Author Q&As

 

Did you know that we publish new author interviews every month? laugh

We've had the pleasure of chatting with amazing writers and illustrators across a range of genres, so no matter what you love, we've got a Q&A you're sure to enjoy.

Check out some favorites in the gallery below, or scroll down to browse the full archive.
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Stephanie Garber on Walking the Line Between Real and Imaginary

Ever since Stephanie Garber's Caraval came out at the start of last year, we've been eager to hear more from this exciting voice in young adult fantasy. Caraval is an immersive and sweeping novel that's perfect for members of the Night Circus crowd or those who always wanted to attend Beauxbatons. The sequel, Legendary, lives up to its name. It picks up where the first book left off, upping the stakes along the way—but you'll have to wait until the end of May to read it.

In the meantime, we're very excited to welcome Stephanie to this year's TeenBookCon on March 24, where she'll be joined by 25 more of the best authors of teen and young adult fiction. Read our Q&A with Stephanie below.

Bryan Mealer on Oil Booms and Family Ties (and Family Curses)

It's hardly a secret that there's something special about Texas — our great state has long attracted the dreamers, the strong-willed, and the independent. The Mealer family, for example. In 1892, John Lewis Mealer moved his family of seven children from the hills of Georgia to the high desert of west Texas. In so doing, he set off a rollercoaster of happiness and sorrow that would shape his family's fortunes for years to come. Bestselling author Bryan Mealer, John Lewis' great-grandson, has charted that journey across four generations in a riveting new family memoir The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family's Search for the American Dream. The book comes highly recommended by our own Valerie Koehler (and by bestselling authors like Bryan Burrough, who describes it as "a Texas version of Hillbilly Elegy"). We think it's going to be a 20th-century classic.

Bryan Mealer is joining us in the store for a discussion and signing on Tuesday, February 13.

Stefan Merrill Block on 'Oliver Loving,' Tragedy, and Coming Home

Stefan Merrill Block, photo by Beowulf SheehanOliver Loving, the new novel from Texas-born author Stefan Merrill Block, follows the aftermath of a school shooting in a small West Texas town. It's a book that will break your heart in a thousand small ways—it's one of our favorites of the winter, as well as one of the most timely. For Block, who grew up in Plano during the heroin epidemic of the 1990s, it is also a deeply personal examination of the lingering effects that tragedy can cast over a community. Rather than focus on the immediate reaction—the flurry of news coverage, the investigations, the politics—Oliver Loving spools out over the long (and often unbearable) aftermath of unspeakable sadness. Through it all, Block deftly mixes love, family, humor, and grief to create a book that is at once tragic and hopeful—and altogether mesmerizing. 

We were thrilled to catch up with Mr. Block before his event with us on February 1 for an insightful Q&A. (We also encourage you to read his engrossing interviews in both Texas Monthly and the LA Times after you're through with ours.) Get used to hearing about this book—it's a perfect selection for any book club.

Meet Jasmine Guillory, Author of the Year's Most Charming Debut

Jasmine Guillory by Andrea Scher

It's tough to escape stereotypes. You get handed a romance novel, and you probably expect steamy scenes with a lot of tartan torn to shreds. At the very least, you think you can count on a pirate or two, or the hero getting called a "rake." That was before Jasmine Guillory, a Stanford-Law-grad-romance-novelist who's responsible for The Wedding Date, one of the most highly-anticipated books of the year. 

Obert Skye on Making Normal Funny

There's always a little magic in books by Obert Skye. Whether he's revealing the mysteries of the world of Foo or introducing us to another marvelous mashup in his hilarious Creature in a Closet series, we can count on Skye to reveal the power of imagination.

Skye's latest middle grade book, Geeked Out, starts a new post-apocalyptic spoof series that touches on tough topics like bullying while maintaining Skye's trademark cheek and humor. The book's out February 6, and Mr. Skye himself will visit the store on Saturday, February 10 to celebrate its release. Go ahead and pre-order your copy now—then read our Q&A with the author below!

The Many Surprises of Greg Pizzoli

How can you not love Greg Pizzoli? The prolific author/illustrator is responsible for a handful of our favorite picture books from recent years, including Templeton Gets His WishThe Watermelon Seed, and The Quest for Z. On top of that, he's an all-around sweetheart who knows how to put on an excellent school visit. Our kind of guy, in other words.

Greg's joining us here in Houston for a couple of school visits this month, and we're working hard to book an in-store appearance sometime next year. In the meantime, tide yourself over by reading his insightful Q&A below. We asked about what he has on the horizon, all those little goodies hidden in his books, what it was like to illustrate a manuscript by Margaret Wise Brown, and more. 

Jessica Brody Can't Sit Still

If we could describe Jessica Brody in one word, it would be “WOW!” Why? For starters, this powerhouse of an author released 3 books this year, has another 3 slated for 2018, plus a new sci-fi series due in early 2019. She was also one of 25 authors featured at this year’s Tweens Read Festival here in Houston, and has attended another handful of festivals to boot. In her own words, she “can’t sit still,” and it shows.

True to form, she responded within approximately 30 minutes with awesome answers when we reached out to her with questions earlier this month. Want to know what she’s reading? Why she loves writing multiple genres? How she produced those killer book trailers? Make like Jessica, and read on!

Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis on the Magic of Middle Grade

You may not know it, but you know Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis. Meloy is the lead vocalist and guitarist for popular indie rock outfit The Decemberists, while Ellis is a Caldecott Honor-winning author and illustrator. (She also supplies illustrations for the band.) They live outside of Portland, Oregon, on a farmstead, with their two young sons and a proliferation of fruit trees.

Wiley Cash Is Right on Time

You may have noticed a certain word picking up steam in the book world over the last year: Timely. To some extent, new books are always timely. They, like all art, reflect the culture of the day. But as society collectively sits up and confronts difficult issues, we've enjoyed an unprecedented run of feminist booksdiverse books, and books of social and cultural importance. One of the best? The Last Ballad, by staff-favorite author Wiley Cash.

You may already know Wiley from a pair of best-sellers that have long held a special place on the Blue Willow shelves. If you haven't read his work, we think it's high time you start. But don't take it from us—we caught up with Wiley for a Q&A to celebrate the publication of The Last Ballad, and he told us why he considers this book his most ambitious yet. Read on, then stop by the store to pick up your copy. You'll have just enough time to read it before Wiley visits us on the 25th.

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