Interview with Ruta Sepetys

How did you find out about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, and what about it grabbed you as a subject suitable for YA historical fiction? My father’s cousin told me about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. I was shocked that I had never heard of it. When I asked her how she came upon the story she told …

Interview with Polly Faber

Where did you get the idea for Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig? The stories began with a first sketch Clara sent me of a girl and a tapir. We’d become friends and over coffee and cake a week or two before, Clara had suggested I write a book for her to illustrate. I hadn’t taken her seriously at all and had made a jokey response: “Alright …

Interview with Tina Kugler

Where did you get the idea for Snail & Worm? My answer has two parts, actually: first I decided I wanted to write a funny easy reader, and then I discovered my characters. At one point in my life, I owned an independent children’s bookshop, and later I worked in the Youth Department of a public library, so children’s books are …

Interview with Caren Stelson

In the back matter, you tell us how you first learned Sachiko’s story and how you traveled to Japan multiple times to meet with her. Will you please tell us more about these meetings? Where did you meet? What was it like talking through a translator? What did you talk about? What did you do when you and Sachiko weren’t …

Interview with Melissa Sweet

What is your favorite thing you learned while researching the book? There were so many favorite things. One is that White, by his own account, was not a great reader. Not that he didn’t read, or have a library in his home, he just preferred being outside and doing a myriad of things from shearing sheep to sailing. That made …

Interview with Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann

What is your favorite thing you learned while researching the book? As we began to investigate the myths, stories and science of the giant squid we discovered that there are lots of myths and stories but that the science is hard to come by. Despite there being hundreds of thousands of giant squid in the world’s oceans, they are secretive …

Interview with Adam Gidwitz and Aaron Blank

Editor’s note: Aaron Blank is the producer for The Inquisitor’s Tale audiobook. You can listen to a sample of the book here.  This audiobook is a wonderful example of using more than one narrator. When assessing books such as The Inquisitor’s Tale, how do you decide to use multiple narrator or a single performer?  Aaron: Adam made identifying the characters pretty …

Interview with Laura Shovan

What were you doing when you heard you had won the CYBILS Award for Poetry? I was working on a big revision for my next middle grade novel. One of the judges Tweeted about the award. It was the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. Better than chocolate! This is a LOT of characters to invent and develop. What is your …

Interview with Joshua Khan

Lily is a strong heroine, both determined and intelligent, yet in Shadow Magic both the political power she ostensibly has, and the magical power that’s forbidden to women which she’s beginning to realize she has lots of, are not yet fully hers to wield.  I assume that as the series progress, she will gain more actual power….Was it hard to hold Lily in …

Interview with JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

 First off, congrats! We adored Sidewalk Flowers. Can you tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for the book?  JL: Thank you so much! It was a thrill to find out that Sidewalk Flowers got the Cybils Fiction Picture Book Award! The idea for the book came from a walk I was taking with my …