Character Counts! A Writer’s Perspective by Fiona Ingram

Several years ago, (then) debut South African author Fiona Ingram asked us to read her new book: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. It was the first book in a middle grade adventure series that is part India Jones, part Spy Kids. Earlier this year, Fiona published the second title, The Search for the Sword of Excalibur. Over the years we’ve kept in touch. In talking about an author’s journey, we had a wonderful conversation about how authors build their characters. We also talked about “author character” – the impact a reviewer’s comments can have on how a writer approaches his/her work. I found Fiona’s experiences and perspective not just interesting, but valuable. I invited her to build on the concepts of … Read more

Ode to the Mother of Fiction Picture Books

Can I be honest? I’m still in a little bit of shock. I still pinch myself. Fiction Picture Books Chair for the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards. Wow. Cybils + Fiction Picture Books = MotherReader I’ll just put it out there – MotherReader (aka Pam Coughlan) is a rock star.  Oh, let me count the ways … 10. Pam is the mom of two girls. GIRLS ROCK. 9. She is a children’s librarian. My dream job. 8. Pam taught me how to “blog” kidlit and do it right. Any failures of execution are completely my own. 7. I can always count on Festivus to make me feel better. You should try it. 6. She spearheaded Kidlitosphere Central, aka the … Read more

Cybils Awards v. The Walking Dead – a No Brainer

Why count the days until the The Walking Dead, when you could already be celebrating the launch of the 2015 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (@Cybils)?! See, I told you it was a no brainer! This year, the Cybils Awards are celebrating its 10th Year! The 2015 Call for Judges opened on Monday, so while you’re waiting for that show to start, head on over to the blog to learn more about the Cybils Awards and, think about applying as a judge. Rather than repeat last year’s post with my top three reasons why being part of the Cybils Awards rocks, I am going to ask you to consider three questions. 1. Do you read and blog about … Read more