HomeWriting Resources (Page 8)

By Nicki RichesinThe Children’s Book Review
Published: September 7, 2012

Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett strikes us as kind of a mad genius. He’s published many bestselling books, founded the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, and is on the board of directors for 826 LA. While wearing these many top hats, he’s infused his delightfully offbeat sense of humor back into the land of children’s literature. It’s a pleasure to share his thoughts on some of his favorite books, time travel, his picture book manifesto, his undisputed rivalry with Adam Rex, and that remarkable sleuth Harriet the Spy with our readers.

Nicki Richesin: You got your start in children’s book publishing with the help of Jon Scieszka as your mentor. Did he offer you any words of wisdom or professional advice when you began writing?

By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 11, 2012

Bonny Becker with Bear and Mouse

Award-winning author Bonny Becker is probably best known for the sensation she created with her Mouse and Bear book series. A prolific writer who has had many jobs over the years, including advising aspiring authors, she found her niche in writing for children. They have truly fallen in love with her stories. Listen in as we discuss her inspiration for her characters, the secret to writing an exceptional story, and even Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz!

Nicki Richesin: Thank you for taking time to chat with TCBR. You have become an outrageous success with your Mouse and Bear book series. Bear seems to be a bear of simple tastes and Mouse is a little more cunning. How did these characters first appear to you?

By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: March 21, 2012

Amy Novesky

Amy Novesky is the author of Elephant Prince; Me, Frida and most recently Georgia in Hawaii. A former editor at Chronicle Books, Novesky brings years of experience to her work as both a children’s book editor and author. She teaches writing workshops to aspiring authors and is co-founder of Ever After Studio, a children’s book production company and the creative director of Paper Hat Press, a company that creates customizable children’s book and keepsakes. She discussed her research on Georgia O’Keeffe (in Hawaii) and Billie Holiday and Imogen Cunningham for her forthcoming books Mister and Lady Day and Imogen.

By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: March 4, 2012

Lindsey Manwell. Photo credit: ValJean Anderson

Lindsey Manwell is a gifted illustrator and painter. She’s also the illustrator-in-residence for LitWorld. In her awe-inspiring blog A Year in Paris, she chronicles her year abroad living with her newlywed husband in Paris. To celebrate World Read Aloud Day this March 7, Lindsey agreed to speak with TCBR about her work with LitWorld, her determined path to publication, and the beauty and grandeur of Paris.

By Kate Klimo, The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 27, 2012

Kate Klimo talks about character development for “Centauriad: Daughters of the Centaurs” (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2012), the first book in her new series.

What’s in a Centaur’s Pocket?

How does a centaur dress? How does a centaur go to the bathroom? What do a centaur’s home furnishings look like? What do centaurs eat? And what is it like to inhabit a body that is half-horse? These are just some of the scads of questions for which I had to know the answers before I could even sit down to write Daughter of the Centaurs. The inimitable Martin Scorsese says that you have to know what is in your characters’ pockets before you can put them on the screen. Well, I had to figure out whether centaurs even had pockets before I could fill them and then put them on the page. Where to even start?

By Desanka Vukelich, For the Love of Words
Published: September 28, 2011

Desanka Vukelich: Freelance proofreader.

I credit my mother and her dedication to reading for planting the seed that grew into my love of books. From babyhood, she read to me and my siblings, introducing us to a myriad of fables and stories and fairytales. One of the first books she gave me to read on my own was L M Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. I have read this series countless times from childhood to adulthood and as familiar as I am with the tapestry of stories woven by the author’s richly imaginative mind, each time I read it over, I discover a new quirk, a delightful charm that had somehow passed unnoticed the previous reading. She always makes it so worthwhile to repeat the experience of reading her words: falling in love with Gilbert anew, feeling Anne’s anger and pain, hurting over the sadnesses, sobbing over the joys, all as if it were for the first time.

By Christine and Christopher Russell, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 24, 2011

Authors Christine and Christopher Russell are a husband and wife team writing children’s books together. The Warrior Sheep Go West is their second book, following closely on the hooves of The Quest of the Warrior Sheep (February 2011). Christopher Russell had a successful career in British television drama before becoming a children’s novelist and Christine has always been closely involved in his work.

We’re often asked how we collaborate, if we ever have disagreements and if so, how we settle them.

By Penny Eifrig, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: July 16, 2011

Kids are creative. Have you ever watched a kid battle imaginary dragons or build cityscapes from blocks? When they sit down with paints and pens, they rarely take long to begin their masterpieces. And kids can come up with some amazing stories. When I started my publishing company a few years ago, in addition to publishing good books for kids, I wanted to help inspire kids to become authors and illustrators, too. While it is not really feasible to turn every child’s story or poems into a real book, it is still exciting and inspiring for kids when they can share their stories with the larger community.

By Bethanie Deeney Murguia, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: May 18, 2011

When I was seven, I moved into a home that was over 150 years old. It was filled with trap doors, secret spaces and stairs that led nowhere. I had visions of days gone by—horse carriages, ball gowns and hidden treasure. For years, I tried to persuade my parents to pry up the wood floor where it had an obvious and suspicious hatch. (No luck.) Behind the house were woods that stretched across acres to an apple orchard. We had playhouses and treehouses and mountains of snow in the winter. I don’t know if the house and landscape created my imagination or just fueled it, but I vividly remember the joy of being lost in daydreams and creating imaginary worlds and stories at that age.

I still love to get lost in my imagination. I keep a “seed” notebook of things that strike my fancy: situations, words, phrases, quirky behaviors and so forth. Sometimes I do quick sketches. These days, most of my inspiration comes from adventures with my daughters and my dog. A few years ago, I wrote the phrase “messy sleeper” in my notebook after observing the very different sleeping habits in our house.

Some time later, I was struck by the contrast between my newborn who slept so peacefully and my 3-year-old who thrashed from one end of her bed to the other. I remembered the “messy sleeping” note. I decided that my 3-year-old must be having big dreams. I thought about dreams and the visual possibilities—what fun it would be to have the character’s sleeping position mimic the action in the dream. I could also use the dreams to give insight into the character’s personality.

By Ty Drago, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: May 3, 2011

Sooner or later, every writer is asked, “Where do you get your ideas?”  Most of us shrug our shoulders; that’s probably the most honest response.  A few of us come up with snappy canned answers like, “I belong to the Novel Idea of the Month Club!” or “Oh, I have an idea garden in my backyard!”

But in the case of the Undertakers and their first adventure, I can actually answer that question.  The idea was inspired, as so many good ideas are, from my childhood.