Interview: Candace Fleming

Bulldozer’s Big Day is a perfect read-aloud, with wonderful sound and action opportunities on most pages. Did those moments affect your decision about what verbs to use? How lovely you think it’s a perfect read aloud. I worked hard at the story’s readability. Not only did I strive for a pace and cadence, but I wanted the story to sound as active as the plot’s setting with lots of bumping and clanging and vrooming.… more
Read More »

Interview: Eric Rohmann

Bull­doz­er’s Big Day
writ­ten by Can­dace Flem­ing
illus­trat­ed by Eric Rohmann
Atheneum, 2015
inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist What’s the illustration tool you turn to more than any other? Graphite pencil. Simple, efficient, erasable, feels good in the hand, makes a lovely line with infinite possibilities for line variation. Did I mention that it’s erasable? Always forgiving!… more
Read More »

Interview: Ann Bausum

With Courage and Cloth: Win­ning the Fight for a Woman’s Right to Vote
Ann Bausum
Nation­al Geo­graph­ic, 2004
inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist You state that you weren’t taught women’s history in school. (Neither was I. I remember reading and re-reading the few biographies in the library about Molly Pitcher, Clara Barton, and Florence Nightingale.) When you went looking for information for With Courage and Cloth, how did you start?… more
Read More »

Interview: Rita Williams-Garcia

Inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist When you wrote One Crazy Summer, did you already know you had a longer story to tell? And if you didn’t know then, when did you know? I was so focused on telling the one story of children’s involvement in the Black Panther Movement. As I dug into my characters’ backstories and projected their actions into the future, I knew I had another book to write.… more
Read More »
Chasing Freedom

Nikki Grimes: Researching and Writing Chasing Freedom

Inter­view by Vic­ki Palmquist Chas­ing Free­dom
writ­ten by Nik­ki Grimes
illus­trat­ed by Michelle Wood
Orchard Books, 2014 Did you know more about one of your two characters when you conceived of the book?  Yes. I knew a fair amount about Harriet Tubman. Hers was one of the few stories about African Americans brought out every year during what, in my youth, was called Negro History Month.… more
Read More »
cover image

Kekla Magoon: Writing Historical Fiction

inter­view by Ric­ki Thompson RICKI: Kekla, thanks so much for join­ing me and your oth­er fans (old and new) on Bookol­o­gy! Your nov­els have been described as “well-paced,” “deeply-lay­ered,” and “ele­gant­ly craft­ed.”  I espe­cial­ly admire the uncom­fort­able issues you con­front and the risks you take in your sto­ries. You’ve authored a num­ber of engag­ing books, but today let’s talk about your com­pan­ion YA his­tor­i­cal nov­els, The Rock and the Riv­er and Fire in the Streets, and the research involved in writ­ing them.… more
Read More »
Avi and Gary D. Schmidt

A Conversation Between Avi and Gary D. Schmidt

When Avi pub­lished his 1950s’ era nov­el, Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor, he ded­i­cat­ed the book to Gary D. Schmidt, fel­low author, fel­low read­er, fel­low con­nois­seur of noir detec­tive nov­els and his­to­ry. The Bookol­o­gist is priv­i­leged to lis­ten in on this con­ver­sa­tion between two authors who are so great­ly admired for the depth and tex­ture with­in their books.… more
Read More »
Shadow Hero

Interview with Sonny Liew

The Shad­ow Hero
writ­ten by Gene Luen Yang
illus­trat­ed by Son­ny Liew
First Sec­ond, 2014 Growing up in Malaysia and Singapore, what were the popular comic books? Well in terms of what you’d see at the newsstands , there was Old Master Q or Lao Fu Zhi from Hong Kong. In schools, there’d always be someone reading Tin Tin, Asterix or Archie.… more
Read More »
Shadow Hero

Interview with Gene Luen Yang

The Shad­ow Hero
writ­ten by Gene Luen Yang
illus­trat­ed by Son­ny Liew
First Sec­ond, 2014 What qualifies a comics character as a superhero? You’ve asked a question that lies at the very heart of geekdom.  I don’t know if there’s a solid answer.  Most superheroes have superhuman abilities, but not all.  Most superheroes wear colorful costumes, but not all. … more
Read More »
Catherine Thimmesh, photo by Lori Dozier

Catherine Thimmesh: Researching Paleoartistry

 How did you learn about paleoartists?  While I was working on my book Lucy Long Ago, part of that research revealed the work of a paleoartist who reconstructed living creatures from paleo times based on fossil evidence, including the hominid, Lucy.  How did you decide which paleoartists to contact? I researched the world's top paleoartists—as defined by the paleontologists and paleoartists themselves.… more
Read More »
Oh_Prophecy Trilogy

Ellen Oh: Researching and Writing the Prophecy Trilogy

  Bookol­o­gist’s note: Last month we fea­tured Cather­ine, Called Birdy and an inter­view with the author, Karen Cush­man. In that inter­view, non­fic­tion writer Claire Rudolf Mur­phy asked Cush­man about her research and incor­po­ra­tion of his­tor­i­cal fact into her fic­tion. Con­tin­u­ing that explo­ration, this month Bookol­o­gy vis­its with nov­el­ist Ellen Oh. King, the final vol­ume of her Prophe­cy tril­o­gy, was released in March (vol­umes 1 and 2 are Prophe­cy, Harp­er Teen 2013 and War­rior, Harp­er Teen 2014). A blend… more
Read More »
Lowriders cover

Cathy Camper: Writing Lowriders in Space

Lowrid­ers in Space
writ­ten by Cathy Camper
illus­trat­ed by Raul the Third
Chron­i­cle Books, 2014 When did you first become aware of (or involved in) lowrider culture? Probably in the early 1980’s, when I visited a friend of mine who lived in the Mission District of San Francisco. There were a lot of lowriders in the neighborhood, and since we were young women at the time, we’d get flirtatious attention from guys showing off their cars when we walked down the street.… more
Read More »
Lowriders cover

Raul the Third: Illustrating Lowriders in Space

   Lowrid­ers in Space writ­ten by Cathy Camper
illus­trat­ed by Raul the Third
Chron­i­cle Books, 2014 When did you first become aware of (or involved in) lowrider culture? I feel like I’ve been aware of lowrider culture for my entire life. When I was in high school I would draw the type of imagery you might see used as décor on a lowrider.… more
Read More »
Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman: Researching and Writing

inter­view by Claire Rudolf Murphy Congratulations, Karen. Your first novel and Newbery Honor book Catherine Called Birdy is 20 years old and still going strong. The story still resonates with teen readers, especially girls, and is remembered fondly and reread by many readers who are grown up now. One such fan is actress Lena Dunham, who announced last fall that she is adapting the novel into a movie with plans to direct it.… more
Read More »
Chris VanDusen

Chris Van Dusen: Illustrating Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

  Leroy Ninker first appeared in Mercy Watson Fights Crime as the criminal. Did you consciously change his appearance for Leroy Ninker Saddles Up to make him a more sympathetic character? I’m not sure that I consciously changed his appearance. I tried to make him look like the same character. In the original series he was wearing a robber’s mask which gave him a slightly sinister look.… more
Read More »

Katherine Tillotson: Illustrating Shoe Dog

I have always been attracted by collage. In the past, I have enjoyed cutting up patterned paper and arranging the pieces in unexpected ways. The computer has made it possible to re-imagine the technique of collage. Now I am able to combine marks that would have been impossible to mix if I was working conventionally.
Read More »

Nancy Bo Flood: Creating Cowboy Up!

When you conceived of Cowboy Up! was the poetry format a part of your plan? If not, when did that occur? I was standing next to the fence watching a young girl riding her horse barrel-racing, speeding around the arena, kicking up dirt and smiling from ear to ear. I thought, I want to do that.… more
Read More »