For those of you who don’t know, Jennifer Ziegler — author of the Brewster Triplets series of middle-grade novels as well as YA novels including How Not to Be Popular — is also my wife, and I’ll admit to being a little bit biased in favor of every single thing she does.
But I’m also a loyal listener to the #kidlitwomen* podcast and a big fan of author Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Cynsations blog. Since very early in my career, I’ve craved a deeper understanding into the workings of the business and culture of books for young readers, and a deeper understanding of my fellow creators of those books.
#kidlitwomen* and Cynsations — a newcomer to the conversation and a leader in the conversation from way back, respectively — both satisfy that need.
So you can imagine how happy I’ve been to hear Jennifer on this week’s two episodes of #kidlitwomen*.
Monday brought Jennifer’s reading of her essay “It’s the Grown-ups with the Hang-Ups — Not the Readers,” in which she challenges adults’ assumptions that the boys in their lives won’t read books about girls.
“I’ve tried [to get boys to],” some might say, “and they still won’t read them.” To that I say, Shouldn’t you be worried about why they won’t? Isn’t this something you need to talk with them about?
And this morning I woke up to find a new episode of #kidlitwomen* in which Jennifer discusses her essay with Alvina Ling, VP and editor-in-chief of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
In between those two podcast episodes, Jennifer was featured on the newest edition of Cynsations’ Survivors Interview Series, which “offers in-depth reflections and earned wisdom from children’s-YA book authors who have successfully built long-term, actively-publishing careers.”
I especially love Jennifer’s response to the question, “What advice would you give to your beginner self, if that version of you was a debut author this year?”
She talks about the importance to authors of finding a writing community, learning as much about the industry as possible, and never being afraid to ask questions.