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Author of the Month
2004 Archive
Michael deGuzman
Meet Michael deGuzman
Author of Melonhead and Beekman's Big Deal
When I was a kid I made up stories and went door-to-door selling recitations for a nickel. I found out it's a tough way to make a living. I did it anyway, including a twenty year stint writing television movies. One of them, an adaptation of E.L. Konigsburg's FATHER'S ARCANE DAUGHTER (the film was called 'Caroline?'), convinced me I was writing for the wrong crowd. I discovered that I saw and felt the world most clearly through the heart and mind of the twelve year old inside me. I decided to write for people my own age. When I turned sixty I started writing novels about twelve year old boys.

Clem Martini
In 1999 I began working on The Mob, the first of what would become a trilogy of novels entitled "Feather and Bone, The Crow Chronicles". The question people would most often ask when they heard about the project I was researching, was - "Why crows? How could you possibly write about crows?" That's the way they would say it too, with 'crows' in italics, as though even articulating the word was a little distasteful.

Well. Here's how it began.

It was the dawn of a cold spring morning. I was seated next to my youngest daughter, Miranda, and we were waiting for her school bus to arrive. An immense flock of birds cut across the sky, came to rest in a crooked poplar tree, and promptly commenced chattering with one another. Miranda turned to me and remarked that it was just like a family reunion. That got me thinking. What if it was a family reunion?

Gene Barretta
Children's book illustrator Gene Barretta can now officially call himself an "Author/Illustrator." Henry Holt & Co. has just acquired his Benjamin Franklin picture book, which will be released in 2006 to celebrate Franklin's 300th anniversary. Gene recently took time out to speak to us about his past and current projects. He lives outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also home to Dr. Franklin. READ MORE

Vicki Cobb
ANNOUNCING VICKI COBB'S VIRTUAL STAGE DEBUT WITH "SHOW BIZ SCIENCE" a theater-themed column and message board at Education Science educator extraordinaire, Ms. Cobb will kick step her way through activities, science experiments and can-you-believe-it? facts showing teachers how to shake up the curriculum and get kids engaged. LEARN MORE

Margaret Atwood
Author, Margaret Atwood
In her own words...
I wrote Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes rapidly. It was a rip-roaring rampage of R-words, and followed my previous letter book, Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut. I have now written another letter book, Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda, which will come out this year in Canada, next year (2005) in the United States. It has a lot of B words for Bob and D words for Dorinda, though there is some overlap— Bashful Bob is raised by Dogs, and both of them Battle a Buffalo.
Linda Oatman High
Meet Linda Oatman High
Sister Slam and the Poetic Motormouth Road Trip
ETC: Let's cut to the chase, or the road trip as the case may be. Tell us about your latest book.

Linda Oatman High: "Sister Slam and the Poetic Motormouth Road Trip" is the story of Laura Crapper, who's way past chunky. In fact, she's downright clown-white fat, but funky, a hip chick in thick-soled combat boots. Laura and her best friend Twig have a plan, a jammin' road trip to a poetry slam in New Jersey. Laura changes her name to Sister Slam, and the girls squeal away toward fame. The book is written in verse: a hip-hop be-bop kind of rhythm that was fun to write, and I hope fun to read! A clerk at Borders Books called it "Dr. Seuss for big cool people."
Brent Hartinger
Meet Brent Hartinger, Author of
Geography Club and The Last Chance Texaco

" It's amazing. For fifteen years, I could've written a ransom note and no one would've read it. But since I sold my first book, GEOGRAPHY CLUB, in 2001, my phone has been ringing off the hook."
Trudy Ludwig
Teasing, taunting, gossiping, spreading rumors and exclusion are all forms of bullying that are often written off as a normal phase kids go through …but it's not. In fact, research shows that these forms of aggression are just as harmful as physical bullying, with long-lasting negative effects. ETC recently interviewed author Trudy Ludwig about her new children's book, My Secret Bully, which tackles the difficult issue of emotional bullying among friends. Because Trudy's book is generating much positive interest from leaders in education and counseling circles nationwide, we chose Trudy as our Author of the Month.
Deborah Kogan Ray
Deborah Kogan Ray in her own words...

I've been asked how I find the subjects for my stories, especially for my picture biographies because they are not the usual people who are written about in books for children. Strange as it may sound, my subjects find me. I never consciously think about what would make a good topic or whose life history should be told. I recognize a kindred spirit in the people I write about, something that is part of me.

My interests trigger my stories. I wrote the biography of Hokusai, the great Japanese artist, because his work inspired me to become an artist. LILY'S GARDEN evolved from my love of growing things, and years spent on the coast of Maine. THE FLOWER HUNTER is about America's first naturalist, William Bartram. It grew from my interest in the natural world.

Kim Adlerman
Ever since she can recall, Kimberly Adlerman, B.F.A. ’87, has had a passion for drawing. Whether she was excelling in art class or just doodling in a notebook, Kim realized at an early age that she possessed a special ability to create images with paper and pencil.

Today, the mother of three uses that talent to help put smiles on the faces of youngsters around the world. She and her husband, Danny, have found success as co-authors of children’s books. Over the past decade, the couple has sold 500,000 copies of their work, with their seventh title, “Rock-A-Bye Baby,” set to hit shelves in February 2004.

Dave Cutler

"...But with a children's book, you can create your own little world. A world I hope will entertain both child and adult, and will inspire them to speak about feelings (like anger) that are often hard to talk about. I also hope my book is a place where children—and adults—realize that we all have had the same feelings at one time or another, and that is OK to have those feelings."