Podcastblaster Podcast Directory  Podcast Directory

Podcast Search   
Podcast title Middle Grade Ninja
Website URL http://www.middlegradeninja.co...
Description A podcast about reading and writing middle grade novels utilizing ninja stealth and skill. Rob Kent interviews fellow authors and various publishing professionals to discuss the craft and business of producing middle grade and young adult novels. Episodes are also available as videos. Learn more at MiddleGradeNinja.com. Rob Kent is the author of BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES.
Updated Sat, 14 Dec 2019 12:49:38 +0000
Image Middle Grade Ninja
Category Arts
Subscribe

Vote for this podcast
    Currently 3.41/5

Rating: 3.4/5 (17 votes cast)

Link to this podcast Middle Grade Ninja

Episodes

1. Episode 54 Editor Lauren Smulski
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 116.20Mb)

Description: Lauren Smulski reveals candid details about her career in NYC publishing, including salary specifics, as she rose from assistant editor to an editor with Harlequin Teen. We discuss her new role as a freelance editor, the types of services she’s offering, and the ways writers should go about evaluating editors. We also chat about the indie publishing revolution, the need for traditional publishing to decentralize, and piñata cakes. Lauren offers many tips for world building, writing dialogue, building emotional depth, and so much more. From the moment she learned how to read, Lauren brought books with her everywhere. She flew through story after story while curled up with fuzzy blankets, while lying in hammocks, while at the beach with her toes in the sand, even while her parents scolded her for hiding yet another book under the table at dinner. But it wasn’t until her junior year at Ithaca College, where she studied journalism and English, that Lauren realized making books was an actual job. After earning her master’s degree in publishing from Pace University, Lauren went on to intern at Dorchester Publishing and freelance for Skyhorse Publishing before landing her first job as an editorial assistant at Harlequin. There, she worked her way up the ladder to become an associate editor for Inkyard Press, specializing in stories for young adults, ranging from epic fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers to contemporary, historical, and nonfiction. Her books have been New York Times bestsellers, Indie Next Picks, award-winners, and received multiple starred reviews. With nearly a decade of editorial experience under her belt, Lauren has now made the shift into a career as a freelance editor, so she can spend more time working directly with authors to nurture their writing and bring their stories to the next level. She is thrilled to be able to do this from her home in eastern Connecticut, where she lives with her husband, her daughter, and her Shakespearean cat, Tybalt. In her spare time, she loves to invent new cupcake recipes, play lots of board games, and relax by the fire pit in her backyard.

2. Episode 53 Author Stefani Deoul
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 98.62Mb)

Description: Stefani Deoul and I enjoy a far-ranging conversation about the creative process across multiple mediums. We talk about her career as a film and television producer as well as a young adult novelist. You can be sure I ask her about Stephen King television adaptations, such as her productions of HAVEN and THE DEAD ZONE. We also talk about SAY HER NAME, the third book in Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventure series, which leads to a discussion of research tips for authors, writing the language of teenage characters, giving and receiving revision notes, and so much more. Stefani Deoul is the author of the award-winning novels, ON A LARP, and ZERO SUM GAME, books one and two of her YA Mystery series, the Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures. Book three, SAY HER NAME, releases December 10th. Other works include her first novel, the women's literary fiction, THE CAROUSEL, as well as numerous publications, including pieces for Curve magazine, Outdoor Delaware and Letters from CAMP Rehoboth. In addition, Stefani has penned short stories and several film/television treatments. As a television producer her resume includes series such as HAVEN for the SyFy Network, THE DEAD ZONE and BRAVE NEW GIRL, DRESDEN FILES and MISSING. Along with producing five seasons of Haven, based on the Stephen King story THE COLORADO KID, Stefani finally succumbed to the allure of acting, “starring” as the off camera, and uncredited, radio dispatcher, Laverne.

3. Episode 52 Author Lance Rubin
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 76.63Mb)

Description: Lance Rubin and I talk about his background as an actor and improvisational comedian and what that experience brings to his new young adult novel, CRYING LAUGHING. We discuss the new Snapchat series based on his book, DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE, as well as his recording of his own audiobook. And we make time to palaver about politics, flying saucers, writing about grief, and THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. Lance Rubin is the writer of the DENTON LITTLE books (now a Snapchat original series) and CRYING LAUGHING. He also co-wrote THE LOST CAUSES OF BLEAK CREEK with Rhett and Link and the Off-Broadway musical BROADWAY BOUNTY HUNTER with Joe Iconis and Jason SweetTooth Williams. Lance loves Harry Potter, the Knicks, Elizabeth Warren, Pod Save America, and Back to the Future. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Katie Schorr and their young kids. Learn more at lancerubin.com and follow him on twitter/instagram @lancerubinparty.

4. Episode 51 Author Angie Karcher
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 85.63Mb)

Description: Angie Karcher and I talk quite a bit about writers conferences, specifically how to get the most out of them and things writers shouldn’t do when attending one. Who better to discuss conferences with than the Indiana Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators who also hosts her own writers conference? We also discuss rhyming picture books and writing about local Hoosier history, including the infamous Grey Lady ghost of Willard Library. Angie Karcher is a former Kindergarten teacher, Developmental Therapist and children’s author of WHERE THE RIVER GRINS 2012, M.T. Publishing, THE LEGENDARY R.A. COWBOY JONES 2014 M.T. Publishing and SANTA’S GIFT 2017 M.T. Publishing. Her poetry is included in AN INDIANA TRIBUTE BICENTENNIAL ANTHOLOGY, compiled by Byron Buckley 2017. She has two upcoming titles: SIDELINE SLUGGER, M.T. Publishing, May 2018 and THE SIGNATURE SHIP, M.T. Publishing, October 2018. Angie is the creator of Rhyme Revolution. This annual event held in April, is a writing challenge on her blog for children’s authors. She has a passion for writing rhyming picture books and poetry and encourages educators and parents to read rhyme frequently to children. Rhyme encourages language development and fosters a love of reading. Angie is the founder of The Rhyme Revolution Conference, held first in New York City in December 2015 and next in New Harmony, Indiana, October 2018. This conference supports and encourages children’s writers to use proper picture book writing techniques, as well as applying perfect meter and rhyme. Angie also founded and hosts The Best in Rhyme Award, announced annually in February in New York City, NY, naming the best rhyming picture book and several honor books each year. Her most recent endeavor is hosting Ms. Angie’s Craft Corner for KidLitTV. This will be a monthly recorded segment where she shares simple crafts for kids, teachers, parents and librarians that accompany her favorite picture books. Angie frequently presents at schools, libraries, bookstores and writing conferences. She is the Indiana SCBWI Regional Advisor and lives in Evansville, Indiana with her husband and four teenage children. Her beloved beagle Gracie and Miniature Dachshund Lucy are her constant assistants. Angie is represented by Victoria Selvaggio with Storm Literary Agency.

5. Episode 50 Author Mariama J. Lockington
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 89.43Mb)

Description: Mariama J. Lockington and I discuss transracial adoption and other issues raised in her phenomenal debut novel, FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME. She relates how she went from a reluctant reader to a poet, competing in slam poetry competitions, and went on to earn two MFA’s and become an author and writing teacher. We talk about critique groups and school visits and all things writing in the 50th episode of Middle Grade Ninja. Mariama J. Lockington is an author, nonprofit educator, and transracial adoptee who calls many places home. Her debut middle grade novel FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is out now from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers. FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and has earned four starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, BookPage, School Library Journal, and Booklist. Mariama is also the author of the poetry chapbook THE LUCKY DAUGHTER (Damaged Goods Press, 2017). Mariama has edited and contributed to many youth-centered book projects including: Be Honest and Other Advice from Students Across the Country (2011, The New Press), Growing Our Hearts and Brains: Poems on love, technology, and success (2014, 826NYC), Chicken Makes the Ice Cream Taste Better: Stories on Food and Community, (2015, 826NYC), and her co-authored lesson plan “The Science of Superpowers” is included in STEM to Story: Enthralling and Effective Lesson Plans for grades 5th-8th (2015, Jossey-Bass). She is a Bread Loaf Scholar, Voices of Our Nation Arts Alumni, a Literary Death Match Champion, and she earned her Masters in Education from Lesley University and her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Mariama lives in Lexington, KY with her partner and her dapple-haired dachshund, Henry. When she is not writing or teaching, you’ll find Mariama singing karaoke, cooking new recipes, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or re-reading her favorite book, SULA by Toni Morrison.

6. Episode 49 Author Mira Bartók
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 117.03Mb)

Description: Mira Bartók and I discuss her novel, THE WONDERLING, its inception, the incredible circumstances that led to its sale at auction and a movie deal before it was fully written, how Kate Winslet nearly narrated its audiobook, its upcoming sequel, and more. Mira explains her life as a “compulsive creator.” She’s a musician, an artist, an award-winning author, and she shares her wisdom about all of it in a delightful conversation you won’t want to miss. Mira Bartók is an artist and writer, and the creator of The Wonderling: Songcatcher, the first book in an illustrated middle-grade fantasy series (Candlewick Press 2017). The Wonderling will also be a movie, directed by award-winning British director, Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Reader, etc.), and produced by Working Title Films and Fox2000. Mira is also the author of THE MEMORY PALACE, a New York Times bestselling memoir and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She has written numerous books on ancient and indigenous cultures for children (The Ancient and Living Stencil Series), and her writing for adults has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, noted in The Best American Essays series and has appeared in many literary journals, magazines and anthologies. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her musician/producer husband Doug Plavin and their little dog Sadie.

7. Episode 48 Literary Agent Christa Heschke
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 97.57Mb)

Description: Christa Heschke and I chat about her journey from an intern to a seasoned literary agent, her thoughts on contract negotiation and enforcement, her financial advice for authors, her tips for gaining literary representation, her possible close encounter, brainstorming book ideas, a haunted shovel, and so much more. Get ready to learn a lot about writing and publishing and to enjoy another excellent conversation. Christa Heschke graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively acquiring for all age groups in children’s. For YA, she is especially interested in contemporary, thriller/mystery, fantasy and horror. She looks for a compelling voice and a strong hook that will set a YA novel apart in the flooded market. She is open to all types of middle grade and especially enjoys adventure, mystery, and magical realism. For both YA and MG, she is interested in unique settings and cultural influences, interesting structure, complicated romances, diverse characters, sister or friendship-centric stories, and stories that feature artists of any kind. In picture books she is drawn to cute, funny stories (as opposed to sweet and quiet) that will grab kids as well as the occasional nonfiction biography on a subject whose story has yet to be told. Christa is not looking for any Adult fiction or non-fiction, paranormal or dystopian at this time.

8. Episode 47 Author Shamim Sarif
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 68.11Mb)

Description: Shamim Sarif and I talk about her career directing films and writing novels, the differences and similarities between the two, and her approach to both. We also discuss her new young adult action novel, THE ATHENA PROTOCOL, and its emphasis on strong female characters. She gives some absolutely amazing advice about public speaking, having presented multiple Ted Talks. All this and a whole lot more in another incredible episode that’s not to be missed. Born in the UK, Shamim is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and director. Her newest book, The Athena Protocol, is an all-female contemporary action thriller. Her debut novel, The World Unseen was inspired by her family’s South African Indian heritage. The book won a Betty Trask award and the Pendleton May First Novel award. Shamim has adapted and directed the films of all three of her novels including, most recently, Despite the Falling Snow. The book was published by Headline in the UK and St Martin’s Press in the US. The movie stars Rebecca Ferguson and Charles Dance in a story of love and betrayal in cold war Russia. Her films have won 47 awards internationally. An accomplished speaker, Shamim has spoken at TED events worldwide, at the INK Conference in India and DLD in Munich. Corporate speaking events have included Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Citibank and Disney. Shamim lives in London with her wife, Hanan, and their two sons.

9. Episode 46 Author Nancy Richardson Fischer
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 89.90Mb)

Description: Nancy Richardson Fischer and I discuss her fascinating career from her first job writing for Barnum and Bailey Circus to her time with Lucas Film, during which she wrote a trilogy in the STAR WARS: JUNIOR JEDI KNIGHTS series. We chat about surviving in the Amazon like the characters in her new young adult novel, THE SPEED OF FALLING OBJECTS. We also talk kite surfing, zombies, Stephen King, my fear of bees, self publishing, strategies for working with an editor, and so much more. Nancy Richardson Fischer is the author of the young adult novel, WHEN ELEPHANTS FLY (HarperCollins/Inkyard Press). Fischer has authored multiple sport autobiographies and Star Wars books for LucasFilm. Her new novel, THE SPEED OF FALLING OBJECTS, was published by HarperCollins/Inkyard Press on October 1st, 2019.

10. Episode 45 Author Alicia D. Williams
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 111.54Mb)

Description: Alicia D. Williams and I talk about colorism and adolescent cruelty, which she explores brilliantly in her novel, GENESIS BEGINS AGAIN. She also takes us through her journey to become a writer, from her time as a stand-up comedian to an actress to a flight attendant and a whole lot of interesting stops along the way. We have a long chat about creating compelling characters and the differences in approaches to writing to reach a common goal. What's there to know about Alicia D? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask kindergartners, they'd tell you: 1. She likes chunky guacamole. 2. She likes shiny things. 3. She tells good stories. ​If you ask her middle schoolers, they'd surely say: 1. She gets us. 2. She makes us laugh with all her jokes. 3. She is Da BOMB. ​While all of these may be true, there are a few more points to add... Alicia D. is a teacher in Charlotte, NC. She is the proud mother of a brilliant college student. Her love for education stems from conducting school residencies as a Master Teaching Artist of arts-integration. Alicia D infuses her love for drama, movement, and storytelling to inspire students to write. Did we say drama? Why yes, Alicia graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. She's performed in commercials, off-off Broadway, and even Charlotte's very own children's theater. And like other great storytellers, she made the leap into writing--and well, her story continues. Alicia D loves laughing, traveling, and Wonder Woman.

11. Episode 44 Author Francesca Zappia
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 121.19Mb)

Description: Prepare yourself, Esteemed Audience, for this spooky first episode of October that features real ghost stories. Fellow Hoosier Francesca Zappia and I talk about our mutual love of writing horror stories set in Indiana, such as her newest, NOW ENTERING ADAMSVILLE. We discuss fictional world-building and organizing the creative life and all the things you expect us to chat about on this show. But then Chessie reveals that she lives in a haunted house and I can't stop asking questions about her paranormal experiences. Francesca Zappia is the award-winning author of Made You Up, Eliza and Her Monsters, and the serialized novel The Children of Hypnos. She is represented by Louise Fury of the Bent Agency. She graduated from the University of Indianapolis with a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics, and currently lives in Indiana. She spends her free time drawing, playing video games, and baking. She looks mean, but she's actually a ball of floof on the inside. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @ChessieZappia, on Goodreads, and on Pinterest. She also sells her artwork at her Society6 shop.

12. Episode 43 Literary Agent Carrie Pestritto
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 99.76Mb)

Description: Carrie Pestritto and I chat about all kinds of fun stuff like Ancient Aliens and simulation theory. At times this episode basically becomes "The Middle Grade Ninja Experience." Not to worry, Esteemed Audience, we also talk about books and publishing and how to get a literary agent's attention; all the things you tune in regularly to hear about. Carrie Pestritto walks us through everything from evaluating a query and a manuscript to finding a book deal to building your author platform, planning your writing career, and beyond. Carrie Pestritto worked at Writers House and Prospect Agency before becoming part of the LDLA team. She earned her BA in English, cum laude, from Amherst College in 2009, also spending a year studying abroad at St. Catherine's College, Oxford University. As an agent, she loves the thrill of finding new authors with strong, unique voices and working closely with her clients. Carrie always strives to help create books that will introduce readers to new worlds and is drawn in by relatable characters, meticulous world-building, and unusual, compelling premises. Find her on Twitter at @literarycarrie.

13. Episode 42 Author Gregg Millman
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 49.62Mb)

Description: Gregg Millman and I talk about his time in Hollywood as a screenwriter and advertising expert, as well as his time working for MSNBC. He gives several practical tips for pursuing a screenwriting career from his time as an assistant on shows such as BOSTON LEGAL to working with Nicolodean on movies such as ONE CRAZY CRUISE. And naturally, we discuss his new middle grade fantasy novel THE KANDY KINGDOM SAGA, which he wrote in collaboration with his nine-year-old son. Gregg Millman is a Screenwriter and Middle Grade Novelist, who's created movies, TV shows and novels for kids, including a Nickelodeon movie, ONE CRAZY CRUISE. His new fantasy novel, THE KANDY KINGDOM SAGA, is the first in a series about the adventures of two kids in a magical world of candy torn apart by war between the Sweet Treats and Sour Powers. Gregg started writing for MSNBC, but realized writing for kids was much more fun. So he moved out to La La Land, where he took his lifelong love of John Hughes teen movies and put it to good use: creating all sorts of kid content, from angsty teen TV soaps to silly Nick movies to post-apocalyptic YA sci-fi series. Gregg has now landed in the alternate dimension of The Kandy Kingdom, where he plans to reside while he completes the book.

14. Episode 41 Author John Claude Bemis
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 117.50Mb)

Description: John Claude Bemis and I talk about a little bit of everything: art, music, elementary education, and, of course, literature. He gives a preview of his class on revision in the second half of our conversation that every writer should hear and shares some fantastic tips for creating a great first draft. We also talk a lot about Pinocchio and his unique twist on the classic tale in his Davinci-Punk series OUT OF ABATON, focusing on the first book, THE WOODEN PRINCE. An inspiring speaker and entertaining performer, John Claude Bemis is the author of THE WOODEN PRINCE, LORD OF MONSTERS, THE CLOCKWORK DARK trilogy, THE PRINCE WHO FELL FROM THE SKY, and FLORA AND THE RUNAWAY ROOSTER. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Education for his work in the schools as an author-educator and served as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate. John lives with his wife and daughter in Hillsborough, NC.

15. Episode 40 Author Annie Sullivan
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 98.16Mb)

Description: What don't Annie Sullivan and I talk about in this extensive episode? We discuss her new novel, TIGER QUEEN, of course, but we also talk about her travels to all seven continents and her cage-diving with great white sharks, which leads to our mutual love for bad shark movies. We discuss teaching at the Indiana Writers Center, Professor Dan Barden of Butler University, and all things Hoosier author. The second half of this episode is an in-depth discussion of book marketing through social media you won't want to miss as Annie Sullivan shares specific details about how to grow your author platform. Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).

16. Episode 39 Public Relations Expert Claire McKinney
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 28.03Mb)

Description: Claire McKinney and I have an in-depth, though brief conversation about marketing middle grade novels. We talk about her work with both independently and traditionally published authors and the differences in promoting the two. She shares some direct strategies for social media campaigns, cost-per-click sites, and getting reviews. And she lends her thoughts on evaluating the effectiveness of marketing. Claire McKinney has been working in public relations for over 20 years. She has appeared on the Today show and CSPAN as an expert on publishing and she travels regularly to speak to authors and audiences about PR and social media marketing. Authors she has worked with include Della Reese, Toni Morrison, Madeleine Albright, Walter Mosley, Robert Dallek, Rick Moody, George Pelecanos, Plum Sykes, Noam Chomski, Richard North Patterson, and Kristin Gore.

17. Episode 38 Author Thomas Taylor
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 73.59Mb)

Description: Thomas Taylor and I discuss his new novel, MALAMANDER, and writing creepy, atmospheric monster stories for children. We also talk quite a lot about ghosts, flying saucers, and the parts of being a writer that strike us as being a bit magical. And yes, I ask him about designing the UK cover for HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, but we talk far more about how being an artist influences his writing and vice versa. And, as a bonus, we talk about designing comics. Thomas Taylor is a children's writer and illustrator. He studied at Anglia Ruskin University and attended the Norwich School of Art and Design. Then he spent three years at art school in Cambridge. After finishing his education he found his first job at Heffer’s Children’s Bookshop. He has written and illustrated several picture books, starting with George and Sophie's Museum Adventure in 1999, and has two novels, Haunters and Dan of the Dead. The first one was published in May, 2012 by The Chicken House and the last one was published on 1 June 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. Dan of the Dead sequel named Dan and the Caverns of Bone was issued in June, 2013. The book The Pets You Get with his illustrations won the Stockport Schools’ Book Award in 2013 (early years category) and also the Oldham Brilliant Books Award. He also painted the cover art for the first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

18. Episode 37 Author Dan Gutman
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 100.75Mb)

Description: Dan Gutman and I have an in-depth chat about his classic series, MY WEIRD SCHOOL, as I attempt to gain the secret to writing humor for kids. We talk about how he conceives of an idea, his process for planning and drafting it, the many revisions it undergoes, and his strategies for book promotion. He gives some amazing advice for school visits and marketing using social media. We also talk about Harry Houdini, Dick Cheney, and a whole lot more in a far-ranging discussion. You're going to learn a lot. I know I did. Dan Gutman may be weird, but he is also beloved by kids, parents, and teachers across the country. His books include the My Weird School series (more than 10 million copies sold), the Baseball Card Adventures (more than 1.5 million copies sold) and the New York Times bestselling The Genius Files. We also publish his spoofy picture book, CASEY BACK AT BAT, and one of Dan’s favorites, JOHNNY HANGTIME. Dan lives in New York City (a very weird place), with his weird wife, Nina, and their two weird children, Sam and Emma. You can visit him on Facebook or at his weird website.

19. Episode 36 Author Sharon M. Draper
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 80.28Mb)

Description: Sharon M. Draper allows us to live vicariously through her with her story of writing TEARS OF A TIGER during study hall periods as an English teacher, which went on to win the Coretta Scott King Author Honor and launch the career of a literary legend. She assures me that visiting the White House never gets boring, even after the sixth time. She also shares her thoughts on education, which are well worth hearing as she was named a National Teacher of the Year. This was one of most incredible and enjoyable conversations I've ever had. Unfortunately, large parts of our talk were lost due to technical difficulties. We conducted this interview by phone out of necessity, which is why there's no video, and I used new recording software for the first and last time. But I learned a lot and you'll learn almost as much. Don't miss this amazing episode! Sharon Draper is a two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author, most recently for Copper Sun, and previously for Forged by Fire. She's also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Author Award for New Talent for Tears of a Tiger and the Coretta Scott King Author Honor for The Battle of Jericho and November Blues. Her other books include Romiette and Julio, Darkness Before Dawn, and Double Dutch. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years. She's a popular conference speaker, addressing educational and literary groups both nationally and internationally.

20. Episode 35 Author Laura Martin Returns
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 76.41Mb)

Description: My friend Laura Martin, our first ever guest, becomes our first ever return guest. In her second episode, she and I discuss Big Foot, The Lochness Monster, flying saucers (naturally), and all of my favorite things, which can be found in her new cryptid-themed book, HOAX FOR HIRE. We chat about our critiquing and revision process as we're both members of the YA Cannibals writing group and have critiqued each others novels. Laura also shares some excellent marketing tips and gives us a preview of her next book, GLITCH. This is another wonderful episode with one of my most favorite people. Laura Martin believes in chasing dreams, and she brought that philosophy to her classroom for six years as a seventh-grade English teacher. She is the author of the Edge of Extinction series. When she isn’t writing stories about dinosaurs and underground civilizations, she can be found in the Indianapolis area with her dashing husband Josh, her two adorable kids London and Lincoln, and two opinionated bulldogs. http://www.middlegradeninja.com/ https://lauramartinbooks.com/

21. Episode 34 Author Allan Woodrow
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 91.36Mb)

Description: Allan Woodrow and I talk about overcoming fear and self doubt in writing as well as his newest novel, THE CURSE OF THE WEREPENGUIN. We discuss how writing every day without fail has led him to publish thirty books in ten years. He shares practical tips to start or jump start your writing career, advice on school visits, and marketing methods gleamed from a career in professional advertising. When growing up in the Midwest, Allan Woodrow always wanted to be an author. His teachers told him to write about what he knew, but he didn't know very much. He still doesn't know all that much, but got tired of waiting and decided to start writing anyway. Allan is an author of middle-grade books including The Curse of the Werepenguin, the Liberty Falls Elementary series (Class Dismissed, Unschooled and Field Tripped), The Pet War and The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless. Allan also writes under various secret pen names including "Fowler DeWitt" (the Mumpley Middle School mystery books).

22. Episode 33 Author Kate Hannigan
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 108.78Mb)

Description: Kate Hannigan and I discuss her newest novel CAPE and the 2016 Golden Kite award winner, THE DETECTIVE'S ASSISTANT. We do a deep dive on writing and researching historical fiction. Kate gives some outstanding advice for authors doing school visits and a lot of tips for being a more productive writer. She also shares a real-life object lesson on the importance of being nice in an industry as small as publishing. We chat about superheroes and women in history and just generally have a blast talking about writing. Chicago author Kate Hannigan writes fiction and non-fiction for young readers. A former newspaper journalist, she loves listening to people's stories and digging deep into research. Her middle-grade historical fiction "The Detective's Assistant" (Little, Brown) received the 2016 Golden Kite Award for best middle-grade novel and was a California Young Reader Medal nominee. Inspired by the exploits of America's first female detective, Kate Warne, it features nail-biting suspense and exhilarating thrills - along with history around Abraham Lincoln and pre-Civil War America. Kate is also the author of the picture book biography "A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women's Rights" (Boyds Mills Press), which received four starred reviews, named a Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" selection, Bank Street College pick for July, A Mighty Girl Best of 2018 Book, Amelia Bloomer Project pick, and a Junior Library Guild Selection. And her three-book cooking caper series "Cupcake Cousins" (Disney/Hyperion) for early middle-grade readers was named to the Illinois READS state list and Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best" lists.

23. Episode 32 Editor Molly Cusick
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 53.34Mb)

Description: Molly Cusick and I discuss editing, both in her current role as an editor with Sourcebooks and as a successful literary agent for eight years. She walks us through her approach to revising a manuscript and eventually creating a novel with in-depth insights about each revision pass and editorial letter. She offers advice on how to keep plotting on track, how to tighten pacing, and so much more. Molly Cusick is an Editor at Sourcebooks in New York City, where she acquires Young Adult, Middle Grade, and picture book projects. Previously an agent for eight years, Molly represented authors including Julie Murphy (#1 New York Times bestselling author of DUMPLIN’), Natalie C. Parker (SEAFIRE), Troy Howell (WHALE IN A FISHBOWL), Jeramey Kraatz (the Space Runners series), Kayla Cagan (PIPER PERISH), and Paula Garner (STARWORLD). She works with all genres, prioritizing humor, heart, and immersive worlds. Follow her on Twitter @molly_cusick

24. Episode 31 Literary Agent Jennifer Mattson
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 70.99Mb)

Description: Literary Agent Jennifer Mattson and I discus her career in publishing from her time as an editor with Dutton to her time as a professional book reviewer up to her last decade spent as an agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and a lot of other book-related jobs as well. We talk about specific habits of successful writers, how many books authors should be reading, and developing an author's voice. We also chat about hooking an agent's attention with a query and a writing sample, advice on how to find a literary agent, and so much more. In the picture book arena, Jennifer is interested in authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators who bring a distinctive, well-developed point of view to their work. In longer fiction, her interests are wide-ranging, but she always has a soft spot for middle grade about resilient kids sorting out the messiness of life. In middle grade and YA both, her heart beats faster for richly imagined, mind-bending fantasies that depart from typical quests (portals entered by protagonists who fulfill prophecies don't tend to be for her). The most dogeared books in her childhood library tended to be fantasy adventures, survival stories, and sprawling, atmospheric tales with Dickensian twists and satisfying puzzles. She gravitates to all of the above, but contemporary realistic fiction can work for her too, especially if it's voice-driven and carefully structured. In all categories, she is especially delighted to see queries in her inbox from kid-lit creators underrepresented in mainstream publishing. Fiction that Jennifer represents includes Katy Loutzenhiser’s contemporary-realistic YA debut, IF YOU’RE OUT THERE (Balzer and Bray/HarperCollins) and Kate Hannigan’s historical middle grade novel, THE DETECTIVE'S ASSISTANT (Little, Brown/Hachette), which won the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade Fiction, received two starred reviews, was a Booklist Editor's Choice, and appeared on the 2016 Amelia Bloomer List. Picture books she represents include noted poet Linda Ashman's lyrical ode to the rhythms of the natural world, ALL WE KNOW (HarperCollins), and her nearly wordless celebration of optimism, RAIN! (Houghton/HMH); and Kim Norman's three Arctic Companion books that cleverly spin off favorite preschool songs, TEN ON THE SLED, IF IT’S SNOWY AND YOU KNOW IT, and SHE’LL BE COMIN’ UP THE MOUNTAIN (all Sterling). Artists she represents include Geisel Honor winning author-illustrator Paul Meisel, who has illustrated or written a total of more than 70 books for young readers; J.R. Krause, author-illustrator of DRAGON NIGHT (Putnam), an Indie Next selection; Rob Polivka, illustrator of GOD BLESS AMERICA (Hyperion) and co-author and illustrator of A DREAM OF FLIGHT: ALBERTO SANTOS-DUMONT’S RACE AROUND THE EIFFEL TOWER (FSG/Macmillan); and former Google doodler Katy Wu, illustrator of several picture book biographies, including Laurie Wallmark's GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE and HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE (both Sterling). Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer spent time as an editor at Dutton Children's Books and as a Books for Youth staff reviewer at Booklist magazine. Jennifer is based in Chicago and enjoys speaking at SCBWI and other writers' conferences in Chicagoland and farther afield. She is also in the midst of a personal mission to read through the oeuvre of Anthony Trollope. Follow her on Twitter (@jannmatt).

25. MGN Clip Show
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 195.55Mb)

Description: It’s the first ever Middle Grade Ninja clips show, featuring snippets from each of the podcast’s first 30 episodes. This is the perfect place for new listeners to start. New episodes are scheduled to return August 13th. Until then, enjoy this compilation of clips from conversations with AUTHORS Laura Martin, Barabra Shoup, Jeff Norton, Darby Karchut, Susan Kaye Quinn, Jacqueline West, Daniel Kenney, Tommy Greenwald, Steven K Smith, Lamar Giles, Kathi Appelt, Padma Venkatraman, Jessica Lawson, Daniel José Older, Dustin Brady, Amber Smith, Marie Miranda Cruz,M.G. Hennessey, Debbie Dadey, LITERARY AGENTS John Cusick, Jennifer March Soloway, Holly Root, Elana Roth Parker, John Rudolph, Molly O'Neill, EDITORS Mary Kole, Amy Tipton, Alison S. Weiss, Diana M. Pho, and PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERT Megan Beatie.

26. Episode 30 Author Debbie Dadey
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 90.19Mb)

Description: Debbie Dadey and I discuss her nearly 30-year career publishing over 160 children's books, from her classic debut, VAMPIRES DON'T WEAR POLKA DOTS, to her newest series, MERMAID TALES. She shares how she and coauthor Marsha Thornton Jones agreed to collaborate on THE ADVENTURES OF THE BAILEY SCHOOL KIDS while working out, passing the story back and forth like a hot potato, which went on to sell over 34 million copies and became one of the top three bestselling series in Scholastic's history. She also provides many tips on how to write for children, advice on publishing contracts, critique groups, generating story ideas, creating compelling outlines, planning series, and so much more. This episode is packed with information every writer needs to hear and is not to be missed. Debbie Dadey taught first grade before becoming a librarian. It was while teaching that she first realized how much she wanted to write a book for reluctant readers. Her first book, Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots, with fellow teacher Marcia Thornton Jones, was the result of a very bad day. In fact, Marcia and Debbie joked that if they were vampire teachers all the kids would pay attention to them! Since then, Debbie and Marcia have collaborated on more than 125 books with sales of over forty-seven million copies. Debbie has sold 166 books and is enjoying writing the Mermaid Tales series for Simon and Schuster. She has had a great time channeling her inner girl (and inner mermaid) with the adventures of Shelly, Echo, Kiki and Pearl. In each book, the mergirls deal with kid issues, as well as learning things about the ocean in school. Debbie grew up in Kentucky, but has lived all over the country with her family. She currently lives in Sevierville, TN with her husband and two dogs. She loves it when her three children visit and enjoys visiting schools all over the world. She hopes you'll like her on Facebook.com/debbiedadey or visit www.debbiedadey.com.

27. Episode 29 Author M.G. Hennessey
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 70.20Mb)

Description: M.G. Hennessey and I discuss her new middle grade novel THE ECHO PARK CASTAWAYS and her previous book, THE OTHER BOY, as well as the state of the American foster care system. Also, STAR WARS and flying saucers. M.G. shares her experience with multiple literary agents and gives a whole lot of excellent writing advice. And to top it off, I introduce a contest to give away three free books for those who subscribe to my YouTube channel before August 15, 2019 M.G. Hennessey loves Star Wars, the San Francisco Giants, strawberry ice cream, and dancing. She mentors teens at the Lifeworks program/LA LGBT Center and volunteers as a CASA with L.A. foster kids. She's also the dean of Camp Transcend Family Camp, and an organizer of the Gender Odyssey LA conference. A supporter of the Transgender Law Center, Gender Spectrum. and the Human Rights Campaign, she lives in Los Angeles with her family. She/Her

28. Episode 28 Editor Diana M. Pho
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 58.85Mb)

Description: Diana M. Pho and I chat about her career in publishing from her time as an international marketing assistant with Hachette to her eight years and counting as an editor with Tor Books. She walks me through the process of selecting a submission, building a presentation for it to convince her house to publish the book, and the process of actually editing and shaping the project. She also gives me some tidbits on what's happening with Robert Jordan's WHEEL OF TIME series and its next installment. This is another wonderful episode packed with quality content and you'll want to listen to it at least twice. Diana M. Pho is a two-time Hugo-nominated editor at Tor Books and Tor.com Publishing, though she’s worked in the publishing industry under various hats for the past decade. She’s also an academic scholar, activist, performer, and general rabble-rouser elsewhere. Her talented list includes Robyn Bennis, Alex Bledsoe, P. Djeli Clark, Marie Cruz, Lara Elena Donnelly, Thoraiya Dyer, A. J. Hartley, Margaret Killjoy, Kari Maaren, and Prentis Rollins; she also works with the best-selling The Wheel of Time® series and George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards universe. Books she has edited have gone on to win the Thriller Award (Steeplejack, for Best YA), the Ditmar Award (Crossroads of Canopy, for Best Novel) and to become finalists for the Nebula, Lambda Literary Award, Shirley Jackson Award, and Andre Norton Award for Young Adult. In the steampunk community, she is best-known for running Beyond Victoriana, an award-winning, US-based blog on multicultural steampunk. She has published numerous articles on science fiction and its community. She has been interviewed for many media outlets about fandom, including CBS’s Inside Edition, MSN.com, BBC America, the Travel Channel, HGTV, and the Science Channel. MiddleGradeNinja.com BeyondVictoriana.com

29. Episode 27 Author Marie Miranda Cruz
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 86.38Mb)

Description: Marie Miranda Cruz and I talk about her journey to write and publish her first novel, EVERLASTING NORA, including how she got her literary agent and her experience working with editor Diana Pho and even how she got the initial idea that sparked her story. We chat about the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the impact it had on her as well as her deep commitment to diversity in children's literature. And we talk about communities and the importance of creating a strong community of writers in your life. This is another wonderful episode that's not to be missed. Marie Miranda Cruz was born in the Philippines. She spent most of her formative years moving between her hometown, Cavite City, and several cities in the United States while her father served in the United States Navy. When her dad retired, she moved back to the Philippines where she completed both high school and college. The first holiday she experienced in the Philippines was All Saints Day. It was this experience that inspired her to write her first novel, EVERLASTING NORA. Marie now lives in Los Angeles with her family and a tank of fighting fish. When she isn’t writing books for kids, she may be analyzing chromosomes in a genetics lab, reading a good book, or knitting ponchos and fingerless gloves. MiddleGradeNinja.com CruzWrites.com

30. Episode 26 Author Amber Smith
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 79.32Mb)

Description: Author Amber Smith and I discuss her newest novel, SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY. We talk about where she got her idea originally, her process for writing it, and the techniques she employed in telling her story. We also talk about her journey of writing and publishing her first novel, THE WAY I USED TO BE, from the frustrations of rewriting it to the joys of it becoming an award winning New York Times Bestseller. She shares her tips for writing a romantic story, for building suspense, and for writing about characters respectfully without exploiting them. WARNING: We briefly discuss sexual assault as depicted in Amber's books, so discretion should be exercised for younger members of Esteemed Audience. Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels, The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, and Something Like Gravity. Her debut, The Way I Used to Be (2016), was selected for the American Library Association’s Amelia Bloomer List of Feminist Literature and Texas Library Association’s TAYSHAS List, it was named a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, and nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in YA Fiction, Connecticut’s Nutmeg Book Award, and Indiana’s Eliot Rosewater Award. Her second novel, The Last to Let Go (2018), received starred reviews from Booklist and VOYA, and was named a most-anticipated book by B and N Teen Blog, Elite Daily, and Bookish. Her next novel, Something Like Gravity, will be released June 18th, 2019 from Simon and Schuster. Amber grew up in Buffalo, New York and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her partner and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. Fueled by a lifelong passion for the arts, story, and creative expression, Amber graduated from art school with a BFA in Painting and went on to earn her master’s degree in Art History. When she’s not writing she’s usually reading, but can also be found in her studio making art or freelancing as an art consultant. She has also written on the topics of art history and modern and contemporary art. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, including sexual assault and domestic or intimate partner abuse, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. MiddleGradeNinja.com AmberSmithAuthor.com

31. Episode 25 Literary Agent Molly O'Neill
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 119.49Mb)

Description: Molly O'Neill and I discuss her career in publishing from her start in marketing with Clarion Books to her time as an editor with Harper Collins to her current role as a literary agent with Root Literary. She shares the experience of discovering and editing DIVERGENT (and I reveal an embarrassing encounter I had with Veronica Roth). We talk about the relationship between authors and editors and how to keep it from going off kilter, the truth about rejection, and some practical tips for writing the dreaded synopsis. As a special bonus, we're treated to a live reading of ROBERT PATTINSON: ETERNALLY YOURS from one of its coauthors. This episode is packed with insight into the world of publishing and you'll want to listen to it multiple times through. Molly O'Neill is a literary agent with Root Literary. For the past sixteen years, she has held various roles inside the publishing industry: previously, she was an Editor at HarperCollins Children's Books, where she acquired Veronica Roth's juggernaut Divergent series, among many other fantastic projects; the Head of Editorial at Storybird, a publishing/tech start-up; a member of the School and Library Marketing departments at both HarperCollins and Clarion Books; and an Agent at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. Molly loves the creative process and early-stage project development, is invigorated by business strategy and entrepreneurial thinking, and is fascinated by the intersections of art, commerce, creativity, and innovation. Molly is especially passionate about the people behind books, and takes pride in discovering and evangelizing talented authors and illustrators, expanding the global reach of their work, and finding new ways to build connections and community among creators, readers, stories, and their champions. She hunts for new talent and speaks about the importance of books for young people at a variety of conferences for writers, illustrators, and educators around the world each year, and is on the faculty of the Columbia Publishing Course, where she helps train new generations of publishing professionals. Molly is an alum of Marquette University, an erstwhile Texan, and a current dweller of Brooklyn, NY. She is drawn to authors and artists who constantly challenge themselves, who are adept at communicating with their audiences, who are creative and flexible thinkers, and who have as much enthusiasm for their readers as for their own successes. Wit, strong writing, vivid settings, a passion for craft, or a well-timed reaction gif will always catch her eye. MiddleGradeNinja.com MollyOneillBooks.com RootLiterary.com

32. Episode 24 Author Dustin Brady
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 85.52Mb)

Description: Author Dustin Brady and I discuss his experiences publishing both independently and traditionally for the middle grade market. We talk at length about his series TRAPPED IN A VIDEO GAME and the LEILA AND NUGGET MYSTERIES. We do a deep dive on his extensive experience as an Amazon seller and their AMS marketing platform. He gives a lot of practical, no-nonsense advice about cover design, book description, and all aspects of creating a quality book that's marketable. We also talk about school visits and his love for reaching reluctant readers. This is an episode you'll want to listen to multiple times through (and take notes). Dustin Brady writes funny, action-packed books for kids. Although he regularly gets locked out of his own accounts for forgetting passwords, Dustin still remembers the Super Mario Bros. 3 Game Genie code for infinite lives. It’s SLXPLOVS. Dustin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife, kids, and a small dog named Nugget. MiddleGradeNinja.com DustinBradyBooks.com

33. Episode 23 Literary Agent John Rudolph
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 100.17Mb)

Description: Literary Agent John Rudolph and I discuss his career in publishing from his start as a reluctant reader in childhood to becoming an editor to his current role as a literary agent with Dystel, Goderich and Bourret LLC. He offers a ton of great advice about how to evaluate an agent and how to engage one professionally and demystifies the role of an agent. We chat about diversity in publishing, the indie publishing revolution, and so much more. This is another topnotch episode packed end-to-end with quality information to help authors improve their craft. Don't miss it! John Rudolph joined Dystel, Goderich and Bourret LLC in 2010 after twelve years as an acquiring children’s book editor. He began his career at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers as an Editorial Assistant and then moved to the G. P. Putnam’s Sons imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, where he eventually served as Executive Editor on a wide range of young adult, middle-grade, nonfiction, and picture book titles. He graduated from Amherst College with a double major in Classics and Music. While John’s list started out as mostly children’s books, it has evolved to the point where it is now half adult, half children’s authors —and he’s looking to maintain that balance. On the children’s side, John is keenly interested in middle-grade and young adult fiction and would love to find the next great picture book author/illustrator. For adults, he is actively looking for narrative nonfiction, especially in music, sports, history, popular science, “big think”, performing arts, health, business, memoir, military history, and humor. He is also interested in commercial fiction, but is very selective in what he takes on. MiddleGradeNinja.com Dystel.com

34. Episode 22 Author Daniel José Older
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 62.91Mb)

Description: Daniel José Older and I chat about his bestselling young adult series SHADOWSHAPER CYPHER and his new middle grade series, DACTYL HILL SQUAD. And STAR WARS, of course, including what it was like to get to read the SOLO script early. Daniel José Older shares information about his process, marketing tips, and how to present an authentic version of yourself to the world. And his adorable dogs make cameo appearances. This conversation was an absolute treat and it's not to be missed. Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Middle Grade historical fantasy series Dactyl Hill Squad, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, Star Wars: Last Shot, and the award winning Young Adult series the Shadowshaper Cypher, which won the International Latino Book Award and was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers' Literature, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, the Mythopoeic Award, and named one of Esquire's 80 Books Every Person Should Read. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at http://danieljoseolder.net/, on youtube and @djolder on twitter. MiddleGradeNinja.com DanielJoseOlder.net

35. A Reading From Banneker Bones And The Alligator People
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 21.63Mb)

Description: Author Rob Kent reads three chapters from his new middle grade novel, BANNEKER BONES AND THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE. About the book: Eleven-year-old cousins Banneker Bones and Ellicott Skullworth are back in their second adventure. Picking up where BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES left off, our heroes are soaring through the air on jet packs, as they do, when they spot a half man, half alligator that’s all terrifying. Naturally, they follow the alligator person deep into the sewers and are nearly eaten for their trouble. Worse, no one believes the boys were attacked. Not the kids at school, not their parents, not even Banneker’s faithful robot butler. Banneker and Ellicott must prove the existence of alligator people to both vindicate themselves and once again save Latimer City from certain destruction. For as Banneker warns TV reporter Chip Lieberman, "I don't want to alarm your viewers, Chip, but we may all die. This is the start of the alligator people apocalypse!" BANNEKER BONES AND THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE is a humorous, science fiction adventure for readers of all ages written in the spirit of a comic book.

36. Episode 21 Author Jessica Lawson
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 97.04Mb)

Description: Jessica Lawson and I chat about writing and the strange quirks of being a writer. We discuss each of her books, where she gets her ideas, and her best writing practices. She doesn't sing a song about lost socks, alas, but she does talk about her editorial process and her best tips for successful school visits. Jessica and I have been online friends for years and it was a pleasure to finally have a conversation in person. I learned a lot and you will as well. Jessica Lawson enjoys living in Pennsylvania, where she and her family spend weekend hours hanging at the local orchard, pretending to be on Top Chef Junior, building with magnet blocks, making up new holidays, and reading plenty of books. She likes pizza. A lot. She is the author of The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher, a book that Publishers Weekly called “a delightfully clever debut” in a starred review, and Nooks and Crannies, a Junior Library Guild Selection and recipient of three starred reviews. Her 3rd book, Waiting for Augusta, won the Colorado Book Award for Juvenile Fiction, and was also a Junior Library Guild Selection. Of her latest book, Under the Bottle Bridge, School Library Journal says: "Beautifully written, with vivid characters, this exploration of family and friendship shines from the first page." She fell in love with storytelling at an early age, and is a sucker for Roald Dahl, Maurice Sendak, Linda Sue Park, RL LaFevers, Charles Dickens, Karen Cushman, Barbara Park, Amy Tan, Maryrose Wood, Barbara Cooney, Anne Ursu, Christopher Paul Curtis, Gail Carson Levine, Rita Williams-Garcia, Arnold Lobel, Isabel Allende, Sharon Creech, Eva Ibbotson, Shannon Hale, Maeve Binchy and many, many, many other wonderful authors and illustrators. She writes middle grade fiction, lots of to-do lists, and songs about lost socks. MiddleGradeNinja.com JessicaLawsonBooks.com

37. Episode 20 Literary Agent Elana Roth Parker
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 75.49Mb)

Description: Literary Agent Elana Roth Parker and I discuss her career as an editor and a literary agent (and a few other jobs). We talk about how authors should evaluate agents as well as how she evaluates potential clients, including what one author did to rule themselves out during a potential offer call. Bonus: you'll get to hear about a possible close encounter. This is a wonderfully informative conversation with a seasoned expert you don't want to miss. Elana Roth Parker is a Detroit-based creative type of the word variety. Elana has a few college degrees that explain where she came from and where she is now: one in English literature from Barnard College and one in Bible from the Jewish Theological Seminary. The magic happened when she lucked into her dream internship at Nickelodeon Magazine—a career in children's content was born. Book publishing followed, and over the next 15 years Elana went from editor to agent, with some stops in marketing and content strategy along the way. A literary agent for 10+ years, she currently represents children's book authors and illustrators at Laura Dail Literary Agency. After 17 years in New York City, Elana and her creative director husband relocated to her native Michigan, where she now drives around their two sons in a minivan. MiddleGradeNinja.com Elana.me Ldlainc.com

38. Episode 19 Editor Alison S. Weiss
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 120.14Mb)

Description: Editor Alison S. Weiss and I discuss her career in publishing and her editing expertise. We cover a little bit of everything from how she got her start in the business to recommendations for those who want to establish careers in publishing. We go through the services she provides to writers and her tips for tightening pacing, creating non-stereotypical characters, making your prose read like music, finding the right ratio between dialogue and action in a scene, and whole lot of other great stuff. This is a highly informative episode you'll want to listen to more than once. Alison S. Weiss has been in publishing for more than ten years. She currently is an editorial consultant at Alison Weiss Editorial. Prior to that, she was Editorial Director at Sky Pony Press, where she works on picture books through YA including William C. Morris Finalist, Devils Within by S.F. Henson, the Project Droid series by New York Times bestselling Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran, and the popular Timekeeper trilogy by Tara Sim. In 2016 she was named Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree. She’s been trying to live up to the title ever since. Find information about her services at alisonweisseditorial.com and follow her on Twitter @alioop7. MiddleGradeNinja.com AlisonWeissEditorial.com

39. Episode 18 Literary Agent Holly Root
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 90.88Mb)

Description: Literary Agent Holly Root and I discuss her career in publishing from working in the mail room, to making a name for herself as an agent, to now running her own agency. She also takes us through the cycle of a published manuscript from the time it starts out as a query in her inbox, to the time she negotiates its contract, to guiding its author through launch and onto their next book and the rest of their career. And she makes a JURASSIC PARK reference, so you know she's awesome. Prepare to learn a lot about publishing and to be inspired. Holly Root began her publishing career as an editor in her hometown of Nashville, TN. Prior to joining the Waxman Literary Agency in 2007, she worked at the William Morris Agency and Trident Media Group. Holly has launched over two dozen New York Times bestsellers before founding Root Literary in 2017. The agency's clients benefit from its agents' proven skills in identifying talent, negotiating advantageous deals, and advocating for its books all the way from submission to publication. They offer their clients broad-based industry insights as well as individualized strategic thinking to empower each author to define and pursue their own unique path to success. MiddleGradeNinja.com RootLiterary.com

40. Episode 17 Author Padma Venkatraman
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 92.60Mb)

Description: Padma Venkatraman and I discuss her new middle grade novel, THE BRIDGE HOME. We discuss everything from her childhood in India to her becoming an oceanographer and now an award-winning author. We also discuss religion, spirituality, writing about them for the middle grade market, and, of course, flying saucers. This episode is filled from end to end with fascinating insights about writing and storytelling, as well advice for living. Padma Venkatraman is the author of 4 novels: THE BRIDGE HOME, A TIME TO DANCE, ISLAND'S END and CLIMBING THE STAIRS, all of which were released to multiple starred reviews (for a total of seventeen stars so far). Her latest, THE BRIDGE HOME, was released this February to five starred reviews (in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal and School Library Connection), won an Audiophile Magazine Earphone Award, and is the 2019 middle grade Global Read Aloud. Her previous three young adult novels have won several awards (South Asia Book Award, Paterson Prize, Boston Authors Club Julia Ward Howe, Rhode Island Book of the Year etc.) and received numerous honors (including the ALA Notable, ALA BBYA, Kirkus BBYA, Booklist Editor’s Choice, NYPL Top 25 and Bank Street Best Books). MiddleGradeNinja.com PadmaVenkatraman.com

41. Episode 16 Public Relations Expert Megan Beatie
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 74.71Mb)

Description: Public relations expert Megan Beatie and I discuss book marketing for middle grade novels, young adult novels, and picture books. She shares her history navigating the publishing industry in the start of her career in 1996 all the way to the present, gives an overview of all the things she does for her authors, and provides numerous invaluable tips for book promotion and working with publicists. This is an invaluable conversation for anyone interested in marketing a book. Megan Beatie is a veteran book publicist with more than two decades of experience. She has executed the publicity campaigns for books in nearly every conceivable genre including literary fiction, mysteries&thrillers,science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, young adult and children’s books, as well as nonfiction covering the topics of pop culture, film, entertainment, health, lifestyle, parenting, and relationships. Some of the esteemed writers she has represented over the course of her career include Marcia Clark, Dr. David Agus, Dr. Nina Shapiro, John Lahr, Barry Eisler, Lee Goldberg, Seth Greenland, Leslie S. Klinger, Attica Locke, John Connolly, Chris Farnsworth, and many others. She has a specialty in children’s book publicity and has worked on picture books, middle grade books and young adult books by authors including Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, IbiZoboi, Elana K. Arnold, Maureen Johnson, Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl, Amber Smith, Alexandra Monir, and many more. The fifth generation of a farming family from Southern California’s Ventura County, Megan lives and works in Los Angeles. Visit her company’s website at www.meganbeatie.com and follow on Facebook @MeganBeatieCommunications, Instagram @mubeatie, and Twitter @mbeatie. MiddleGradeNinja.com

42. Episode 15 Author Kathi Appelt
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 114.22Mb)

Description: Kathi Appelt and I discuss her first young adult novel, ANGEL THIEVES, as well as her many wonderful picture books and middle grade novels. She reveals her writing and research process and is very candid about the highs and lows of her publishing career, from the runaway success of THE UNDERNEATH to the tale of the picture book that took 17 years to finally be published. We also discuss religion and politics and are generally impolite, as authors ought to be. We even say a naughty word apiece, so look forward to that and more in this amazing episode packed with outstanding advice for writers from a master of the craft. Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honoree, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award-winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award finalist The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Keeper, and many picture books including Counting Crows. She has two grown children and lives in College Station, Texas, with her husband. MiddleGradeNinja.com KathiAppelt.com

43. Episode 14 Author Lamar Giles
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 93.34Mb)

Description: Lamar Giles and I discuss his newest middle grade adventure novel, THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER, his young adult thrillers, and our mutual love for Stephen King. We also talk about the founding of We Need Diverse Books, his transition from self published author to traditionally published author (and the advantages of each publishing model), and also Stephen King. We actually talk about Stephen King a lot. If you'd like to support We Need Diverse Books, head to: https://diversebooks.org/our-programs/ And to apply for the grant Lamar mentioned, head to: https://diversebooks.org/our-programs/walter-grant/ And to read my open (love) letter to Stephen King, head to: http://www.middlegradeninja.com/2016/10/ninja-stuff-open-letter-to-stephen-king.html Lamar Giles is a well published author and a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Lamar has two novels forthcoming in 2019: his debut middle grade fantasy THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER (Versify / HMH) and his fourth YA thriller SPIN (Scholastic). Lamar Giles is a two-time Edgar Award finalist in the YA category, for his debut YA thriller FAKE ID (HarperCollins, 2014), and his second YA thriller, ENDANGERED (HarperCollins, 2015). His third YA thriller, OVERTURNED (Scholastic, 2017) received this glowing New York Times review, and was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2017. You can see the book trailer for OVERTURNED here. FAKE ID has been optioned by Sony Pictures (not yet announced). Lamar is a contributor to the YA anthology THREE SIDES OF A HEART (HarperCollins, 2017), the editor of the forthcoming We Need Diverse Books YA short story anthology FRESH INK (Random House 2018), a contributor to the forthcoming YA anthology BLACK ENOUGH: STORIES OF BEING YOUNG & BLACK IN AMERICA (HarperCollins / Balzer and Bray 2019), and a contributor to a forthcoming We Need Diverse Books middle grade anthology. MiddleGradeNinja.com lamargiles.com

44. Episode 13 Author Steven K. Smith
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 106.59Mb)

Description: Author Steven K. Smith and I discuss indie publishing for the middle grade market and his advice for writers. We talk about his series THE VIRGINIA MYSTERIES and how utilizing local landmarks and history helped him build a network of educators and bookstore owners to help him market his books. Steven and I both have a background in sales, so we discuss how that's extremely helpful for authors. And we get into the nitty gritty on Amazon ads and other subjects specifically helpful for indie publishers. Another episode that's not to be missed! Steven K. Smith writes the middle grade series The Virginia Mysteries, adventures with a twist of history, and Brother Wars. Sign up for Steven's Reader's List to be notified of new books and events at: http://eepurl.com/bmgO8T Steven lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife and three sons. Born and raised in rural northwestern New Jersey, he moved to Virginia in 2011 and quickly fell in love with its history and charm. Visit his website at www.stevenksmith.net. He also writes contemporary fiction for grownups as Steven Sawyer. When he's not writing, Steven enjoys coaching his boys in sports, hiking, kayaking, naps, and taking away his kids' screen time. Some of his favorite children's books include Where the Red Fern Grows, Rascal, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Bridge to Terabithia, and the Chronicles of Narnia series. The Virginia Mysteries - Adventures with a twist of history Book 1 - Summer of the Woods Book 2 - Mystery on Church Hill Book 3 - Ghosts of Belle Isle Book 4 - Secret of the Staircase Book 5 - Midnight at the Mansion Book 6 - Shadows at Jamestown Book 7 - Spies at Mount Vernon Brother Wars Brother Wars: Cabin Eleven Brother Wars: The Big Apple Parenting Non-Fiction Splashing in the Deep End: Adventures Raising Boys MiddleGradeNinja.com myboys3.com

45. Episode 12 Literary Agent Jennifer March Soloway
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 72.60Mb)

Description: Literary Agent Jennifer March Soloway and I discuss the types of projects she's looking for, how she evaluates queries and writing samples, and the sorts of services she provides to her clients. She demonstrates her vast knowledge of the market and why she would be an ideal literary agent to represent authors, and throws out plenty of fabulous tips for writers. This is an episode you'll want to listen to a few times and take notes. Jennifer March Soloway represents authors and illustrators of picture book, middle grade, and YA stories, and is actively building her list. Although she specializes in children’s literature, she also represents adult fiction, both literary and commercial, particularly crime and psychological suspense projects. For picture books, she is drawn to a wide range of stories from silly to sweet, but she always appreciates a strong dose of humor and some kind of surprise at the end. When it comes to middle grade, she likes all kinds of genres, including adventures, mysteries, spooky-but-not-too-scary ghost stories, humor, realistic contemporary, and fantasy. YA is Jennifer’s sweet spot. She is a suspense junkie. She adores action-packed thrillers full of unexpected twists. Throw in a dash of romance and she’s hooked! She's a huge fan of psychological horror that blurs the lines between the real and the imagined. But as much as she loves a good thriller, she finds her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary teens, especially those focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or recovery. In such stories, she is particularly drawn to a close, confiding first-person narrative. Regardless of genre, she is actively seeking fresh new voices and perspectives underrepresented in literature. That’s her wish list, but the truth is an author might have something she has never considered before, and it might be absolutely perfect for her. She is open to any good story that is well written with a strong, authentic voice. Surprise her! Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer worked in marketing and public relations in a variety of industries, including financial services, health care, and toys. She has an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College and was a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto in 2012. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two sons, and an English bulldog. Jennifer regularly presents at writing conferences all over the country, including the San Francisco Writers Conference, the Atlanta Writers Conference, and regional SCBWI conferences. For her latest conference schedule, craft tips and more, follow Jennifer on Twitter (@marchsoloway). MiddleGradeNinja.com andreabrownlit.com

46. Episode 11 Author Tommy Greenwald
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 117.53Mb)

Description: Author Tommy Greenwald and I discuss his career in publishing and his advice for writers. We do a deep dive on his process from having his initial idea to planning the story to planning a series and working with his editors and illustrators to produce a final book. He gives several invaluable insights into marketing and targeting his fiction. We also talk about his experience writing and advertising musicals as well as writing about sports. Tommy Greenwald is the author of many books for children, including the CRIMEBITERS! series, about a group of friends and a (possibly) superhero crime-fighting vampire dog, and the CHARLIE JOE JACKSON books, a middle-grade series about the most reluctant reader ever born. His most recent book is GAME CHANGER, about the pleasures and perils of youth sports. Tommy is also the Co-Founder of Spotco Advertising, a theatrical and entertainment advertising agency in New York City, and the lyricist and co-bookwriter (with Andrew Lippa) of JOHN and JEN, a 1995 musical which was revived off-Broadway in 2015. MiddleGradeNinja.com TommyGreenwald.com

47. Episode 10 Author Daniel Kenney
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 95.22Mb)

Description: Author Daniel Kenney and I discuss his career in publishing and his advice for writers. We go to some weird places with our mutual love of flying saucers and even discuss whether or not the moon landing was faked (probably not, but maybe). And I read a selection from BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES. My apologies for coughing and sniffling as I'm getting over a nasty bought of the flu. Daniel Kenney is the co-author of the hit detective series, The Math Inspectors and the author/illustrator behind the hugely successful Big Life of Remi Muldoon series. He writes funny books for smart kids and his titles include The Beef Jerky Gang, Pirate Ninja, and Katie Plumb and The Pendleton Gang. Daniel and his wife live in Omaha, Nebraska with zero cats, zero dogs, one gecko, two very lost toads, and a large shoe full of kids. When those kids aren't driving him nuts, Daniel is busy with his other passion, traveling the world by jet pack. MiddleGradeNinja.com Facebook.com/AuthorDanielKenney Twitter.com/danielkenney

48. Episode 09 Literary Agent John Cusick
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 105.58Mb)

Description: Literary Agent and author John Cusick and I discuss his career in publishing and his advice for writers. We talk about diversity in publishing, his tips for landing an agent, and many other great things you won't want to miss. Here is a link to John's video "A Pretty Much Foolproof Silver Bullet Query Opening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27VHP... And as promised, here's a link to my post about diversity in traditional publishing: http://www.middlegradeninja.com/2015/03/ninja-stuff-on-heartbreak-and-diversity_27.html John Cusick (@johnmcusick) is a VP and literary agent with Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management. He represents a diverse list of bestselling and award-winning creators of picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. He is also the author of Girl Parts and Cherry Money Baby (Candlewick Press), and co-editor of the YouTube series Agent Brain/ Writer Brain. www.middlegradeninja.com johnmcusick.wordpress.com foliolit.com

49. Episode 08 Editor Amy Tipton
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 59.30Mb)

Description: Editor and former literary agent Amy Tipton and I discuss her career in publishing and her approach to editing. We chat about her time representing Courtney Summers, Amy Reed, and many other famous YA authors and I thank her for a crucial note she gave me when I was revising Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees. She shares her philosophy of revision, the new services she's offering through Feral Girl Books, the most common mistakes writers make, and much, much more. In her own words: I graduated from Naropa University with a B.A. in Writing and Literature and received my MFA from New College of California in Writing. I have been working in the publishing industry for 13 years and started freelance editing in 2018. Prior to that, I was a literary agent at Signature Literary Agency since 2009. (I first stepped into the role of literary agent at Peter Rubie Literary Agency, now FinePrint Literary Management, in 2007.) I started out as an assistant and office manager at several agencies including JCA Literary Agency, Diana Finch Literary Agency, Gina Maccoby Literary Agency, and Liza Dawson Associates, as a book scout for Aram Fox, Inc., and as a freelance editor for Lauren Weisberger (author of The Devil Wears Prada). My years of experience culling books from the slush pile give me confidence I can help you too! (Not just a service for those looking for an agent … Maybe you already have an agent but they are less editorial-minded and you are going on sub or got an RR from an editor … Maybe you’re self-publishing … Whatever the situation, consider me your professional CP! ) www.middlegradeninja.com amy-tipton.com

50. Episode 07 Author Jacqueline West
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 63.49Mb)

Description: NYT Bestselling author Jacqueline West and I discuss her career in publishing as well as her approach to writing and her background as a performer and English teacher. She shares many tips for how to write successfully and gives recommended resources for aspiring authors. I also read a small selection from Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees. Jacqueline West is the author of the NYT-bestselling middle grade series The Books of Elsewhere, the YA novel Dreamers Often Lie, and the new middle grade fantasy The Collectors. She is also the author of two poetry collections, Cherma and Candle and Pins: Poems on Superstitions, and her poetry and short fiction appear in a variety of publications. She lives in Red Wing, Minnesota, with her family. www.middlegradeninja.com jacquelinewest.com

51. Episode 06 Author Susan Kaye Quinn
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 105.17Mb)

Description: Author and indie publishing expert Susan Kaye Quinn and I discuss her career in publishing as well as her approach to writing and editing. She shares many tips for how to be successful as an indie author. You'll want to revisit this episode a few times and take notes because Susan has more knowledge than could ever be packed into a single episode. Note: a few crucial seconds have been removed from this conversation to protect the identity of Susan's pen name. Susan Kaye Quinn is a rocket scientist turned speculative fiction author who now uses her PhD to invent cool stuff in books. She writes young adult science fiction, with side trips into adult future-noir and sweet royal romance. Her bestselling novels and short stories have been optioned for Virtual Reality, translated into German, and featured in several anthologies. Susan grew up in California, got a bunch of engineering degrees (Aerospace, Mechanical, and Environmental), and worked everywhere from NASA to NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research). She has designed aircraft engines, studied global warming, and held elected office (as a school board member). Now that she writes novels, her business card says “Author and Rocket Scientist,” but she spends most of her time inventing her stories, petting her cats, and rescuing her Roomba from evil socks. Susan writes full-time from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. She is a member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is represented by Sarah Hershmann at Hershmann Rights Management. www.middlegradeninja.com susankayequinn.com

52. Episode 05 Editor Mary Kole
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 89.03Mb)

Description: Editor and former literary agent Mary Kole and I discuss her career in publishing and her approach to editing. She shares many tips for how to create memorable characters, how to improve a story's pacing, how best to market a book, and all sorts of other invaluable advice for writers. You'll want to revisit this episode a few times and take notes as it's packed with great content. And do not forget to check out KidLit.com, MaryKole.com, and purchase your copy of Mary's excellent book on craft, Writing Irresistible Kidlit. As promised in the show, here is the text of the kind rejection I recieved from Mary back in 2010: "Thank you so much for the opportunity to read BANNEKER BONES. Unfortunately, this is a pass for me. The writing here is good and the premise is fun and interesting but I'm having a hard time imagining how to pitch or sell this in today's market. The voice just isn't 100% there for me, and it really has to shine for me to take something on. You've obviously a very skilled writer and I know I'll be kicking myself, but I'm not connecting to the material enough to be the best advocate for it in the marketplace, and you deserve nothing less. I'm sure another agent will feel differently and I look forward to reading about your many successes. You're plugged in and getting there, I can tell, but you're not quite there yet."

53. Episode 04 Author Darby Karchut
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 51.94Mb)

Description: Author Darby Karchut and I discuss her new middle grade novel, Del Toro Moon, as well as her advice for writers and thoughts and writing and publishing in general. We also chat a bit about our mutual love for author Mike Mullin. Late in the show, there are some slight technical issues with the video, but the audio is continuous and this was an amazing conversation I really enjoyed. Darby Karchut is a multi-award winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy at her writing desk. Her books include the best selling middle grade series: THE ADVENTURES OF FINN MacCULLEN. Best thing ever: her YA debut novel, GRIFFIN RISING, has been optioned for film. Her latest book is DEL TORO MOON from Owl Hollow Press. Visit the author at www.darbykarchut.com

54. Bonus Episode Indy Author Fair 2017 Genre Writing Panel
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 72.49Mb)

Description: I chat with fellow genre writers Maurice Broaddus, Sandy James, and Tony Perona during the Genre Writing Panel at the Indy Author Fair held Saturday, October 14, 2017 at Central Library in Indianapolis. Maurice Broaddus is the author of the Knights of Breton Court trilogy, and the upcoming middle grade novel, The Usual Suspects. He has published dozens of short stories, essays, novellas and articles. He founded the Phoenix Arts Initiative, which encourages use of the arts for at-risk youth to express themselves. He teaches at the Indiana Writers Center. Sandy James has published numerous romance novels with Forever Yours and Carina Press, and is the recipient of two HOLT Medallions for excellence in that genre. Her indie-published romance novels have been Amazon #1 Bestsellers. She lives in suburban Indianapolis. Tony Perona is the author of the Nick Bertetto mystery series (SECOND ADVENT, ANGELS WHISPER, and SAINTLY REMAINS), the standalone thriller THE FINAL MAYAN PROPHECY, and co-editor and contributor to the anthologies RACING CAN BE MURDER and HOOSIER HOOPS & HIJINKS. Tony is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. He is also a member of Sisters-in-Crime.

55. Episode 03 Author Jeff Norton
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 41.72Mb)

Description: Author Jeff Norton and I discuss his new middle grade novel, Alienated, as well as his philosophy on writing and his advice for writers. Naturally, we also discussed our mutual love for zombies and the series Choose Your Own Adventure. And I got him on the record about his feelings regarding UFOs and alien abduction. You don't want to miss this episode! Jeff Norton is a London based writer-producer, author of the award-winning 'MetaWars' series from Hachette, 'Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie' series from Faber, and the new YA thriller 'Keeping The Beat' with co-author Marie Powell and published by KCP Loft. A reluctant reader as an adolescent, Jeff created the futuristic world of 'MetaWars' to rival the most exciting video games and to challenge readers with big ideas. His aim was to write "a video game you can read." Originally from Canada, Jeff began his career in advertising, worked in the movie business in Hollywood where he produced the critically acclaimed interactive film 'Choose Your Own Adventure,' and upon moving to the U.K., managed the literary estate of Enid Blyton, Britain's best-loved author. He now writes full time, with a focus on creating big, immersive worlds. Jeff is also a producer and director in multiple media. He lives London with his wife and two young sons. jeffnorton.com

56. Episode 02 Author Barbara Shoup
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 88.66Mb)

Description: Barbara Shoup, one of my most favorite writers and the executive director of the Indiana Writers Center, joined me for this second episode. We had a fantastic discussion about writing, young adult novels, the Indiana Writers Center, and our love of being Hoosiers. This is one of my favorite conversations I've had with a fellow writer. Barbara Shoup is the author eight novels, including Night Watch, Wish You Were Here, Stranded in Harmony, Faithful Women, Vermeer's Daughter, Everything You Want, An American Tune, and Looking for Jack Kerouac, as well as the co-author of Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process and Story Matters. Her young adult novels, Wish You Were Here and Stranded in Harmonywere selected as American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. Vermeer's Daughter was a School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Young Adults. She was the recipient of the 2006 PEN Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. She lives in Indianapolis, where she is the Executive Director of the Indiana Writers Center.

57. Episode 01 Author Laura Martin
https://soundcloud.com/user-74... download (audio/mpeg, 49.96Mb)

Description: Laura Martin, my friend and author of THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION series discusses her newest middle grade novel, FLOAT. She also shares intimate details into her writing process and her writer's journey thus far and provides unique insight to inspire authors at all stages in their career. Our discussion of the edited "skinny dipping" scene from Float alone is well worth your time. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this discussion between two middle grade authors about writing, publishing, and life. Laura Martin believes in chasing dreams, and she brought that philosophy to her classroom for six years as a seventh-grade English teacher. She is the author of the Edge of Extinction series. When she isn’t writing stories about dinosaurs and underground civilizations, she can be found in the Indianapolis area with her dashing husband Josh, her two adorable kids London and Lincoln, and two opinionated bulldogs. You can visit her online at www.lauramartinbooks.com. Her latest, Float, released on May 29th, 2018