SA Larsen is a childhood apraxia of speech advocate, former dancer, and Maine-iac ice hockey fan, who has watched more games than she could ever count. Her favorite stories unlock secret passageways and hidden worlds to inspire and challenge the heart. She lives in the land of lobsters and snowy winters with her husband and four children (yes, they all play hockey), where she’s writing the next adventure in her middle grade series.
SA’s debut novel, MOTLEY EDUCATION (Leap Books/Seek, October 10, 2016), is a middle grade fantasy adventure. A class assignment sends misfit medium Ebony Charmed and her legless lizard totting best friend on a ghostly journey for their lives battling creatures from Norse mythology to find a relic that is vital to saving both the spirit world and themselves. But when things go terribly wrong, Ebony must dig deep to find the true meaning of her quest, which has been inside her all along.
- Favorite book growing up: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak
- Childhood aspiration: To create, whether through painting, baking, or writing her own little off-Broadway musicals.
- Favorite time of day/place to write: Early morning or late evening, and usually in her office that’s climbing in books and The Nightmare Before Christmas decor.
- Book currently reading/most recently read: YOU WERE HERE by Cori McCarthy
- Favorite things to do (other than reading): Watch a movie or pro sports event as a family, or hang out with her kids during family game night.
- Favorite sports teams: Boston Bruins, New England Patriots
- Surprising personal fact: Up until recently, she was part of the Monday Night Hotties – a group of ladies ranging in age from 22 to 60+, who dance and perform onstage.
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Being around some of the most talented and creative people she’s ever met and connecting with amazing readers!
Where to find her:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Add book
Erin Petti lives by the ocean in Massachusetts and loves to read about magic, dinosaurs, folklore, and ghosts. She’s studied literature and creative writing, as well as teaching and improvisational comedy. She suspects her cat likes her better than she’s letting on. Erin lives with her husband, excellent toddler, and aforementioned cat.
Erin’s debut, THE PECULIAR HAUNTING OF THELMA BEE (Mighty Media Press, September 6, 2016), is a middle grade fantasy adventure where science and magic intertwine. Aspiring scientist/explorer/cryptozoologist Thelma must embark on a mission to save her dad. But when the journey brings them deep into the New England woods she realizes it might be harder than she thought—there’s someone wielding dark magic, and Thelma is pretty sure they’re coming after her next.
- Favorite book growing up: REDWALL by Brian Jacques – but earlier than that, MOUSE SOUP by Arnold Lobel.
- Childhood aspiration: She was desperate to be an animator for Disney and live in Disney World. That’s how it works, right?
- Favorite time of day/place to write: If she can make it up, early morning with lots of coffee is best 🙂
- Book currently reading/most recently read: A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by Victoria Schwab
- Favorite things to do (other than reading): Hanging out with her two year old! She’s the funniest person Erin has ever met.
- Favorite sports teams: Hufflepuff Quidditch all the way.
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Fulfilling a lifelong dream! And the incredible support of friends and family.
Where to find her:
Website | Twitter
Kiran Millwood Hargrave was born in London in 1990, and now lives in Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires. As well as writing novels, she is a published poet and playwright. Kiran does her best writing in bed or in pubs, which are two of her favourite places. She studied at Cambridge University and Oxford University, and was about to do a PhD when she decided writing was much more fun (though no less hard!)
Kiran’s debut novel, THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS (Scholastic/Chicken House UK May 5, 2016)/ THE CARTOGRAPHER’S DAUGHTER (Random House/Knopf US July 2016) is a middle grade action/adventure. When her closest friend disappears into her island’s Forgotten Territories, Isabella Riosse volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart. But beneath the smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.
- Favorite book growing up: Kiran still doesn’t feel quite grown up, but one of her favourite books was (and still is) THE NORTHERN LIGHTS trilogy by Philip Pullman.
- Childhood aspiration: The first woman on Mars! She was determined, until she realised you have to wee in your spacesuit (she’s a bit of a germaphobe).
- Favorite time of day/place to write: After lunch until late, preferably in a pub or in bed. Though this is the source of great guilt, as she just moved into a house with a beautiful study.
- Book currently reading/most recently read: Kiran just finished THE BOY WHO LOST FAIRYLAND by Catherynne M Valente, and is now reading THE EXTRAORDINARY AND UNUSUAL ADVENTURES OF HORATIO LYLE by Catherine Webb.
- Favorite things to do (other than reading): Kiran loves dancing to music of all kinds, cooking of all kinds, and cuddling cats of all kinds.
- Surprising personal fact: When she was just weeks old, Nelson Mandela proclaimed her the most beautiful baby he’d ever seen. Her looks went downhill from there.
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Being a Sweet Sixteener!
Where to find her:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
When A. E. Conran was her main character Mikey’s age she had a tin of Roman and Celtic warriors, which she never finished painting, and a desire to time travel, which remains with her still. A fan of historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff and Henry Treece, she also heard stories from parents, grandparents, and friends about living through, and returning from, war. Today she works as a freelance editor, bookseller, booktalker and children’s book club facilitator in Northern California.
A.E.’s debut novel, THE LOST CELT ( Goosebottom Books/Gosling Press, March 15, 2016) is a contemporary middle grade adventure. Primed by their favorite video war game pitting Ancient Celts against the Romans, Mikey and Kyler are convinced that they’ve seen a real live Celtic warrior. Has the Celt time-traveled as part of a secret defense project? In tracking him down, the boys solve the biggest mystery of their lives.
- Favorite book growing up: VIKING’S DAWN by Henry Treece…but she finds this an impossible question. Amanda has a bookshelf of her childhood books and a Pinterest board devoted to them. She lets them take turns as her top favorite.
- Childhood aspiration: An actor and/or writer
- Favorite time of day/place to write: In the morning at her kitchen table, occasionally distracted by the antics of the squirrels and birds in the garden. As she types, a gang of American Robins have taken the yard by storm.
- Book currently reading/most recently read: LISTEN TO THE MOON by Michael Morpurgo and THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH by Ali Benjamin – WOW!
- Favorite things to do (other than reading): Collecting antique buttons. Acting with her family in community theatre. Visiting museums, historic sites and battlefields. Watching films.
- Favorite sports teams: She loves watching Rugby Union, especially during the World Cup. Her local team in the UK was the Leicester Tigers, but she could never claim to be an avid supporter.
- Surprising personal fact: She once flew and made a catch on the flying trapeze!
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Fulfilling a dream. Sharing her love and belief in the power of story especially in middle grade novels. Learning, and sometimes being completely befuddled by, the many new technologies and skillsets that go along with being a published author.
Where to find her:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Add Book
Janet B. Taylor lives in such a small town in Arkansas that if you happen to sneeze when you pass by, you’ll totally miss it. (Cause, you know, you can’t sneeze with your eyes open. For real–try it–it’s impossible.) She’s a reader/fan first and a writer second. She lives with her awesome family and Dorda the diabetic dog who won’t win any beauty contests, but has a “nice personality.”
Janet’s debut novel, INTO THE DIM (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2016), is a Young Adult time travel adventure. Sixteen year-old Hope Walton must travel back in time to a brutal, medieval twelfth-century–during the English reign of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine–to rescue her mother. Along the way, she becomes entangled with a secret society of time travelers and a mysterious boy who may be the key to setting her mother free.
- Favorite book growing up: WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS by Wilson Rawls. To this day, she can’t read it without tearing up. When Old Dan and Little Ann…*strangles back a sob*… she’s sorry, she can’t even talk about it.
- Favorite time of day/place to write: Crazy early in the morning. She’s talking 3AM early.
- Book currently reading/most recently read: RUIN AND RISING by one of the coolest chicks she knows, Leigh Bardugo. MORTAL GODS by Kendare Blake (another super-rad individual) and GRACELING by Kristin Cashore. How did she miss reading this fantastic series for so long?
- Favorite things to do (other than reading): Travel. And um.. let’s see…did she mention travel?
- Favorite sports teams: Arkansas Razorbacks and Dallas Cowboys
- Surprising personal fact: She has a tiny twin growing out of her side. (OK, that’s a lie, but she is pretty boring in real life, so…)
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Knowing that she’ll be sharing that debut year with this amazing group of authors! And hey, we got 16–who everyone knows is the BEST year for YA!
Where to find her:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Add Book
Andrew Brumbach grew up square in the hippie community of Eugene, Oregon, surrounded by artists and musicians and storytellers. He studied art in Texas, traded options in Chicago, and wandered as an expat through the neon neighborhoods of Tokyo. Somewhere along the way, he married the girl of his dreams and had four practically perfect kids, but never overcame his weakness for the power and transport of story.
Andy’s debut novel, THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT (Random House/Delacorte, Spring 2016), is a Middle Grade adventure. In the summer of 1929, two cousins named Maxine Campbell and William Battersea must brave the streets of New York City to recover an ancient mirror and rescue their grandfather from a cult of desert assassins.
- Favorite book growing up: THE GREAT BRAIN series by John D. Fitzgerald
- Childhood aspiration: Part-time artist, part-time minister, part-time professional baseball player
- Favorite time of day/place to write: Morning, on a deserted island with wi-fi
- Book currently reading: THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton
- Favorite things to do: Travel, be with his kids, play golf
- Favorite sports teams: Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Surprising personal fact: He narrowly survived the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: After a long road to publication, he’s glad he’s not a 2017 (or 2018, or 2019) debut author
Where to find him:
Twitter | Goodreads
Sixteener Victoria J. Coe recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener David Fulk about his MG contemporary fantasy adventure, RAISING RUFUS (June 9, 2015 from Delacorte Press).
About the Author:
David Fulk is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director, and (now) novelist. He grew up near Chicago and has lived in Missouri, Louisiana, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Belgium, and Wisconsin. He currently lives near Boston with his pet T. rex, Rosie.
Find David on his website, Facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter.
About RAISING RUFUS:
Martin Tinker, a shy, studious eleven-year-old, has his small-town world turned upside down when he discovers an ancient, frozen egg in a quarry―and when it thaws and hatches, he finds himself surrogate mom to a baby T. rex! It’s all Martin can handle to keep his fast-growing pet a secret, and he soon realizes he’ll have to uncover his inner hero to save Rufus—or maybe the town?—from a very unhappy fate.
RAISING RUFUS is available for purchase at Amazon, Powell’s, Books A Million, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.