Meet the Author: Tricia Clasen

Tricia ClasenTricia Clasen is a college professor of communication. After many years off exploring, she returned to her much-too-frigid home state of Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and two girls. She spends most of her time shuttling her kids to dance and trying to get the glitter off the kitchen floor. Despite wanting to be an author since childhood, she only began writing fiction about six years ago.

Tricia’s debut, THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT (Skyhorse/Sky Pony Press, Fall 2016), is a contemporary middle grade novel. With no food in the house and a dad who’s rarely around, twelve-year old Andie fears what will happen if people find out just how bad things are since her mom died.  Inspired by a science project on paranormal behavior, she’s sure pretending to be her mother’s ghost—spraying perfume, changing TV channels, and moving pictures—is her only hope to bring her crumbling family back to reality.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: THE OUTSIDERS by SE Hinton. She read this over and over again one summer—maybe twenty times. Tip: when trying to be a “greaser” Vaseline is a poor option as it is impossible to wash out.
  • Childhood aspiration: Author or actress.
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: Generally morning.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: MAP TO THE STARS by Jen Malone.
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Travel, watch her girls dance, sing bad karaoke.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Getting to share such a wonderful experience with so many talented, excited folks.

Where to find her:

Website | Blog | Twitter

 

Meet the Author: Elaine Vickers

Elaine VickersElaine Vickers is a college chemistry teacher who lives in Utah with her husband and three kids. She likes writing middle grade and chapter books but LOVES revising them. The best moment of her writing career so far was when her eight-year-old daughter read her debut and loved it so much she built an elaborate model of her favorite scene with Legos. Elaine is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Elaine’s debut, LIKE MAGIC (HarperCollins, October 18, 2016), is a contemporary middle grade novel. It is the story of three girls whose stories weave together as they take turns checking out a hollowed-out book box from the library over the course of the biggest summer of their lives.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: All the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary
  • Childhood aspiration: Pediatrician, architect, teacher. It was a pretty constant rotation between those three.
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: In the afternoon. But really, whenever it’s quiet.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: PRINCESS JUNIPER OF THE HOURGLASS by Ammi-Joan Paquette
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Hang out with her kids, run, be outside, eat
  • Favorite sports teams: San Francisco Giants (her dad’s been a fan since forever, so she grew up with the Giants) and University of Utah (where she and her husband went to grad school)
  • Surprising personal fact: She did a large portion of the landscaping in her yard herself…but has never mowed the lawn.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Being in such good company! So many talented authors are debuting in 2016, and the Sweet Sixteens have been such a warm and welcoming community from day one.

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Meet the Author: Jill Diamond

Jill DiamondJill Diamond has loved children’s literature for as long as she can remember, thanks to a school librarian mother and long, cold Maine winters. When she’s not writing middle grade fiction, Jill practices law, dreams about her next travels, and wears cowboy boots. Jill lives in San Francisco with her husband and their son.

Jill’s debut, LOU LOU AND PEA AND THE MURAL MYSTERY (FSG Books for Young Readers, October 18, 2016), is a middle grade novel. It’s about two best friends with a flair for intrigue who uncover a string of mysteries in their community, set against the backdrop of Día de los Muertos.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN, THE WEDDING PROCESSION OF THE RAG DOLL, THE BROOM HANDLE, WHO WAS IN IT, and so many others!
  • Childhood aspiration: An alchemist medieval archaeologist zoologist poet princess (yes, she perceived that as one thing).
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: Ideally, a beautiful morning in Bali, but in reality, wherever and whenever she can.
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Travel, bake elaborate things for friends, make soap, laze around by the fireplace.
  • Surprising personal fact: She’d love to have a pet goat that could live on her back patio.

Where to find her:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Add Book

Meet the Author: Karen Fortunati

Karen FortunatiA New Jersey native transplanted to Connecticut, former attorney Karen Fortunati writes books for children and teens. In her spare time – after family, rescue dogs and writing – she attends graduate school at Trinity College’s American Studies program and works part time as a museum educator.

Karen’s debut, THE WEIGHT OF ZERO (Random House/Delacorte, Fall 2016), is a contemporary Young Adult novel. The story follows Cath, a teenager with bipolar disorder who is contemplating suicide, and her march towards – and struggle to recognize – better mental health, supported by a network of family, doctors, and friends.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite time/place to write: Morning at a clean desk or table at home or in car (anytime)
  • Book most recently read: BIGGIE by Derek Sullivan
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: That it actually happened!
Where to find her:

Meet the Author: Julie Hammerle

Julie HammerleBefore settling down to write “for real,” Julie Hammerle studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on the internet, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

Julie’s debut, THE SOUND OF US (Entangled Teen, June 7, 2016), is a contemporary Young Adult novel. Kiki Nichols, who is more in tune with her internet friends and the characters on her favorite cult TV show than anyone in her “real” life, finds friendship, love, and acceptance at a pre-college summer opera program.

Fun facts:

  • Julie’s first book love is the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. She feels a special kinship toward Betsy Ray.
  • Childhood aspiration: Julie was convinced she was going to be either a famous singer or an Oscar winning actress. Or both.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: UNDER THE LIGHTS by Dahlia Adler.
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Julie watches a lot of TV and movies, and she consumes way too much pop culture gossip. She has been known to shut down parties by talking too much about Game of Thrones.
  • Favorite sports teams: Julie remains fiercely loyal to her hometown teams — the Cubs and the Bulls. She also cheers loudly (and in an ancient, mangled T-shirt) for her alma mater, Butler University.
  • Surprising personal fact: Before having her own kids, she taught Latin to second graders. And third graders. And fourth through eighth graders.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Julie is excited and humbled to be in such great company. Also, 16 is one of the LOST numbers, so, obviously, it’s going to be a great year. Those numbers are LUCKY, right? Not cursed?

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Meet the Author: Emily France

Emily FranceEmily France is a graduate of Brown University where she diligently prepared for her first career cleaning cabins on a horse ranch in Wyoming. She went on to earn an M.F.A. in creative writing and a J.D. She is now a happily recovering attorney and a full-time writer in Colorado where she lives with her astronomer husband.

Emily’s debut, SIGNS OF YOU (Soho Teen, July 19, 2016), is a contemporary Young Adult novel. In a John Green meets Dan Brown contemporary mystery, SIGNS OF YOU tells the story of 16-year-old Riley Strout who believes she’s the reason her mother is dead. But when she starts catching glimpses of her mom and other deceased around town, she realizes it has to do with an old Jesuit cross necklace she recently tried on and she enlists her friends to solve the mystery.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: A WRINKLE IN TIME, Madeleine L’Engle
  • Childhood aspiration: At age five, she told her parents she was going to be a writer. And that unicorns were real. RIGHT ON BOTH. Huzzah!
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: In the morning at the public library in Boulder, Colorado.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: 21 PROMS
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): There are other things to do?
  • Favorite sports teams: Her high school volleyball team. They won. Once. Or was it twice?
  • Surprising personal fact: She married the guy who asked her to the ninth grade dance.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: The moment she told her husband and family that she had gotten a book deal. They’ve cheered her on for so many years as she’s pursued this dream, and it’s been a gift beyond measure to share this with them.

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Add Book

Meet the Author: Paula Garner

Paula GarnerPaula Garner spends most of her time playing with words and food, despite being surrounded by an alarming TBR pile and a very bad cat. Paula is represented by Molly Jaffa of Folio Lit, and lives in the Chicago area with her family.

Paula’s debut, PHANTOM LIMBS (Candlewick, Sept. 27, 2016), is a contemporary Young Adult novel. Sixteen-year-old Otis copes with grief by swimming, training to fulfill the lost Olympic dream of his tyrannical one-armed friend/self-appointed coach, Dara, but her hold on him is threatened when his first love comes back to town, forcing Otis to face the tragedy that drove them apart.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: She never would have been able to pick just one! 
  • Childhood aspiration: Writer 
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: BONE GAP by Laura Ruby 
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Consuming things and making things to be consumed. 
  • Favorite sports teams: Chicago Bulls 
  • Surprising personal fact: The summer she turned sixteen, she worked for a chimney sweep. 
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Sharing a debut year with so many other talented writers!

Where to find her:

Twitter | Goodreads | Add Book