Authors In Real Life

How SCBWI Helps Launch Careers: A Conversation with Four Authors

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Audiences at our author events are often made up of not only avid readers but also aspiring writers and illustrators. When those folks raise their hands to ask the inevitable questions — “Where did you get your start? What should I do next?” — the answer is commonly a tongue-twisting abbreviation: SCBWI. It stands for the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an international organization with regional chapters offering conferences, education, and networking for people at all levels of experience in making books for young people. Some of our favorite Nashville writers and illustrators, including Ruta Sepetys, David Arnold, Susan Eaddy, and Jessica Young, credit SCBWI with playing an integral role in their creative development and success. Read the rest of this entry »

“A Time of Firsts” — Meg Wolitzer on Her New Novel, The Female Persuasion

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A recent profile on novelist Meg Wolitzer in The New York Times noted that “at a time when our attention is so easily splintered, [Wolitzer] writes big, substantial, old-fashioned books that allow her characters room to breathe, change and grow into adulthood and beyond.” While Wolitzer’s 10th novel, The Female Persuasion, may feel retro in size and scope, read it and you’ll see it delves into themes both timeless and contemporary. Read the rest of this entry »

Her Voice, At Last: Authors Madeline Miller and Victoria Schwab Discuss Miller’s New Novel, Circe

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We’ve admired Madeline Miller’s work since she made her debut with the highly acclaimed novel The Song of Achilles. In fact, we loved the spellbinding tale so much that we chose it for our very first Signed First Editions Club selection. As it happens, we were just as blown away by Miller’s second book, Circeso we couldn’t resist picking it as a First Editions Club favorite, too.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jason Reynolds and David Arnold: An Interview For Every One

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Jason Reynolds believes kids who think they hate reading “don’t actually hate books, they hate boredom.” So he has made a pledge to his young readers: never to write boring books. His plan is working so well that not only have his novels become favorites among kids and teens everywhere, but they’ve been honored so many times we can’t fit all the awards in this intro (a Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, to name just a few). Lucky for Nashville, Reynolds is coming to Parnassus on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, to celebrate of the release of his two newest books: Sunny and For Every One. Read the rest of this entry »

Katrina Kenison on the Best Friend She Hasn’t Met (Yet), Anna Quindlen

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Anna Quindlen will discuss her new novel, Alternate Side, next Wednesday, March 28, 2018, with fellow author Katrina Kenison, who contributes today’s guest post. 

I have been having a lively conversation in my mind with Anna Quindlen for about 25 years. She’s my wiser, funnier best friend — albeit the one I’ve never actually met. Still, I’m pretty sure if we were neighbors we’d get together to walk our dogs every morning and compare notes on what’s going on in the world, what we’re making for dinner, and what we’re reading and thinking and worrying about. (I’m also pretty sure every other Anna Quindlen fan feels exactly the same way I do. To read Anna Quindlen is to wish she lived next door.) Read the rest of this entry »

A Robot Gone Wild Returns to Civilization

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Roz the robot embraced the wild world of nature in one of our favorite novels for independent young readers, Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot. In the sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes, Roz faces a new challenge: adapting back to the world of machines and civilization. How will she adjust? And will she make it back to the island she now considers home?
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Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko, on identity, history, and “the defiant strength of those who resist”

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Today’s guest post is by Steve Haruch of and Humanities Tennessee. 

There is a Korean concept known as han, which is widely considered untranslatable. The Los Angeles Times once called it “as amorphous a notion as love or hate: intensely personal, yet carried around collectively, a national torch, a badge of suffering tempered by a sense of resiliency.” Min Jin Lee’s most recent novel, Pachinko, never mentions the word han. But in its beguiling and nuanced way, it is at once a kind of scrolling, epic illustration of the concept and a tender, heartrending rebuke of the notion that any sort of unifying identity, across time and diaspora, can ever be easily described or distilled. Read the rest of this entry »