get a lot of story ideas while doing mundane tasks like washing dishes or mowing the lawn.  The takeaway here is kids should do more chores around the house.  🙂

Is it hard to write and/or illustrate a story?  It takes a lot of time and work to complete a story and be totally happy with it.  Patience is key.

Do you have a favorite among the things you have done?  Seeing Lee illustrate Little Guardians is a dream come true.  I love the interpretation he gives to the story. The collaboration makes it better than the original script or if I tried to draw it.

What is the coolest thing a fan has said about your series? It’s a treat whenever a fan says they like our books.  We have a few Soma and Elk fans out there so it’s nice to hear they enjoy a specific character.

Why do you think kids should read comics/graphic novels?  The visual nature of comics makes it so easily accessible.  Hopefully the cool looking characters can encourage kids into a life long love of reading.

Any recommendations for kids?  Bone by Jeff Smith is a great all ages series and a big influence on Little Guardians.  I’ve recently gotten into Raina Telgemeier books like Smile, Sisters, and Drama.  They are great!  Check them out!

Silly question round:

Pop or soda – Soda

Pen or Crayon – Pen

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Lee Cherolis, Artist for Little Guardians

Website/social media: www.littleguardianscomic.com

www.twitter.com/leecherolis

www.facebook.com/leecherolis

 

When you were my age, did you like to read and/or draw? Absolutely. I read all kinds of comics and books. Lots of sci-fi and fantasy fiction, as well as super hero comic books. I played a lot of video games as well and got started drawing because I loved to try to draw my favorite video game and cartoon characters.

 

What was your favorite story? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the galaxy will always be my favorite.

How do you get your ideas? I’m always inspired by the work of artists I admire and it fuels my motivation to make awesome art. So I fill my social media feeds with amazing artists that I can look up to a drive my self to improve my own work.

Is it hard to write and/or illustrate a story? It is very difficult. you have to approach it seriously and with earnest conviction. If it’s just something you don’t really care about it will show in your work and you’ll have a hard time connecting with an audience.

Do you have a favorite among the things you have done? Little Guardians is my favorite project I’ve ever worked on.

What is the coolest thing a fan has said about your series? A father told us his sons loved our comic because it helps them practice their English as a second language. I think that was one of the coolest things a reader has ever told me.

Why do you think kids should read comics/graphic novels? Simply put, comics and graphic novels help promote reading and inspire creativity. More creative kids making art and telling stories is a good thing and I want to help promote that with my comics.

Any recommendations for kids? Cleopatra In Space by Mike Maihack is a fantastic graphic novel series I recommend to everyone. (Bridget note: ME TOO!) Also check out Hilda by Luke Pearson. the Hilda books are beautiful and a lot of fun!

Silly question round:

– Pop or soda – Soda

– Pen or Crayon – Pen