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Tag: Writing

Ask the Author: Lillie Lainoff

“One for All (FSG, Winter 2022) is an ownvoices (chronic illness/disability), gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers set in 17th century Paris, a few years in the wake of La Fronde (comes from the French word “a sling,” a series of civil wars from 1648 to 1653).”

Ask the Author: Arianne Costner

“MY LIFE AS A POTATO is about a boy named Ben who moves to a new school in Idaho. Ben hopes to makeover his image to be more of a “cool kid.” One day in the cafeteria, he accidentally injures the school mascot, Steve the Spud. The basketball coach makes a deal with him: in order to avoid detention, Ben will fill in for the Spud for the last few games of the season. How embarrassing! Ben wants NO ONE to find out. He’s a bit clumsy, and not the best dancer, and… I mean… he’ll be dressed like a potato. Ben goes to great (and hilarious) lengths trying to hide his secret from his crush, his friends, and the whole school, while simultaneously working on improving his mascot game. He finds some unexpected friendships along the way, and learns that the secret to being cool is being cool with being yourself. 

CONFESSIONS OF A CLASS CLOWN is about Jack, the resident class clown, who loves making goofy videos on his social media accounts. He starts trends at school and is well-liked, but no one would guess that Jack is very self-conscious about the fact that he doesn’t have a “best” friend. In fact, most of his friends don’t stick around for long, and he can’t figure out why.  
Jack really needs someone to help film videos for his ever-growing social media account, so he swallows his pride and joins the new afterschool speed-friendshipping club. There, he meets, among others, Tasha, Brielle, and Mario, who each have their own motivations for joining the club, and their own hidden problems too. Alternating perspective chapters from each of the four characters show how their lives intertwine as they learn about false first impressions, human connection, and social media pressure.”

Ask the Author: Briana Morgan

“Greg Zipper is a paranormal vlogger whose livelihood relies on his online popularity. When a fight between him and his girlfriend goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Greg purchases a dark web mystery box in hopes of restoring his audience’s faith in him and hitting one million subscribers. But when Greg opens the box, he gets much more than he bargained for, including a Boxer who’s determined to stop him from taking his loved ones for granted. Now Greg must do all he can to stop the Boxer, or else he’ll lose his livelihood—along with the woman he loves.”

Ask the Author: Kit Rosewater

“The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team, is about Kenzie and her best friend/ dynamic duo partner Shelly. The Dynamic Duo set out to form a roller derby team so they can join the junior derby league together. But with every player they add, the duo starts to slip apart. Tensions bubble between the best friends as Shelly makes new friends and Kenzie begins to navigate a crush she keeps secret from Shelly. Kenzie begins to wonder if forming a team might tear their friendship apart, so when Shelly tries to recruit Kenzie’s crush to the track, Kenzie makes a secret plan of her own. Book 2 in the series follows Shelly, and Book 3 follows their team member Tomoko!”

Ask the Author: James Brandon

a love story set during the tumultuous time of 1973, when homosexuality was still considered a mental illness. 16-year-old Jonathan Collins is currently being “treated” for his illness, and he believes himself to be “cured.” That is, until Web enters his life. Web has secrets of his own, and as they start developing feelings for each other, the two boys learn how to tackle issues of race, homophobia, and identity in a world that is doing everything in its power to tear them apart.

Ask the Author: Stephanie Elliot

Sixteen-year-old Pea knows there has always been something wrong with the way she eats–textures, smells, and even the sight of some foods are frightening. When she’s finally diagnosed with a little-known eating disorder called Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), her “picky eating” starts to make sense. Pea has always felt alienated, anxious, and depressed, and with her diagnosis, she is hopeful that she’ll get the treatment she needs to get better.

Thanks to therapy, her loving yet dysfunctional family, and the support of her sweet and caring new boyfriend, Ben, Pea finally feels like she’s in control for the first time in her life. But when she decides to go off her antidepressants, things start to spiral out of control. It will take inner strength and the support from her loved ones to get the help she needs to begin to challenge her eating disorder.

Ask the Author: Cat Scully

Jennifer Strange is about a well-meaning, early high school girl with a villain’s power – she can give ghosts and demons a body, even if it rips right out of the host. It’s set in Savannah, Georgia, one of the most haunted cities in America. Jennifer’s powers awaken in Atlanta during a volleyball match where a ghost attacks her, desiring to live again. Her dad whisks Jennifer away from Atlanta down to Savannah to stay with her older sister Liz while he searches for something to stop her powers. The estranged sisters have to fight off demons and ghosts while figuring out their family curse using only their father’s journal for guidance. The book itself is modeled after the actual journal so you can follow along with the entries and see all of the art. It’s very much like John Winchester’s journal from Supernatural.

Ask the Author: Lizzie Page

The Forgotten Girls was released in February this year. It is a dual narrative, one thread is in 1940s London, the other is among the British ex-pat community in Spain in 2017. Elaine Pinker Parker is working as a clerical officer and trying to keep her brothers together when she falls in love with dashing war correspondent Robert Kapa. Will the relationship go the distance? In 2017, Jen is newly single and holidaying with her difficult family when she finds out that their nana Elaine had an affair with Robert Capa, and what’s more, she might have had his children

Ask the Author: Liza Wiemer

Senior year. When an assignment given by a favorite teacher instructs a group of students to argue for the Final Solution, a euphemism used to describe the Nazi plan of genocide of the Jewish people, Logan March and Cade Crawford are horrified. Their teacher cannot seriously expect anyone to complete an assignment that fuels intolerance and discrimination. Logan and Cade decide they must take a stand.

As the school administration addresses the teens’ refusal to participate in the appalling debate, the student body, their parents, and the larger community are forced to face the issue as well. The situation explodes, and acrimony and anger result. What does it take for tolerance, justice, and love to prevail?

In the vein of the classic The Wave, this riveting novel explores discrimination and antisemitism and reveals their dangerous impact. Inspired by a true incident, The Assignment will remind readers that they have choices—and those choices can make a difference.

Ask the Author: Carrie Highley

Follow Carrie Highley through four years of e-mails to Charlie, an older and wiser friend, as she chronicles her transformation from an ideal housewife and mother into an avid road cyclist with a hidden life as a lesbian. Set in both West Virginia and North Carolina, the story details her healing bicycle trips as she grapples with the challenges of a clandestine love affair, a divorce, a new career and parenting her two young sons.
As much as Highley fears the consequences of revealing her secret to her family and friends, she also comes to understand that her long-term happiness depends upon exposing her true self. Finally, with Charlie’s support, she gets the courage to do what she’s been waiting her whole life to do: go down the mountain with her hands off the brakes.

Ask the Author: Chris Baron

So, ALL OF ME (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 19) is a Middle Grade novel in verse. It’s the story of Ari Rosensweig, an overweight, seventh grade boy who loves cryptozoology and role-playing games. Ari is tired of being bullied and letting his weight define him. His parents’ marriage is struggling. They are too busy to focus on his life, much less help him with his already late bar mitzvah, and things take a turn for the worse. Ari’s mother, a painter and sculptor, decides to open an old gallery at the beach that summer. She puts him on a diet(but this is not the answer), and with the help of some unexpected friends, he tries to make a change physically, but that’s only the beginning of their adventures and the real change that comes.

My next book, THE GIRL BEHIND THE DOOR, (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 21) is set in the Bay Area, set against the backdrop of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake in a town of refugees who came to America via Angel Island, the book is about a boy who is selectively mute and a girl who won’t leave her house because of a skin condition, and the magical Jewish clay that allows them to help each other.

Ask the Author: Sarah Hogle

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves—and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

Ask the Author: Kristin Fields

A LILY IN THE LIGHT is about an eleven year old girl who’s training to become a professional ballet dancer when her little sister goes missing.

My next book, A FRENZY OF SPARKS (November 2020), is set in the 1960s and follows a group of cousins after drugs are introduced into their community. It comes out November 2020.