Category Archives: Author Posts

September 01


The dictionary defines adventure as engaging in typically hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.  Minus the words, “typically hazardous,” I believe that’s an apt definition of research.  As a writer of historical nonfiction, I’m usually on an adventure into someone’s life or the details of an event.  I move into different […]

August 30

Cover Reveal: Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

Fifteen years have gone by since the release of Bronx Masquerade. I’ve published many books in that time span, but none have diminished the pull of Mr. Ward’s classroom. Through the magic of literature, mere months have passed since we were last in Mr. Ward’s room, where open-mike poetry readings changed the culture of the […]

August 29

How Giant Pumpkin Suite came to be…. by Melanie Heuiser Hill

  The first time I heard about giant pumpkins (North American growing season 2008) I knew I wanted to write a book about them. As in the hair on my arms stood up at lunch every day while my co-worker told me about his son’s adventures growing giant pumpkins in the backyard. They just seemed […]

August 22

“Draw the Line” by Kathryn Otoshi

We’ve all been there… That feeling of being overwhelmed, overworked, and yes, even underappreciated. A few years back, I was feeling stretched too thin, saying  ‘yes’ to too many things and not giving myself enough downtime for my art and creativity. Then it dawned on me. I needed to draw clearer boundaries! Suddenly I saw […]

August 20

Why I Wrote The Real Us by Tommy Greenwald

WE ALL HAVE BLEMISHES   A beautiful girl with a giant pimple in the middle of her nose.   That’s the first thing that popped into my head — no pun intended, I swear! — when I embarked on the story that became THE REAL US.   This was a few years ago, and up […]

August 18

Revising Jigsaw Jones by James Preller

Writers are not often given the opportunity to revise our work post-publication. We labor like the dickens throughout the writing process -– drafting, daydreaming, dithering -– until those last desperate hours of corrections. Then we let the book go scampering off into the wild. Not perfect, not ever perfect, but the best we could do […]

August 17

Planet Jupiter by Jane Kurtz – Review by Jennifer Jacobson

I have been eagerly awaiting Planet Jupiter, the newest middle-grade novel by Jane Kurtz.  Kurtz’s novels contain the number one thing I search for in stories: HEART.  Planet Jupiter is no exception. It is a deeply layered and incredibly moving. For this reason alone, I want to thrust it into the arms of young readers, […]

August 14

Fact vs. Fiction: Portraying Middle-Grade Memories in a (Sort of) Truthful Light by Melissa Roske

When I set out to write my first middle-grade novel, Kat Greene Comes Clean, I knew Kat would be a fun-loving, cake-eating, Harriet the Spy-reading New Yorker whose mom has OCD. (I’m a fun-loving, cake-eating, Harriet the Spy-reading New Yorker whose dad has OCD.) I also knew she’d go to a fictionalized version of the […]

August 08


Whenever I hear the word “reluctant reader,” a little part of me withers. It’s a condition that has always mystified me, but one that has also motivated me; my greatest goal would be to convert a reluctant reader into the opposite: a rabid reader! But how do you do it? How do you get kids […]

August 03

Cover Reveal for Elephant Secret by Eric Walters

People love elephants.  I love elephants.  Raise your hand if you’d like to just run off today and hang out with elephants . . . I know your hand is up.  I got to do that.  I hung out with elephants.  I had a little baby, Hannah, who repeatedly tried to steal my hat and […]