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Author News & Interviews

Interview: Gene Luen Yang, author of Secret Coders

Jan 4, 2016

We were thrilled to hear that Gene Luen Yang --- award-winning author of graphic novels AMERICAN BORN CHINESE and BOXERS & SAINTS and the new Secret Coders series --- was named the fifth National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Below, Gene talks about his platform "Reading Without Walls," how his experience teaching has influenced his writing and why he thinks graphic novels --- and reading as a whole --- is so important. 

Interview: Jon Buller and Susan Schade, author of Scarlett: A Star on the Run

Nov 3, 2015

When you have a husband who loves to draw and a wife who loves to write, there’s only one thing for a couple to do --- work together, of course! And that’s exactly what Jon Buller and Susan Schade do --- work as a team to create graphic novels, picture books, early readers, chapter books and more. Their newest graphic novel/traditional novel hybrid, SCARLETT:  A Star on the Run, follows a talking cat and movie star as she runs away from her cruel producer. She meets a dog with a similar tale and is taken in by Mr. Bougnan, but her pursuers are drawing ever closer… yikes!

Read our interview with Jon, below, to learn how he and Susan work together, the inspiration behind their clever tale and their own menagerie of pets.

Interview: Devon Hughes, author of Unnaturals: The Battle Begins

Oct 5, 2015

Do you spend a lot of time with certain people or animals --- maybe your best friend, your younger brother or your pet rats? Well, if you’re anything like Devon Hughes, those companions might affect your future novel --- Devon spent so much time with her dog and Tabby cat that she started to think like them, and before she knew it, she was writing a book about a team of mutant animals!

Below, Devon tells us all about the protagonists of her new series Unnaturals, which begins when a stray dog, Castor, is kidnapped, injected with a serum that makes him grow wings and is forced to fight other “Unnaturals” in a ring --- as well as the most fun scene to write, some hints about the next book in the series and her own favorite creatures. Read the full interview, below, and be sure to crack open the first book, today!

Interview: Ali Benjamin, author of The Thing About Jellyfish

Sep 3, 2015

Next time you're at a museum, a zoo, an aquarium or any kind of cultural institution, pay might just find the thing that sparks the idea for a book! That's what happened to debut novelist Ali Benjamin  --- she was visiting the JELLIES exhibit at the New England Aquarium and couldn't get the haunting, translucent creatures out of her head. Eventualy, they became a very prominent theme in her new middle grade novel THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH, in which Suzy, a seventh grader, is determined to prove that her best friend died from a rare jellyfish sting. 

Find out more about THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH in our interview with Ali below, along with the cool thing about "quirk theory," what Ali wished she knew about science as a kid and why she has a hard time choosing her own favorite sea creatures.

Interview: Marissa Moss, author of Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook

May 15, 2015

Twenty years ago, a little book hit the marketplace with a simple premise: an elementary school girl writes and doodles in a journal, and we get to see it. That little book turned into another one…and another one…and another one…and the Amelia’s Notebook series became one of the most beloved in children’s literature.

Now that the 30th --- and final (!) --- book in the series is coming out and Amelia is graduating middle school, we wanted to talk to this spunky protagonist’s creator, Marissa Moss. Read our interview below to learn about her inspiration, her writing process and some intriguing pieces of fan mail, and be sure to check out AMELIA’S MIDDLE SCHOOL GRADUATION YEARBOOK!