The Author’s Voice: interview with OneFour author Mary Crockett

If dreams could come true, would you really want them to?

Mary Crockett speaks with us about her YA contemporary fantasy, DREAM BOY (co-authored with Madelyn Rosenberg).




Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides). She is fond of creepy things. Speaking of! Her YA fantasy WINTERKILL debuts September 9th, 2014 (Abrams/Amulet and Faber & Faber).

Next Book News!

We’ve debuted, we’re debuting and we’re selling more stuff! Check back on the 28th of each month to find out all the awesome Next Book News!

Random House is publishing more Fletchers!

From PW:
Krista Vitola at Delacorte Press has bought Dana Alison Levy’s companion to The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, called A Fletcher Family Summer. In the story, the Fletchers must use any means necessary to stop a greedy developer, masquerading as a visiting artist, from tearing down the lighthouse on their beloved Rock Island. Publication is set for spring 2016; Marietta Zacker at Nancy Gallt Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.

Christina Farley revealed her cover for Silvern!

The cover of SILVERN by Christina Farley was revealed on Hypable as well as a sneak peek of the first chapter!www.hypable.com/2014/06/26/silvern-by-christina-farley-read-the-first-chapter/

Another book from Elle Cosimano!

“Emily Meehan at Hyperion has acquired a YA novel called Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano, author of Nearly Gone. Pitched as The Shawshank Redemption meets If I Stay, the story tells of a boy serving time for a murder he didn’t commit and who, after a near-death experience, finds himself able to separate his soul from his body and travel in a quest to find the real killer and clear his name. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary Agency did the two-book deal for world English rights.”

Trisha Leaver revealed her cover for The Secrets We Keep!

Cover of THE SECRETS WE KEEP was revealed at Fictionfare fictionfare.blogspot.com/2014/07/cover-reveal-secrets-we-keep-by-trisha.html

Dahlia Adler’s Under The Lights is now up on Goodreads!

UNDER THE LIGHTS is up on Goodreads with an official synopsis: www.goodreads.com/book/show/22719283-under-the-lights

Stephanie Diaz’ sequel, Rebellion, had a cover reveal!

The cover for REBELLION, the sequel to EXTRACTION, was revealed on the Griffin Teen FB page!

Martina Boone has a sequel title!

I am thrilled to be able to announce that the title for COMPULSION’s sequel is going to be PERSUASION. That works with all the story lines and themes in the book, and I absolutely love it! Even better news is that I’ve already seen the cover for it, and while I can’t share that yet, it’s truly spectacular and fits both the book and the story beautifully.

And so does Meredith McCardle!

Book 2 in the Annum Guard series has a title: BLACKOUT. It’s also available for preorder on Amazon. www.amazon.com/Blackout-Annum-Guard-Meredith-McCardle/dp/1477827129/

Excellent work, OneFours! See you next month with more excitement of the future variety.


Jaye Robin Brown, or JRo to most everyone but her mama, lives and writes in the Appalachian mountains north of Asheville, NC. She’s fond of dogs, horses, laughter, the absurd and the ironic. When not crafting stories she hangs out with teenagers in the high school art room where she teaches. Her debut novel, NO PLACE TO FALL (Harper Teen, December ’14), is a love song to small town girls and mountain music.



At long last, the day has come.

Becoming a published author has been a dream of mine ever since I was seven, drinking tea in a book club during lunch at my elementary school. I started pursuing my dream at age twelve, and it took seven years to land an agent and a publishing contract.

It’s been a long ride, but it happened. It really happened. I am so, so happy to share this book with you all. 🙂


Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.  

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon’s lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet’s leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers, which means Logan, too.

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don’t want her running—they want her subdued. 

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender’s Game, and leave them breathless for more.

Advance Praise for Extraction:

“With its toxic moon and dangerous secrets, Kiel is a planet you’ll want to visit again and again, especially with tough, plucky Clementine as your guide. A breathtaking debut that kept me glued to the page!” –Jessica Khoury, author of Origin

“A gripping tale of loyalty, heartache, and self-discovery, Diaz’s debut had me invested from page one. I can’t wait to read the next installment.” -Kasie West, author of Pivot Point

“Bold, brutal, and brilliantly paced, EXTRACTION kept me racing through the pages and desperate for more.” —Shannon Messenger, author of Keeper of the Lost Cities

“Viciously beautiful, EXTRACTION sucks you into a brutal world where action and twists come at a relentless pace, hitting the best notes of old-school sci-fi. I flew through it!” —Kat Zhang, author of What’s Left of Me

You can purchase a copy of Extraction from the following places, or request it at your local library!

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository | iBooks

21-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her debut novel when she should’ve been making short films and listening to class lectures at San Diego State University. When she isn’t lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fangirling over TV shows. Her YA sci-fi novel, EXTRACTION, is available now. The sequel, REBELLION, is out February 10, 2015. You can follow Stephanie on twitter: @StephanieEDiaz.

Friday Q&A

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! On Fridays, the OneFours answer questions about their books, writing processes, life, favorite flavors of ice cream, and more. This week’s question:

What food or drink must you have when you write?

Just coffee, and lots of it. It’s not a workday unless I’m jittery.
–Michelle Krys, HEXED

I drink tea all day long whether I’m writing or not, and definitely must have it nearby when I’m writing. I go through phases on. Currently I have a yerba mate tea I’m really grooving on. Earl grey is always a favorite option too. Add lemon and stevia and I can write all day.

oreoI’m obsessed with Gushers – I call them “writer vitamins” – and those definitely give me the good nighttime sugar rush I need to get through writing after a workday. I’m also a huge cookie person, especially Oreos, and every now and again, I go through obsessive gum-chewing phases while I write. As far as drinks go, I’m a fiend for two things: juice boxes and Fresca. I’ve even been known to spike the latter on occasion, but that’s generally more of a writing reward than writing fuel 🙂

CAMINAR was fueled by a lot of Coke and pretzels. But this totally varies from project to project with me. I’m currently sipping hot tea over this new work in progress. And WITH THE END IN SIGHT was beef jerky all the way. (Which is exactly what my characters were eating too.)
–Skila Brown, CAMINAR

Anything edible, really. I am an equal opportunity eater and drinker. Milk teas, chips, hotdog sandwiches, potato salads, beer, spaghetti, dark chocolate – as long as the mouth is moving, the fingers are a-workin’.

Black coffee, ice water, hot Tulsi tea, wine. On a really good writing day you might see all four cups lined up next to my computer!



Coffee, Twizzlers, and Peppermint Patties! I bribe myself with the candy. Write a scene, get a piece of candy. 🙂 But the coffee, that is ever flowing.
–Christina Farley, GILDED & SILVERN

Coffee in the morning, and then tea all day long. I have a fondness for potato chips, which is apparent if you ever flip my keyboard over and shake the crumbs out.
–Danielle L. Jensen, STOLEN SONGBIRD

I don’t drink caffeinated beverages (a writer without coffee? I know, weird), so I’ll usually sip a ginger ale or a Sprite just to get the creative juices–or the sugar rush–flowing. Can’t eat while I’m writing, though–too hard to type with Twinkie fingers!
–Joshua David Bellin, SURVIVAL COLONY 9

I’m a little dependent on Tazo’s Berryblossom White tea.
–Emily Lloyd-Jones, ILLUSIVE

Caffe au laits. As hot as the barista and the insulated cup can stand. I tell myself I’m limited to two a day, so naturally I have three. No sugar if I’ve bought the coffee, and so also managed to get my mitts on a “powerball” (chocolate sugar bomb). Landslide of sugar, if not. My snacking is purely utilitarian, my style crude. Things that can be eaten immediately in the form in which I buy them, for which I can plead a “this isn’t junk food” case before my inner judge. Bowl of blueberries. Baby carrots. I’ll often have a bag of pecans to the right of my keyboard, and a hunk of cheese to the left. Too lazy to bother slicing the cheese, I gnaw on it in a ratterly sort of way between paragraphs on a good day, or uh…between words…on a less good day. At some point in the day, unsatisfied, I’ll then raid the writing cottage cupboard for my mates’ junk food, which I’ll devour and then replace the next day on my way to get my first cafe au lait.

I actually tend to forget to eat when I’m *really* writing. But I write in the morning, and have a lot of trouble getting started unless I have coffee. I don’t think it’s the caffeine (I drink half-caff). I think it’s just the ritual of it.
–Lisa Maxwell, SWEET UNREST

blueI’m an omnivore, which means I’ll gladly eat all my snacks and yours too. Chocolate, licorice, blueberries, raisins, ice cream in a tea cup (so I can convince myself that I’m not eating ice cream for no reason in the middle of the day), peanut butter spoons, carrots, hunks of whatever looks good in the fridge. But when I really want to focus, I chew gum and suck water. Lots and lots of water.
–Mary Crockett, DREAM BOY

I am addicted to all kinds of tea with milk while I am writing. Often, depending on the mood of the section I am working on, I will make it in an actual teapot instead of my Keurig. I have a lot of different tea pots. My favorite is an antique one with a blue willow pattern that tells the story of two lovers whose relationship was forbidden by the girl’s wealthy father, so they ran away together but drowned in a storm at sea. Their spirits became birds and soared. The story and the tea both inspire me. And If I really need extra inspiration (or just want to offer my imagination a bribe to come up with something), I will brew up a pot of chocolate tea. That often graduates to tea with toast spread with Nutella. 🙂
–Martina Boone, COMPULSION

I always have a giant glass of ice water on hand while I’m writing, but the snacks depend upon what ms I’m working on. My tastes change depending on the character. When I was writing TWELVE STEPS, I had constant cravings for Oreos (which totally sucked, because they contain an oil I’m allergic to, and I couldn’t eat them). While writing the middle grade manuscript that caught my agent’s attention, it was oatmeal raisin cookies. The one I’m working on now is inspiring all sorts of gourmet food cravings, like turtle popcorn, chocolate mousse, and gourmet pizza bites with spinach, artichokes and sun dried tomatoes. (This is my favorite manuscript so far. Yum!!)
–Veronica Bartles, TWELVE STEPS

Coffee! When I work as a standardized patient, I’m sometimes supposed to report that I drink a scary amount of coffee, and it’s often the same as what I drink in real life. After I OD on caffeine, I switch to LaCroix. –Rachel M. Wilson, DON’T TOUCH

photo (7)Tea. Tea tea tea tea tea tea. Tea in all shapes and sizes. Just tea.






Sorry if we made you hungry! Now let’s go write.

Skila Brown has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee, lived for a bit in Guatemala, and now resides with her family in Indiana. Her debut novel, CAMINAR, is available now from Candlewick Press.

Happy 14th Day: July!

It’s JULY! YAY! If you know me, you’ll know why that’s super exciting*.

Anyway, on to our news for the month.

First up:

GILDED, by Christina Farley, sold to Scholastic Book Fairs.


ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman was named one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month for July!

And last, but totally not least:

Natalie C. Parker will be appearing on the “What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction” panel at San Diego Comic Con on Sunday the 28th from 1-2pm in room 25ABC. The panel will be moderated by Nathan Bransford (The Jacob Wonderbar series) and will feature Kresley Cole (The Arcana Chronicles), Kami Garcia (Unbreakable), Tessa Gratton (United States of Asgard series), Tahereh Mafi (The Shatter Me series), Natalie Parker (Beware the Wild), CJ Redwine (The Defiance series), Brendan Reichs (The Virals series), Margaret Stohl (The Icons series), and Scott Westerfeld (Afterworlds).

Oh, darlin’, I am SO excited!

That’s it for July!** I hope y’all are having a great summer (or winter, if you’ve been at the World Cup games). Come back next month for more!


* My book is out in one week. ONE WEEK OMG.

**This post brought to you by the happiest bits of Disney, apparently.


Amber Lough lives with her husband, their two kids, and their cat, Popcorn, in Syracuse, NY. She spent much of her childhood in Japan and Bahrain. Later, she returned to the Middle East as an Air Force intelligence officer to spend eight months in Baghdad, where the ancient sands still echo the voices lost to wind and time. Her Middle Eastern fantasy, THE FIRE WISH, is due from Random House Children’s in July 2014.




Release day for ALL FOUR STARS!

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman Cover

It’s here! A mere 9 years after I started writing it and 2+ years after I sold it, All Four Stars is a published novel. Hooray! Please excuse me while I stuff my face with something delicious to celebrate.

Giant sandwich

Okay, I’m back. *wipes away crumbs* Here’s a blurb about the book:

Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated, but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world. But to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret. Easy as pie, right?


Advance praise for All Four Stars

*An Amazon Editors’ Pick For Middle Grade Summer Reading*

Gladys is a lovable character with plenty of spunk and desireand readers will happily cheer her on, while the fresh plot adds a delicious dimension to the host of stories set in sixth grade. -BOOKLIST

The [restaurant-reviewing] plan goes disastrously and hilariously awry, but Gladys and fine food ultimately triumph. The characters are well drawn…Give this one to your young foodies. -SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Younger readers (especially those who know their way around a kitchen) will be amused by Gladys’s reviews of her parents’ horrible cooking (“The peas… arrived at the table in a soggy, mushy state fit for a baby”) and her plot to get to New York City without alerting any adults. The triumphant conclusion makes this a tasty read. -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Gladys turns out to be surprisingly canny and resourceful…and Gladys’s psychological journey and personal transformation are solid and credible. [An] entertaining story about the joys of following one’s bliss. -KIRKUS

“Readers will cheer for Gladys, laugh at her misadventures, and find themselves suddenly hungry for a tasty treat. A scrumptious gem of a story!“ -JENNIFER A. NIELSEN, New York Times bestselling author of The False Prince


If you happen to be in New York City, come join me at the official launch party TONIGHT at Books of Wonder (6pm)!

And if you’re not, then you can join the online party with the official All Four Stars blog tour, hosted by The Midnight Garden, which is loaded with fun extras and chances to win the book.

You can also request it at your local library or find it at any of the following places:

Your local independent bookstore (find one here) * Penguin * Powell’s * BAM * B&N * Amazon * Walmart * Indigo * Book Depository

I hope that you enjoy reading All Four Stars as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Tara Dairman is a novelist, playwright, and recovering round-the-world honeymooner (two years, 74 countries!) who now lives in Colorado. Her debut middle-grade novel, ALL FOUR STARS (Putnam/Penguin, 7/10/14), tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who secretly becomes a restaurant critic for New York’s biggest newspaper.

The Author’s Voice: interview with OneFour author Bethany Neal

Fragmented memories and irreversible decisions: Bethany speaks with us about her YA thriller debut, MY LAST KISS (FSG, June 2014).







Kate Boorman is an independent artist and writer from the Canadian prairies. She was born in Nepal (where she was carried up the Himalayas in a basket) and she grew up in a small Albertan town (where she rode her bike to Girl Guides). She is fond of creepy things. Speaking of! Her YA fantasy WINTERKILL debuts September 9th, 2014 (Abrams/Amulet and Faber & Faber).

Mad For Middle Grade: Behind the Scenes

Welcome to MAD FOR MIDDLE GRADE!  We’re here the first Monday of every month, discussing middle grade writing, chatting about from our favorite middle grade books, introducing our own middle grade titles, sharing middle grade writing advice, and generally obsess over everything middle grade! And if there’s any middle grade topic you’re interested in, we’d love to hear it in the comments!

Looking for a summer beach read? Then look no further than our adorable, delicious, delightful July releases:

by Tara Dairman
Release date: July 10

by Dana Alison Levy
Release date: July 22

Hooray for Tara and Dana’s spectacular debuts! If you haven’t read them yet, then RUN–don’t walk–to your nearest bookstore or library! Trust me.

Ever wonder why authors choose particular names, include certain scenes, or write about specific topics? Want to learn some little-known facts about the writing of our books? Allow us to give you a sneak peek into some behind the scenes moments!

Question: Tell a behind the scenes story about your book!

Skila Brown
Candlewick Presscaminar

Caminar is based on actual events, but since the story is fiction, I decided not to use real place names. Instead, I made up names, offering a nod to significant words and places. The name of the camp that the rebels are travelling towards, for example, is Ixchandé, which is inspired by Iximché, a place that was once the capital base of the Kaqchikel Maya around the time that the Spaniards invaded. And during the time of Carlos’s story, Iximché held an important meeting where many Guatemalans declared that they would organize and rise up against the militant government. 


Robin Herrera
Amulet BooksHopeIs

I don’t usually name my characters after people I know. USUALLY. But when I was writing the book that would become HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL, I was also working at an elementary school. One of my favorite students was a kindergartner named Gloria. I worked one-on-one with her a lot and loved how silly and sweet she was. So when I needed a name for Star’s bubbly, sugar-obsessed pseudo-godmother (who is actually based on ME), I borrowed Gloria’s name. I don’t know if Gloria will ever read the book or make the connection, but it’s there because she always brightened my day.


Kate Hannigan

51nY5kdGT2L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I knew I wanted my book to be very Midwestern, so set my story in Saugatuck, Michigan, which is this wonderful beach town along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Western Michigan. For Chicagoans who want to make a quick escape in the summertime, it’s an easy trip – no hassles of air travel, lots of fruit picking along the way. It’s a wonderful place to shed the big-city woes and just run around barefoot and enjoy the sand and the sun. I feel like with today’s plugged-in generation, kids don’t experience summertime the same way as generations before them. For too many kids, it’s a time to sit around in air-conditioning playing video games. I wanted to create a place where the characters shed all that and key into the beauty of the area – catching the sunsets, discovering hummingbirds, looking up at the stars as they light up a night sky. Old school joys of being out of school.


Jen Malone
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster

For most of my childhood, my dad INSISTED he was the missing crown prince of Lithuania. The reason for the fake royal blood? My table manners. Every time he spotted my elbows on the table, I’d hear, “When I return to my birthright, you’re not going to be able to attend royal events at the castle with manners like that.” At a certain point, I learned to place my napkin in my lap (confession: I still sometimes sneak a book under it during dinner!) and I realized my father was, well, full of it. But I also knew exactly who to name the King of Somerstein after when it came time to write my book. You’re welcome for the promotion, Dad!


Edith Cohn

The “key” in SPIRIT’S KEY was inspired by a handmade ring I’d made from some Alice in Wonderland fabric. The fabric had all these cute little images on it: a key, a mirror, a rabbit, a cake. I’d isolated the key and made a ring with it that was sitting on my dresser when I was contemplating Spirit’s story. I knew already that Spirit’s Dad was a psychic—one who specifically had the ability to see the future. But I didn’t know how. I saw the key ring, and thought: Yes! People’s house keys! That’s how Dad will know their future. And Spirit’s Key was born.


Rebecca Petruck

Researching Steering Toward Normal was so much fun because I visited farms, state fairs, interviewed amazing 4-H’ers, and witnessed a ton of moments that I basically reported verbatim. Like the toddler at the Minnesota State Fair who moo’ed his guts out at a steer’s butt for five minutes, just pleased as heck he knew what sound a cow makes and very determined to get this particular animal to make it back to him. The little guy was hoarse by the time his mom led him away. The scene almost didn’t make the cut, but how could I not shoehorn in such cuteness?


Dana Alison Levy
Delacorte/Random House


THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER is filled with true happenings (both good and bad) and inside jokes. But one fun secret: their name didn’t start out as Fletcher. They were the family Furnival, until I got some editorial feedback that “some people” thought “Furnival sounded like “funeral.” I know, I don’t really hear it either. Anyway, off I went on a wild search for a new name! Then my editor said, “well, wasn’t the dog in your aunt’s (author Elizabeth Levy) books named Fletcher? What if you named the family after that dog?” So the family Fletcher was born, and only a few people knew that they were named for a basset hound in my aunt’s books! (If you want to see the original Fletcher dog, check here: http://elizabethlevy.com/booksall/ !)


Tara Dairman

As you may have noticed, Gladys Gatsby shares a last name with a certain other character from literature. Some people assume that this is a reference to “The Great Gatsby,” and it is–but not in the way they think. I’ve never been a fan of that book, so it’s always rankled me that Jay Gatsby is probably the most famous fictional literary character to live on Long Island (where I grew up, and where Gladys lives). So I guess I paid a tiny bit of homage by borrowing the name…but mostly, I just wanted to reclaim and reimagine it. My apologies to Fitzgerald!


Louise Galveston
Razorbill/PenguinBytheGraceofTodd_slsconf copy

In By the Grace of Todd, Persephone, the spunky Toddlian, is sold as a slave to one of evil Max’s bully buddies. At his house she watches an hombre named John Wayne on TV and so admires his toughness that she becomes a self-styled cowgirl.
Her character is a tribute to my cowboy father, who is my hero and a huge fan of the Duke. I also love the work of Louis L’Amour, and his lingo definitely influenced my writing. Persephone gets a lot more page time in the upcoming In Todd We Trust, as do the rest of the Toddlians. “GERONIMOOOO!!!”


Heidi Schulz

Jocelyn’s pirate crew in HOOK’S REVENGE are so desperate to look experienced that they pretend to have battle wounds. There is One-Armed Jack (who keeps an arm tucked inside his shirt), Jim McCraig with a Wooden Leg (who only has a giant sliver in his toe), Blind Bart (who could see fine if he would remove at least one of his eye patches), and Nubbins. Nubbins lost a thumb in a cooking mishap, but claimed a giant squid bit it off. Since he is the only one with the glory of a real injury, I let him keep his given name. He would have felt less need to embellish. 


Lauren Magaziner

Here’s a quick glance at how I found some of my characters’ names:

Fairfoul WitchFairfoul was a name I stole off a gravestone in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Rupert: When trying to think of a perfect name for the protagonist, Rupert and Rufus were the first things that popped into my head. I went with Rupert because “Rufus” always makes me think of the (awesome) naked mole rat on Kim Possible.

Allison: One of my best friends once complained to me that there were never any nice, decent book characters named Allison. Challenge accepted!

Bruno: My nod to Roald Dahl’s THE WITCHES.

Rupert’s mom: Her name–Joanne–is only mentioned once in the whole book, but I named her after my favorite author, J.K. Rowling.

Mrs. Frabbleknacker: OK, this one just came from my brain. Fully formed. And weird.


Jennifer Downey

51qfkCHJ1QL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_THE NINJA LIBRARIANS is rife with real people, speeches, books, songs, and gadgets, summoned from history to help tell would-be sword-fighter Dorrie Barnes’ story. In it, the time-traveling warrior lybrarians call their headquarters “Petrarch’s Library”. I had never heard the phrase when I came across it scrawled cross-ways, loose, and all by itself on a piece of paper in a spiral notebook during a rare deepish house cleaning. I hadn’t written it, nor had anyone else in the family. The suggestive phrase wouldn’t leave me alone, and conjured the first images for me of a sprawling library connecting ancient and modern times. Petrarch the 14th c. humanist, it tickled me to learn, was a book fiend and restless traveler who often hit the roads leading a short train of donkeys laden with his personal library.


Rebecca Behrens

When Audrey Met Alice final coverI wanted to write about a fictional First Daughter, and I also wanted to write about the very real and awesome Alice Roosevelt. But I didn’t know which story idea to pick, or how to put those two together—at least without time travel.

I was waiting to cross the street at 62nd and Madison when suddenly the concept for not AUDREY or ALICE but WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE popped into my head. A presidential tween could find Alice’s diary and get ideas for running riot in the 21st century! I went home and outlined the whole book.

Later, while researching, I found out that the very intersection where inspiration struck was where young Alice lived with her Auntie Bye. Coincidence?


Ryan Gebhart
Candlewick Press

There’s a scene in THERE WILL BE BEARS where Tyson threatens his friend Brighton that if he doesn’t confess to liking Taylor Swift, he’ll hack up a wad of snot and spit it into his mouth. Most people would like to believe something this disgusting is entirely fictitious, however, yeah… no. I have five older brothers. I’ve been pinned down by my brother Jacob, a wad of snot dangling from his lips. It fell into my screaming mouth that pleaded for mercy.


What other behind the scenes info do you want to know about any of our books? Have any questions for particular authors? We’ll answer questions in the comments section!

After that cold winter, please enjoy that hot summer sun! And be sure to return for another segment of Mad For Middle Grade on Monday August 4th.

Lauren Magaziner is a 4th grader at heart, watches way too much TV, and loves to steal people’s toes to make Toecorn, which tastes like chewy, meaty popcorn. Only one of those is true. (Okay… you caught me. They’re all true.) Her MG debut THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN WITCHES—about a boy who becomes a witchling’s apprentice in a town full of dangerous, Toecorn-loving witches—is forth-coming from Dial/Penguin on August 14, 2014.

July Debuts Giveaway


DREAM BOY by Mary Crockett (July 1)
MIDNIGHT THIEF by Livia Blackburne (July 8)
ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman (July 10)

ILLUSIVE by Emily Lloyd-Jones (July 15)
ONE SMART COOKIE by Kym Brunner (July 17)
THE FIRE WISH by Amber Lough (July 22)
EXTRACTION by Stephanie Diaz (July 22)

BETWEEN by Megan Whitmer (July 29)

*Open to all countries Book Depository ships to.
*I will only email ONCE to confirm your mailing address. If you don’t respond within three days, a new winner will be selected.
*Deadline is Thursday, July 31.


Good luck! ♥


Martina Boone: COMPULSION

We’ve got a great group of debut authors here at OneFour Kidlit. Today we’re talking to Martina Boone, author of COMPULSION. One author, four questions. Here we go!

Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?
Fast and sloooooow. I started writing twenty years ago, and then stopped. Long story. I started again about four years ago, wrote a book that I queried hard and another book I started to query and then decided to revise. In the middle of that revision, I got an idea for a new book, which I wrote, queried, and sold as a trilogy within a year. Partly that came from luck and timing, partly it was because I finally wrote a book that was different from what was already published, and partly it was scratching my way up the learning curve to learn enough craft to be ready to take the next step. I think it takes all three of those things.
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
COMPULSION is a moss-draped Southern Gothic about three plantation and the families that are magically bound to take care of them, about two wishes that became compulsions, and about an ancient curse that forces a teen from each family into danger. There’s a river that turns to fire at midnight, a pair of star-crossed lovers, assorted nefarious doings, ghosts, treasure-hunters looking for a family fortune lost in the Civil War, and teens struggling to find who they are and where they belong in a small town that wants to fit them into pre-conceived roles. Also there are fabulous shoes.
What are you most excited about in the debut process?

I just got back from BEA where I saw the COMPULSION cover as a ginormous standing poster and got to do a presentation about the book sandwiched between presentations given by several of my writing heroes. As I write this, I’m on my way to ALA to talk about COMPULSION with librarians, and since librarians are pretty much my everyday heroes, that’s a dream.To be honest, getting to share my characters and their stories with readers has been the common thread of every amazing experience so far. From the beginning, all I’ve wanted was to do justice to these fictional people who had become so alive for me. Every time someone adds the book to Goodreads, tells me they’ve pre-ordered it, or tells me they’ve read it, I feel like it’s Christmas morning. The debut process turns every day into Christmas, and you never know what’s going to show up beneath the tree.

What are your desert island books?
My most re-read books are PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, because. And DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor, because I can find something new and miraculous in every sentence of that book. I’d also take THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater, because if I was stuck on a desert island, I would much rather imagine that it was Thisby so I could spend my days stalking magical water horses and figuring out how to tame them.
Martina Boone writes contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she would love to visit. She is the founder of YA Series Insiders and Adventures in YA Publishing, a two-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers blog. She’d be quite happy on a desert island, as long as she had her family, her dog, her cat, plenty of books, and a way to keep writing. Oh, and vats of Nutella.
Pick ANY OneFour Kidlit Novel of Your Choice GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate being part of this wonderful group (and finally getting her OneFour Kidlit Introduction post written), Martina has a giveaway! One winner (U.S. and Canada only, please) who enters the Rafflecopter below can pick ANY OneFour Kidlit novel, YA or MG, already published or coming up as a preorder that ships when the book is available. The winner will also get a COMPULSION bookmark and an automatic entry into a Grand Prize drawing for an ARC of COMPULSION, a key necklace, a hardcover of Kimberly Derting’s THE TAKING, a signed paperback of Ellen Oh’s PROPHECY and a signed hardcover WARRIOR. Enter below by 7/31/14.(Grand Prize entries will also be accepted from the four Pick Any YA Novel giveaways at Fantasy Ink, Two Chicks on Books, Reading Teen, Writer for Misfits, which will be coming up throughout the month. Check here to find them all.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway