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Interviews

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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

Lowriders cover

Cathy Camper: Writing Lowriders in Space

Lowrid­ers in Spacewrit­ten 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

Lowriders cover

Raul the Third: Illustrating Lowriders in Space

   Lowrid­ers in Space writ­ten by Cathy Camperillus­trat­ed by Raul the ThirdChron­i­cle 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

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,

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

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.

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

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