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Author News & Interviews

Interview: Elizabeth Scott, author of Heartbeat

Mar 3, 2014

Some young adult authors have dreamed of being writers their whole lives. Not Elizabeth Scott --- she was an editor, an office manager, sold pantyhose and burned CDs for a dot.com company --- and only started her first novel as part of a dare! We're certainly glad she did though --- her 12 young adult novels are moving, funny, dark and everything in between. In this interview, Elizabeth talks about her latest book, HEARTBEAT, telling us about her favorite character from the book, her writing process and the research that went into the book (hint: having a lawyer for a husband definitely helped!).


Interview: Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of FERAL CURSE

Feb 11, 2014

The second book in the Feral series, FERAL CURSE has been a long time in the making. Secondary characters from Cynthia Leitich Smith's earlier series, Tantalize, are thrust into the spotlight, Yoshi the werecat from FERAL NIGHTS plays a central (and steamy) role and a new werecat, Kayla finds herself in the middle of a disaster when a cursed carousel sends werepeople of all sorts to her small town of Pine Ridge, Texas. So what's it like to write a book when some characters have been lurking in Cynthia's head for 14 years, and others are brand new? What's the difference between writing a series and writing a stand-alone book? Cynthia answers these questions and more --- including how she decides which animal each shape-shifter turns into, the real-life inspiration for Pine Ridge and what readers can expect from the next Feral book --- in the exclusive interview, below. Read on! 

Interview: Kate DiCamillo, author of Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Feb 10, 2014

There's no denying it --- Kate DiCamillo has one of the best "children's book author" resumes out there. She's written 17 children's books, has won the Newbery Award (more than once!) and was recently named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. In this interview, Kate tells us where she was when she found out she won the 2014 Newbery Award for FLORA & ULYSSES, what she wrote about as a child, a particularly amusing plane ride and her plans as National Ambassador. 

Interview: Len Vlahos, author of The Scar Boys

Jan 31, 2014

Len Vlahos's new book THE SCAR BOYS --- about a severely burned boy who finds solace in his punk rock band --- hits surprisingly close to home. The Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group was in a punk rock band in high school, Woofing Cookies, and eventually dropped out of NYU film school to reunite and tour. In this interview, he talks about how his own experience influenced THE SCAR BOYS, the power of music and some insight into his next project.

Interview: Marilyn Nelson, author of How I Discovered Poetry

Jan 21, 2014

An award-winning poet, Marilyn Nelson has written and translated more than 24 books and composed poems about a huge number of topics, including historical figures like Emmett Till and George Washington Carver, love, slavery and motherhood. Her latest collection HOW I DISCOVERED POETRY tackles a new theme --- the 1950s, the decade that Marilyn grew up. Comprising 50 poems, this book looks at Marilyn’s childhood but also delves into more universal themes, like the Civil Rights Movement, life for military families and the power of language. In this interview, Marilyn tells Teenreads the wonders of recipes published in 1950s magazines, her favorite poem in the collection and recommended books for teens who want to read poetry for the first time.