Meet the Author: Erin Teagan

Erin TeaganErin Teagan has a master’s degree in science and worked in biochemistry labs for more than ten years, where she wrote endless standard operating procedures.  She lives in Virginia with her two little mad scientists, a ninety pound lap dog, and a husband that regularly puts himself in danger with all of his extreme sports.

Erin’s debut, THE FRIENDSHIP EXPERIMENT (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2016), is a humorous middle grade novel. Madeline Little, genius scientist in the making, keeps her life in control by creating standard operating procedures (SOPs), like “How to Fake the Bubonic Plague to get out of a Party.” But when her life flip-flops at the start of middle school, and the SOPs no longer do the trick, it’s up to Madeline to discover a new cure for her newly messed up life.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein, anything by Roald Dahl.
  • Childhood aspiration: Always and secretly a writer, even when she declared she was going to be a scientist.
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: Before the sun comes up at her very own beautiful desk (newly purchased).
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: EL DEAFO by Cece Bell.
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Traveling with her husband and reading in a safe place while her husband does something dangerous.
  • Surprising personal fact: She was once quarantined on a virus stricken cruise ship for 72 long hours.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: She can’t think of a single thing that’s not the absolute greatest about being a 2016 debut author.

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Debut Club: An interview with Constance Lombardo, author of MR. PUFFBALL, STUNT CAT TO THE STARS

Sweet Sixteener Jennifer Bardsley recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Constance Lombardo about her debut middle grade illustrated novel, MR. PUFFBALL, STUNT CAT TO THE STARS (September 29, 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins).

About the Author: 

datauri-fileConstance Lombardo began drawing when she was 10 years old. She studied Illustration at Syracuse University, took classes in drawing and printmaking at the Art Students League of NY, and worked with a muralist in San Francisco. Her illustrations have appeared in a variety of magazines. Her debut illustrated middle grade novel, MR. PUFFBALL: STUNT CAT TO THE STARS (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins) is coming out this fall. She is represented by Lori Nowicki of Painted Words. Plus she likes cats. And cake. But not at the same time.

Find Constance at her website, or on Twitter and Facebook.


Mr. Puffball’s a hero for today. Or possibly tomorrow. He’s a cat. He’s awesome. And . . . wait for it . . . he’s going to Hollywood to become a famous movie star! Follow Mr. Puffball on his trip cross-country. (Look at all the postcards to Mom!) See him stumble upon Hobowood! (Not as glamorous as Hollywood, but full of beans.) Watch him land at last in Hollywood, where he meets a cast of thousands (or at least half a dozen) and catapults himself into the next best thing to being a famous movie star: working as a stunt cat to his movie star hero, El Gato!

MR. PUFFBALL: STUNT CAT TO THE STARS is available for pre-order at:AmazonBooks-A-MillionBarnes & Noble, and Indie Bound, or purchase a signed copy here.
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Top Sixteen: Literary Pets

Writing can be a lonely art. As debut authors, we have logged many hours at our desks, behind our laptops, and buried in revisions.

How did we survive the self-imposed solitude? With the help of our loyal literary pets.

Get ready for cute overload. For this month’s Top Sixteen List, we’re introducing you to our BFFs, Best Furry (and one Fishy) Friends.



Arya’s author is: Parker Peevyhouse (WHERE FUTURES END)

Bio: Arya eats mostly bananas and books (she especially enjoyed the Norton Anthology of Poetry), and was named by Parker’s husband (a Game of Thrones fan) and seven-year-old son (a Star Wars fan) as that was the only way Parker could convince them to adopt her. (Arya is pictured opening the box of WHERE FUTURES END ARCs for Parker.)

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Top 16 List: Sixteen Author Outlaws





Feeling shackled by what authors are told we MUST and MUST NOT do? Things like “never respond to reviews”, or “maintain a constant online presence” or “sell a million books all by yourself prior to the release date or your career is doomed” ?  Then feast your eyes on a rogues gallery of Author Outlaws…the ones who dared to defy the rules!

Outlaw #1:  Not on Twitter. Not on Pinterest. Doesn’t care.

Outlaw #2:  Called her copyeditor anonymously at 2 a.m. to demonstrate that you can, indeed, “breathe” dialogue.

Outlaw#3:  Freely admits he wrote his runaway bestselling picture book Look at the Pretty, Pretty Flowers on his iPhone at his sister’s wedding after his second bottle of champagne.

Outlaw #4: Plans to argue online with anyone who gives her book a bad review.

Outlaw #5: Her book opens with a prologue where the main character wakes up and looks in the mirror.

Outlaw #6: Writes children’s books; is actually terrified of children.

Outlaw #7: Surprise! The whole book was a dream!

Outlaw #8: Don’t tell her agent, but her secret WIP is: #$*?&@: A Preschooler’s Dictionary of Swear Words.

Outlaw #9: Ever since his divorce, puts his phone number next to his name at book signings.

Outlaw #10: Her latest book, The Squashing of the Vermin, features characters whose names are suspiciously the same as boys from her past.

Outlaw #11: Wrote a book about learning to respect your elders, and her grandchildren illustrated it. When it sells, she’ll use the advance to build a new library.

Outlaw #12: Exclusively writes main characters and love interests with bluish-purplish-green-gray eyes.

Outlaw #13: Has decided to spend 99% of her advance on attending one writers’ conference, staying in the penthouse suite at the conference hotel and ordering the in-room chef dining service every night by herself.

Outlaw #14: Writes numerous blog posts and tweets shouting “always be writing the next book!” but has been working on the second book forEVER yet always has time to watch the latest hyped series on Netflix.

Outlaw #15: In downtime, works on a filthy, profanity-filled picture book, and sends it to his agent with a ten-point missive explaining exactly why he believes this will sell.  Never admits to it being a joke.

Outlaw #16: Googles the latest-selling trends to ensure a quick sale for book two. Can’t decide on which trend to write, so he decides to make book two a fanfic of a fanfic he read about on someone’s fanfic blog.

Contributors:  Bridget Hodder, Sarah Ahlers, Ami Allen-Vath, Amy Allgeyer, Brooks Benjamin, Victoria Coe, Kurt Dinan, Emily Henry, and Lee Gjertsen Malone

Top Sixteen: Poses for Authors

Credit: Raymond Carver Author Photo

Credit: Raymond Carver Author

Are you a new author? Haven’t had your headshots done yet?

No fear! Your kind friends at The Sweet Sixteens have compiled a list of the Top Sixteen Author Poses, to keep you from making any dreadful career-killing mistakes, such as appearing too much like your natural self.


1. “The Literary Smoulder”: Preferably black and white; transfix them with your moody gaze. Extra points if you manage to transfix them while not even looking at the camera.

2. “Miss Middle Grade”: Scrunch yourself up small and give a nice, nice smile as you think nice, nice thoughts. Tilt your head just a little bit to the side, just in case anyone might think your small self and your nice, nice smile are the teeniest bit threatening.

3. “Mysterious Madam”: Hold a scarf, or teacup, or cat over part of your face. Leave your readers wondering what you really look like.

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The Debut Club: An Interview with Lance Rubin, author of DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE

Sweet Sixteener Jeff Zentner recently spoke with Fearless Fifteener Lance Rubin about his debut contemporary realistic humorous with a splash of sci-fi YA novel, DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE (April 14, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers).

LanceRubinAuthorPhotoLoResAbout the Author: 

Lance Rubin is a New Jersey native who has worked as an actor and written sketch comedy, including successful runs of The Lance and Ray Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He’s also co-writing a new musical called Annie Golden: Bounty Hunter, Yo! Lance lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. He loves Pixar, the Knicks, Harry Potter, and Back to the Future. His debut novel DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE is coming April 2015 from Knopf Books for Young Readers, to be followed by a second DENTON book in 2016.

Find Lance on his websiteTwitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.


DENTON final cover


DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that’s tomorrow, the day of his senior prom. Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE is available for purchase at Amazon, Powell’s, Barnes & NobleBooks a Million, and Indiebound.



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