Being in the middle of this book, I thought I would feature a new debut author whose first book was just published this past February. It can give hope to those of us writers who are still struggling.
Carolyn Cohagan has an usual story about her path to print. Carolyn was born in 1973 in Lake Travis, Texas. She began her career as a stand-up comedian, performing around the world from New York to Auckland to Amsterdam. After studying for a year in Paris, Carolun wrote a couple of one-woman shows with a theatrical company she co-founded. With all this expertise Carolyn also began trying her hand and writing and directing in Los Angeles. This led her to her job as an editor and red carpet interviewer for Film Independent.
Carolyn then tried her hand at writing a screenplay, but was dissatisfied with the stories visual weaknesses and heavy dialogue. She then tried to turn the story into a film treatment. Six years later, Carolyn had a novel. Like The Graveyard Book, The Lost Children is dark, but so far it is a good read. She is currently working on a sequel. Here's to hoping it won't take another six years.
Carolyn's advice for those who want to become authors, are to persevere and be willing to rewrite.
Anita Silvey is a well-known editor and literary critic of children's literature who I have had the pleasure of listening to a few times now. Anita has devoted 35 years to promoting books that will turn the young -- and families -- into readers. In 1975 Anita was a co-founder of the Boston Review. She served as Editor-in-Chief of The Horn Book MAgazine from 1985-1995. Between 1995 and 2001, Silvey worked as vice-president at Houghton mifflin where she oversaw children's and young adult publishing for the Houghton and Clarion divisions. Some of the authors and illustrators that she promoted were David Wiesner, Chris Van allsburg, Virginia Lee Burton, and Lois Lowry. She has also authored a number of critical books about children's literature, including 500 Great Books for Teens, The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators, and Everything I Need to know I Learned From A Children's Book.
In 2008, Anita wrote an influential School Library Journal article in which she criticizes the Newbery selections as too difficult for the intended target audience. Anita is currently a member of the Editorial board of Cricket Magazines and the Board of Directors for the Vermont Center for the Book. She teaches courses at Simmons College in Boston and speaks at many schools and events, in front of children and adults alike.
Her newest book Everything I Need To Know I Learned From A Children's Book interviews many influential people, asking them what their favorite children's book was and how it influenced them. Is it surprising that Ronald Mallet, a well-respected physicist enjoyed The Time Machine as a child? Or that Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, was in love with The Secret Garden as a young girl?
So here is a question--What was your favorite books as a child and what does it say about you?