Author, Author!

20 Oct

This has been an exceptional month in author visits for me. In the past four weeks I have met and learned from three of the best in the industry. Conventional wisdom dictates that that aspiring authors read, study, and write in the genre they want to learn. For me, one of the best ways to learn has always been to go directly to the source, in this case the authors.

Lisa Yee visited the Joseph Beth Bookstore on September 21st. Lisa writes primarily in the Middle Grade/Young Adult genres. She is funny, witty, and full of life lessons. And her books mirror that. Although MG/YA is on the older end of the kidlit spectrum, there are many crossover skills for the picture book writer as well. Know your audience. Immerse yourself in their language, struggles, and joys. Identify what makes them tick. Give them what they need. Lisa’s new DC Super Hero series does all of that and more. Personally, my favorite things about her are her past Disney life and her huge Winnie-the-Pooh collection.



Pat Zietlow Miller was in Cincinnati for school visits on October 4th sponsored by The Blue Manatee BookstoreI was lucky enough to meet up with her and bookseller, Alia Jonesfor dinner downtown on Fountain Square the night before her school events. We had a great time together. We introduced her to Graeter’s Ice Cream and I got my squash signed, so win-win! Pat is the author of five picture books. I met Pat last spring at an SCBWI conference in Chicago. She is a wonderful speaker and an amazing person. Her first book, SOPHIE’S SQUASH, has a sequel which just came out this fall SOPHIE’S SQUASH GOES TO SCHOOL. Pat knows what it takes to be a friend and her children’s books resound with the message of friendship and dreams. Another one of my favorite Pat Z. Miller books is WHEREVER YOU GO. The positive message is so Pat!


Jacqueline Woodson is an author, poet, and winner of a the Caldecott Medal, a Newbery Honor Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, and an ALA Notable Award  in addition to many others. I was lucky enough to meet Jacqueline at Joseph-Beth this week on the 18th where she was talking about last year’s award winning BROWN GIRL DREAMING and her newest book ANOTHER BROOKLYN. Jacqueline is also the author of several picture books which I adore, one of my favorite being THE OTHER SIDE. Listening to her read and speak is such a joy. If you haven’t had the chance to hear her, you really need to treat yourself to a copy of her audiobook. The biggest piece of advice I took away from Jacqueline’s presentation is to empower yourself. 


So, off I go. With Lisa’s Supergirl, Pat’s Squash, and Jacqueline’s Brown Girl Dreaming I am fortified to take on my challenges and write, write, write. See you soon!


7 Responses to “Author, Author!”

  1. trinitygrau October 23, 2016 at 2:02 PM #

    Wow, this sounds like a lot of fun! I hope you were blessed by the opportunity, I wish there were such a thing for teens like me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Juliana Lee October 23, 2016 at 3:22 PM #

      Oh, but there is! These author visits are sponsored by local bookstores. They occur in the evenings. So if you’re interested in attending any, check with your local bookstores and see who they have invited to speak. I’m sure you can meet many amazing authors!


  2. Patricia Tilton October 21, 2016 at 10:35 AM #

    What a treat to have contact with so many favorite authors. I haven’t read Woodson’s newest book, but love everything she has written. Glad Pat Miller has a sequel to Sophie’s Squash! I haven’t read Lisa Yee’s superhero books. Thanks for the introduction. Love the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Juliana Lee October 21, 2016 at 1:21 PM #

      It is a treat, Pat! I’m so lucky to be near two wonderful bookstores that host such awesome writers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Patricia Tilton October 21, 2016 at 2:11 PM #

        I believe that’s where I attended Sharon Draper’s book launch in 2014. Beautiful store. You are very lucky!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Noel Taylor October 20, 2016 at 5:59 PM #

    Hi Liana! Always enjoy reading your children’s lit posts.


    Sent from Noel’s Ipad



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