Some may think of New York City’s Upper West Side as “Seinfeld” stomping grounds, but fans of Rebecca Stead know better: These apartments, shops and streets are where Stead does her own stomping—and where the characters in her critically lauded middle grade novels live.
For 10 years, Daniel José Older worked as an EMT in Brooklyn, and he blogged each day about what he’d witnessed the night before: tragedy and joy, blood and bandages, dead people and living people—and people who hovered somewhere in between, their fates as yet undecided.
When we reach author Cassie Beasley at her family’s home in rural Georgia, it’s 50 days until the release of her debut, Circus Mirandus . . . not that she’s counting.
It’s been 20 years since Cynthia Rylant’s beloved middle grade novel Gooseberry Park introduced the world to Stumpy the squirrel and her quirky, clever, community-minded friends. Now, the furry and feathered bunch is back in Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan, and readers will delight in discovering that the Gooseberrians are as adorable, smart and resourceful as ever.
Susan Mallery is a sparkling conversationalist: She’s funny, smart and easy to talk to about all manner of topics, from her writing career to dog breeds to her favorite eyeshadow brand (it’s Laura Geller).
Thanks to a smart-alecky student who sat in the back row of her classroom, Sharon M. Draper went from teacher to award-winning writer. Of course, there were other factors: a lifelong love of reading, plus years of hard work and outstanding scholarship, for starters.
Martine Leavitt has a super-cool dad—a smart, rugged man named James Webster who, throughout his life, has gone on countless hikes into mountain ranges and national parks in his native Canada, where he immersed himself in and learned about nature. He also took pages and pages of notes, and countless photographs of the flora and fauna he encountered.
From the brilliantly bizarre mind of A.S. King comes a haunting look at a bleak future—not only for teenager Glory O’Brien, but for all women.
Most of the time, interviews about an author’s new novel take place a year or so after the book’s completion. So it might take a bit of doing for an author to feel up-to-date, especially if he or she is already ears-deep into the next project. Carlos Ruiz Zafón had to travel much further back in time when he spoke with BookPage from his home in Los Angeles about his fourth young adult novel, Marina: A Gothic Tale, which was first published in his native Spain in 1999.
Before she became a Newbery Honor-winning author, Margi Preus spent 25 years as the artistic director of Duluth’s Colder by the Lake Comedy Theatre, where she wrote, produced and directed sketches, operas, plays and adaptations. So why the switch to children’s books? “I had kids!” she says with a laugh.