fbpx
Mélina Mangal

Skinny Dip with Mélina Mangal

For this inter­view, we vis­it with Méli­na Man­gal, chil­dren’s book author and librarian: What’s your favorite late-night snack? My favorite ANYTIME snack is white cheddar popcorn.   Most cherished childhood memory?   Roaming through the north woods, climbing trees with my sister and brothers.  I loved being outdoors so much.    Illustrator’s work you most admire?more
Read More »
Nancy Johnson

Skinny Dip with Nancy Johnson

We are pleased to share a Skinny Dip with Nancy Johnson, professor, children’s/young adult literature and English/ language arts education, Western Washington University.
Read More »
April Halprin Wayland

Skinny Dip with April Halprin Wayland

Today we wel­come author and edu­ca­tor April Hal­prin Way­land to Bookol­o­gy. Her most recent pic­ture book, More Than Enough, is a sto­ry about Passover. April was one of nine Instruc­tors of the Year hon­ored by the UCLA Exten­sion Writ­ers’ Pro­gram, Cre­ative Writing. Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? I would LOVE to have coffee (one-shot latte with extra soy, extra foam) with Crockett Johnson, author/illustrator of Harold and the Purple Crayon but most notably for me, author/illustrator of Barnaby, a comic strip that ran during WWII (actually 1942-1952).… more
Read More »
Polly Carlson-Voiles

Skinny Dip with Polly Carlson-Voiles

Today we wel­come author Pol­ly Carl­son-Voiles to Bookol­o­gy. Her book, Sum­mer of the Wolves, has been a favorite adven­ture sto­ry with mid­dle grade read­ers, a recent con­tender for the Maud Hart Lovelace Award. Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? Jane Goodall. Which book do you find yourself recommending passionately?more
Read More »
Eric Rohmann

Skinny Dip with Eric Rohmann

  Today we wel­come author, illus­tra­tor, and Calde­cott medal­ist Eric Rohmann to Bookol­o­gy. He agreed to give us the skin­ny on sev­er­al top­ics of vital importance. Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? Darwin, Newton, William Blake … and so many others I’ll need a big coffee shop. Which book do you find yourself recommending passionately?more
Read More »
Bobbi Miller

Skinny Dip with Bobbi Miller

Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? My definition of celebrity is someone whom I admire, who I think has contributed to society in his actions or words. To me, celebrity is more than a pretty face. He does more than recite words that someone else wrote, acting out a story that someone else has planned out and directs.… more
Read More »
Barbara O'Connor

Skinny Dip with Barbara O’Connor

  Which book do you find yourself recommending passionately? Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. I read it at a time when I was struggling to find my writing voice. I was so struck by the strong sense of place in that book. It was obvious that West Virginia was Rylant’s heart’s home. So I decided to write stories that were set in my heart’s home—the South—and specifically the Smoky Mountains.… more
Read More »
Marsha Qualey

Skinny Dip with Marsha Qualey

 Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? Joni. And I’d come prepared with questions about her painting, not her music, because then, just maybe, she’d see beyond the gobsmacked fan. Maybe she’d draw something on a napkin for me.   If she didn’t show, I’d be okay because I’d have a back-up date with Louisa May. … more
Read More »
Caroline Starr Rose

Skinny Dip with Caroline Starr Rose

Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? Author L.M. Montgomery, of Anne of Green Gables fame. I’ve read all of her books several times over, including the journals she kept from fourteen until the time of her death. In fact, I’ve committed to revisiting Maud’s journals every ten years.… more
Read More »
Steven Palmquist

Skinny Dip with Steve Palmquist

Favorite holiday tradition? Well, that usually involves food—we try to have Chinese food on Christmas Eve. Our family has had a lot of changes lately, so we’ve been trying to create new traditions. Were you a teacher’s pet or teacher’s challenge? Both! At times I was a model student and other times I was the class clown.… more
Read More »
Michael Hall

Skinny Dip with Michael Hall

What is your proudest career moment? Several months before the publication of my book, Red: A Crayon’s Story, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial bemoaning the “gender industrial complex,” “cultural warriors,” and books—including mine—“that seek to engage the sympathies of young readers … and nudge the needle of culture.” I had written something good enough to provoke the wrath of the WJS editorial page.… more
Read More »
Karen Blumenthal

Skinny Dip with Karen Blumenthal

Favorite holiday tradition? Food! I love to bake and holidays are the best excuse for baking! Peach cobbler for the Fourth of July, apple cake for the Jewish holidays, dozens and dozens of cookies for friends and family in December, and this killer candy that we call matzo toffee at Passover. I make a ton of it for friends and even send some to special editors.… more
Read More »
Eileen Beha

Skinny Dip with Eileen Beha

What TV show can’t you turn off? I watch very little TV; I will almost always choose to read a good book instead. However, I do admit that I’ve not missed a single episode of Mad Men since the series premiered in 2007 or Downton Abbey, which will end after its sixth season this winter. Lately, I’ve gotten into this strange habit of watching old episodes of Murder, She Wrote on Netflix.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Stephanie Greene

What keeps you up at night? Not much. If I do wake up and start worrying about something, I put my newest plot dilemma into my brain. Puzzling over it puts me right to sleep. What is your proudest career moment? I guess I’m most proud that I’m still coming up with fresh ideas after twenty years.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Roxanne Orgill

What keeps you up at night? Thoughts of my two children: their school issues, health problems, things they said or didn’t say. What calms me and gets me to sleep, perhaps oddly, is to think about the book I’m writing at the moment. I can think about parts of it I like, what I’ll write next, and even problems whose solutions are right then, anyway, out of my grasp, and drift off, content.… more
Read More »
Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dip with Loretta Ellsworth

What keeps you up at night?  Usually my son Andrew – he’s blind and sometimes gets day and night mixed up. What is your proudest career moment? Finishing a novel, meaning writing and revising until I’m satisfied with it – no matter what happens with the manuscript, I know I’ve accomplished an amazing goal. Describe your favorite pair of pajamas ever When I was young I had a pair of footie pajamas that I loved and wore out.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Candace Fleming

What’s the first book you remember reading? The first book I remember reading on my own is E.B. White’s Stuart Little.  I was seven years old and it was the Saturday before Christmas – the day of St. John Lutheran’s annual holiday party. I loved that party! The potluck. The carols. The visit from Santa Claus (really Pastor Frankenfeld in a red suit). … more
Read More »
Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dip with Catherine Urdahl

What’s your proudest career moment? I had just started doing author visits and was at a small school that serves a high-risk population of students from preschool through eighth grade. I started with the little ones, and it went well. I had this. Then a group of TALL sixth through eighth graders sauntered in. They slumped in their seats and looked away.… more
Read More »
Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dip with Anne Ursu

What keeps you up at night? My cats biting my feet. Describe  your favorite pair of pajamas ever A student got me sushi pajamas. What could be better? In what Olympic sport would you like to win a gold medal? Figure Skating. However, this is very unlikely. What’s the first book you remember reading? There’s a Monster at the End of this Book What TV show can’t you turn off?… more
Read More »
Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dip with Maurna Rome

What keeps you up at night? My mad dash attempts to finish a video, write an article, apply for a grant, or get to the last page of a terrific book often keep me up at night.  What is your proudest career moment? My proudest career moment changes each year as I discover the unique talents of a new bunch of students.… more
Read More »
Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dip with Rick Chrustowski

What animal are you most like? Sometimes I am a Zen-like praying mantis, sitting and watching the world. And other times I am hopped up like a hummingbird zipping around trying to get a bunch of things done at once or, if I am at a party, trying to meet everyone in the room. Which book of yours was the most difficult to write or illustrate?… more
Read More »
Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dip with Steve Mudd

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? A Christmas tree! Were you a teacher’s pet or teacher’s challenge? Sadly, pet. What’s the first book report you ever wrote? The first one I can remember that made an impression on me was an oral report on Shane (with which the teacher, one of my favorites, was not overly impressed).… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Emilie Buchwald

What keeps you up at night?  All that I didn’t accomplish during the day. All that I hope to accomplish the next day. In what Olympic sport would you like to win a gold medal? The marathon. The long distance performance inspires me.  I’ve driven a marathon course of 26.2 miles and can’t imagine being able to run it.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Diana Star Helmer

What animal are you most like? My answer to this question could unwind like an endless ball of yarn! But I shall try to be brief. For as long as I can remem­ber, I have loved cats. Look­ing back at my life, I can see how I am cat-like. I watch; I always have. When I first went to school, I was an “elec­tive mute” for some time, just watch­ing and fig­ur­ing things out.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Amy Baum

What keeps you up at night? The Disney version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I had to sleep in my sister’s room for 6 months after that terrifying cartoon. What’s the first book you remember reading? Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. I loved Little Bear and his very functional family. Also, I thought it was simply magical that all of the letters spelled out a story.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Nancy Bo Flood

What keeps you up at night? Popcorn in the brain. Ideas are popping and images are streaming through my brain. I know that if I don’t get up (ugh, really, 3 am?) and write them down, I won’t have a clue in the morning what they were. All those brilliant ideas, gone! I like to read a chapter from my current work just before I go to bed.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Melanie Heuiser Hill

What’s the first book you remember reading? Ramona the Pest. My elementary school was visited by RIF (Reading is Fundamental) twice a year—the best days of the year. You had to be in second grade to peruse the tables of novels that were set up in the entry-way to our school. It was enormously exciting—so many to choose from!… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Candice Ransom

Do you like to gift wrap presents? Yes! I’ll buy the gift wrap before I buy the present! Years ago when I was a teenager, Hallmark started carrying their products in Dart Drug. I lathered over the Hallmark section, spending my allowance on Peanuts cards and gift tags and wrapping paper, yarn and fancy bows. My sister once said that I always spent more on the wrapping than the actual gift.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Vicki Palmquist

What do you wish you could tell your 10-year-old self? A good many things, but most emphatically I would tell myself to not listen to the comments about being too smart or showing off by using big words or being too curious. I have always enjoyed learning about new things and sharing what I’ve learned. I love discussing ideas and unknown-to-me corners of the world and people who have accomplished great things and shown great imagination.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Augusta Scattergood

What is your proudest career moment? My proudest career moment? Being invited to the American Library Association’s mid-winter conference to introduce my new book. As a career librarian turned middle-grade novelist, it doesn’t get much better than that. I was also hon­ored to have my first nov­el, Glo­ry Be, which takes place dur­ing Free­dom Sum­mer, cho­sen by sev­er­al groups high­light­ing the fifti­eth anniver­sary of that event.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Anita Silvey

What keeps you up at night? Usually one of my beautiful Bernese Mountain Dogs. My girl developed a love affair with the local raccoon and woke me every time he came near the premises. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? Left a nine to five job with benefits to become a full-time writer. What’s the first book you remember reading?… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Avi

What keeps you up at night? Meeting deadlines. What is your proudest career moment? When, after fourteen years of trying to write, I published my first book, Things that Sometimes Happen (1970). In what Olympic sport would you like to win a gold medal? I don’t know if the game of Squash is part of the Olympics, but if so, that would be it.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Lynne Jonell

Favorite holiday tradition? One of my favorite things ever is when we sit around the table at Thanksgiving and take turns telling what we are particularly thankful for, that year. I get a little choked up, especially when I listen to my sons. Were you a teacher’s pet or teacher’s challenge? I was a teacher’s pet up through sixth grade, and then teacher’s nightmare thereafter.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Terri Evans

What keeps you up at night? Just about everything – I am a worrier and haven’t had eight straight hours of sleep in almost two years. What is your proudest career moment? There are two, both of which occurred in the past couple of years. The first began two years ago (as did my inability to sleep well) when the parents of a child involved in a summer reading program, on which my Library Media Specialists colleagues and I were collaborating, challenged the book we had chosen on the grounds that it contained graphic language and sex.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Mary Casanova

What keeps you up at night? I have two kinds of sleepers in me: 1) the one who sleeps soundly from the moment my head hits the pillow until morning and 2) the restless non-sleeper (usually hormone induced) who keeps an ear open for the cat, Apollo, meowing at the door; who hears one of our three dogs—Kito, Sam, or Mattie—every time they get up to lap at the water bowl, which I imagine must be getting low and so I climb from under my covers to go check; the sleeper whose mind starts whipping through a "rolodex of worries" or possible story ideas (I have a one-word mantra I use to stop the whirring and it's SLEEP); and the sleeper with restless legs syndrome, which feels exactly like worms crawling in my legs until I move them around, or as I've discovered, get up and do ten minutes of stretching.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Will Hobbs

What animal are you most like? Sea turtle. Which book of yours was the most difficult to write or illustrate? Bearstone, my first book, had six drafts written over an 8-year period. It even had several different titles, including Pride of the West. When I wrote the sixth draft I knew it was a quantum leap.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Debra Frasier

What is your favorite holiday tradition: When I was fourteen years old I assumed the role of Christmas Ambrosia Maker in my southern-novel of a family. I was the youngest appointee, ever, and surprising, as it requires welding a very sharp serrated knife, but I had a knack for it. We were a “fruit-rich” family due to a small, scraggly orange grove west of Vero Beach, FL.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Heather Vogel Frederick

What is your proudest career moment? I don’t think anything will ever beat getting that phone call over a dozen years ago from Simon & Schuster (editor Kevin Lewis, to be exact) letting me know that they were going to publish my first book, The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed. I hung up the phone afterwards and burst into tears.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Susan Cooper

What animal are you most like? I'm a giraffe. A medium-sized giraffe, because I was tall when I was young, but now—to my fury—I've passed the age when you begin to shrink. A giraffe is shy, and doesn't make much noise: that's me, I think. The giraffe and I are both good at looking around and noticing things—though in my case I'm collecting material for books, and in hers she's looking out for the lion who wants to eat her.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Jen Bryant

What animal are you most like? Probably a cat. I’m very independent, I love to sit in a puddle of warm sun, I spend a lot of my free time watching birds, and I’m very attached to my home. (I would have said a dog, but I’m not that obedient!)  Which book of yours was the most difficult to write or illustrate?… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Virginia Euwer Wolff

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? I have so many favorites. One of them is the hanging of the Christmas stockings. My aunt made felt and appliqué stockings for my two tiny children in the 1960s. Thirty years later, my daughter made felt and appliqué stockings for her husband, their two children, and me. She designed the appliqué motifs to reflect each family member.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Maryann Weidt

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? I love getting together with my children—all grown-ups now—at Christmas. My daughter-in-law majored in ‘entertaining’ and she always has ‘Poppers’ and we always play games. One year she taped a question on the bottom of each plate. Questions like these: What is the best Christmas present you ever received—and we each had a chance to answer the question.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Phyllis Root

What keeps you up at night? My cat Catalina keeps me up at night, meowing and wandering back and forth over me, looking for our other cat Spike, who died last fall and with whom she’d been together since kittenhood. What is your proudest career moment? I have two, and they happened close together. When Big Momma Makes the World had its launch in London, the London planetarium was filled with children, and someone narrated the text while Helen Oxenbury’s amazing art was projected onto the planetarium ceiling.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Liza Ketchum

Which book of yours was the most difficult to write or illustrate? My non-fiction books required the most intense periods of research, but the YA novel, Blue Coyote, was the most personally challenging. How could I, a straight woman, take on the character and voice of a young male teen who was exploring his sexuality? Yet a number of readers who had read the novel’s prequel, Twelve Days in August, had written to ask, “What about Alex?… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Nancy Loewen

What keeps you up at night? At various times: Panera’s iced green tea; the sound of my 18-year-old daughter raiding the fridge; playing Sudoku on my phone; and, as with everyone, a head full of this-and-that. What is your proudest career moment? I’m going to reach way back for this one, more than 20 years ago.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Karen Cushman

  What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Phil is Jewish so we celebrate Hanukkah. I light the house with candles—one hundred or so white candles of all sizes and shapes. It looks beautiful but makes the house very, very warm. Were you a teacher’s pet or teacher’s challenge? Oh, teacher’s pet, without a doubt. I was too nervous to misbehave, smart enough to learn quickly, and quiet enough not to show off (see question #5).… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Marion Dane Bauer

  What is your proudest career moment? My proudest career moment I suppose should be the day in 1986 when On My Honor won a Newbery Honor Award. But though that was the moment that changed my career more than any other, it’s not my proudest. My proud­est was when I was just begin­ning writ­ing, had fin­ished my first nov­el and had no idea whether what I was doing had any val­ue at all.… more
Read More »

Skinny Dip with Sharon Chmielarz

What keeps you up at night? Nothing keeps me up at night (knock on wood). I have a couple of glasses of red wine, then shower (usually), hit the mattress, do some leg exercises, and I’m a goner until the next morning. If I slip from that routine and drink something with caffeine too close to 6:30 pm or so, then it’s a different story.… more
Read More »
Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dip with Elizabeth Verdick

What keeps you up at night? Reading much, much too late! What is your proudest career moment? In 2005 I won the Henry Bergh Award, which honors books that recognize the need to treat animals with kindness and caring (for my book Tails Are Not for Pulling). I got to stand on a stage in New Orleans with Norman Bridwell, author/illustrator of the Clifford books.… more
Read More »