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Archives - December 2011

December 30, 2011

Helen Landalf on Out-of-the-Box Research

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  Helen Landalf was born in San Diego, California, where she grew up with her two brothers, one of whom has autism. His beautiful artwork can be seen in her picture book THE SECRET NIGHT WORLD OF CATS, which he illustrated, and on the cover of MOVEMENT STORIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. When Helen was fifteen years old, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Although she recovered, it was an experience that made a dramatic impact on her life. Perhaps because her teen years were so difficult, she became inspired to write for Young Adults. Her debut YA novel, FLYAWAY, about a girl who struggles to deny her mom's addiction to meth, was released from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Fall 2011. When she's not writing, Helen works as a certified Pilates instructor and teaches Creative Dance to preschoolers. She has authored / co-authored five books for teachers about integrating dance and drama into the preschool and elementary classroom. Helen resides in Seattle, Washington. Here, she talks about the research that goes into each of her books.
December 28, 2011

An Interview with Josh Gates

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  On Friday, December 2nd, Josh Gates --- writer, explorer and host of SyFy’s “Destination Truth” --- was in New York City attending a book signing for his recent work, DESTINATION TRUTH: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter. Teenreads.com’s David Gromer had a chance to sit down with Josh for a brief interview about both his book and show.  
December 27, 2011

Wendy DelSol on How to Finish that Novel!

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  Wendy Delsol is the author of three young adult novels: STORK, FROST, and the upcoming TIDE (Candlewick Press). The trilogy is inspired by Norse mythology and has paranormal and romance elements. She also writes for adults. THE MCCLOUD HOME FOR WAYWARD GIRLS was named a Barnes and Noble Pick of the Week. Wendy lives in Des Moines with her husband and two teenage boys. Here she talks about how she organizes and motivates herself while writing.  
December 23, 2011

Beth Fantaskey on Strong Girls

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Beth Fantaskey’s debut novel, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, was a Good Morning America Pick for Teen Summer Reading, a Barnes & Noble Best Teen Book of the Year and an IndieNext pick, and was nominated for ALA’s Best Book for Young Adults list. The sequel, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, is due out in January 2012. She is also the author of Jekel Loves Hyde. Beth lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. Here she talks about the different kinds of strong female characters that figure in her books. Be sure to check out the free eBook giveaway of JESSICA’S GUIDE TO THE DARK SIDE, which begins Dec. 23 and runs for two weeks! Readers can download the eBook wherever eBooks are sold, or go to http://www.hmhbooks.com/jessicarules.
December 21, 2011

Jim Zub: Violently Young: Writing SKULLKICKERS

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With each issue of Skullkickers, the action-comedy fantasy comic series I write and co-created, I skirt a very thin edge. Skullkickers is an unabashedly violent adventure series with minimal morals but lots of goofy bloodletting and hijinks. It’s also rated for readers age 12+. You can image those two elements --- content and age rating, sometimes have a hard time seeing eye to eye.
December 14, 2011

Jim Zub: MAKESHIFT MIRACLE and Establishing Your Core Idea

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MAKESHIFT MIRACLE is an online graphic novel I’m writing that’s being serialized online right now atwww.makeshiftmiracle.com.
J. Gabriel Gates is co-author of DARK TERRITORY and its upcoming sequel, GHOST CROWN, books one and two of “The Tracks Series,” and author of the highly-acclaimed teen horror novel THE SLEEPWALKERS. Here he talks about differences: between people, and fact and fiction.
There are plenty of books out there about being a teen --- some helpful, others just plain embarrassing. But how many are actually written by teens themselves? In his book, BRAIN SNACKS FOR TEENS ON THE GO!: 50 Smart Ideas to Turbo-Charge Your Life, accomplished teenager Alex Southmayd shares tips, tidbits and ideas about topics ranging from nutrition facts to finding your passion in life.
December 5, 2011

Dyan Sheldon on a Writer's Inspiration

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Dyan Sheldon is an American novelist, who has written for adults, children and young adults. Originally from Brooklyn, she resides in London and has written a number of young adult novels as well as many picture books in a variety of genres. Her young adult science-fiction novel Perfect was published under the name "D. M. Quintano", as it was a departure from her usual style. Dyan Sheldon's novel Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, a #1 New York Times bestseller, was made into a movie of the same name by Disney in 2004, starring Lindsay Lohan. Here she talks about how she comes up with ideas for her novels.