Author-Bloggers

I went on a mission to discover the secrets of the best children’s author blogs and uncovered something else instead: there aren’t a lot of children’s author-bloggers. Why not? Read this post to learn more.

Here are the ones I found that really do things well. Go read them and see for yourself.

Pat Achilles

Pat is an illustrator, books that she has illustrated include “The Adventures of Charli: My Rescue Puppy,”  “The Case of the Missing Steak Bone,” and “Mommy’s High Heel Shoes.”

Every blog article features an illustration that she has made and then gives a little background on why she did it, sometimes talks through her process in working with a client. She promotes printed items that she makes available on her Etsy page, but the promotions come across as straightforward and sincere and not salesy. Her personality comes across in how she shares her delight in her work and her appreciation for people around her and her community. For example, she gushes a bit about the local symphonic wind symphony, for whom she drew an illustration for their annual concert poster. She is open about her emotional connections to her work and her clients and audience. I like learning about her thought processes as she describes the artistic choices she makes in the course of creating a piece.

Avi

Mononymous author Avi (who lets slip in one of his posts that his first name is actually Edward) has a long career of publishing children’s books. Published books include the Poppy series, the Crispin series, “The Button War,” and many others.

In reading his most recent articles I was quickly drawn in. These are a series of posts that share the stories behind the books he has published, and cover things like where his inspiration came from, interesting facts he learned during his research process, and so on.

Overall, I would characterize his blog as primarily being about the love of reading stories. While there are many posts that touch on writing craft, these all point back to the pure enjoyment found in a good story. The same is true for the posts about reactions he has received from readers, such as this one, where he was asked to sign a copy of a book that a father had taken with him on his deployment to Afghanistan to read to his daughter whenever he had the opportunity. Avi muses on the fact that the ultimate benefit of reading a children’s story is the connections that it forges between reader and listener.

Eric Carle

Yes, THE Eric Carle has a blog. It is full of just as much adorable cuteness as his books are. Since he is one of the few children’s authors who have managed to pass into the ethereal realm of celebrity, it is very nice to get to see the things he shares on his blog. The posts are usually just a picture that he has created. Every now and then he shares a personal recollection or some travel photos. Altogether, it is like a collection of little notes of appreciation for everyone who enjoys his work.

Nicola Davies

UK-based author of many books such as “The Day War Came,” “King of the Sky,” and “Elias Martin,” Nicola Davies’ works clearly show her love of nature and passion for protecting the environment. Her blog articles reflect this as well. Reading her her post, “The Lost Words and Why We Need Them” made me so nostalgic for the wonderful focus I could apply to exploring nature when I was a child that I forgot for a while that my youth included exactly zero oak and maple trees, since I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona.

I was also totally sucked into reading her blog post about visiting the nature preserve in Viet Nam. Then, afterwards, it struck me that this is what people who don’t read blogs very often miss: if you are sick of the same icky news or celebrity gossip, go find some real people who write about real things on their own blogs. You’ll find much more positive messages in there than can ever be collated and regurgitated by an algorithm. Go read Nicola’s blog for antidote to modern tech overload.

Shana Gorian

Books Shana has written: the Rosco the Rascal series.

Shana’s blog is aimed at both fans and fellow authors, and she opens up her space to allow fellow authors to publish guest posts. Because of this, there is a rather rich mix of topics and voices to read here.

In her own posts, Shana is not shy about promoting her books, but she often finds a humorous angle that keeps things lighthearted and friendly. She clearly doesn’t take herself too seriously, and is simultaneously a booster for all fellow kidlit authors.

Seriously, this is one of the most complete experiences I have found offered by a children’s author. The author Q and A posts introduced me to some new names I hadn’t heard of before but am really glad to have found, like Jeff Whitcher (whose poetry is a hoot!) Well worth your time to check it out, and I recommend subscribing to the newsletter too while you’re at it.

Tara Lazar

 

Suzy Lee

Suzy Lee is a Korean author/illustrator whose books include “Wave,” “Open This Little Book” and “Shadow.”

Her blog is in Korean (so make sure to turn on Google translate) and well worth reading. Reading it via Google translate gives the impression that her style of writing is like an impressionist painting. She is very thoughtful and clearly cares deeply about her art and the world of children’s books. For example, this section, from a post describing her reactions and experience at the NYTimes Best Illustrated Children’s Books Awards:

“its place there are many illustrators, leading to questions that require a more detailed answer. What do you think is the most important consideration when examining? the work that makes you surprise?

In fact, I did not answer the question either. The answers here are not going to help me to get back to work. In fact, Paul’s comments were impressive in his fancy answers. (The voice was so small that Mary missed his remarks a few times.)

“I am looking for wonderfulness, not surprise” and I was looking

forward to seeing how I would respond by looking at the nominations. It is a wonderful word. Did not we expect to be enchanted by our new picture book? Children also open their books in anticipation of the wonderful world in which they will unfold.
(Of course, it only means that each of these words comes with their own, not very practical advice)”

Helena Pielichaty

Elena Paige

Australian writer Elena Paige is the author of Taki & Toula Time Travelers, the Lolli series of “Meditation Adventures for Kids,” and more.

In addition to writing and self-publishing her children’s books and creating content for her website and blog, Elena also co-produces a podcast of advice and tips for self-published authors called Indie Kidlit Podcast. If you are an aspiring author, it is an excellent resource. Thanks to the podcast, I have Elena’s Australian accented voice in my ear when I read her blog.

The blog has a mix of book release updates, parenting advice and posts that share her process and works in progress. She clearly has a keen personal interest in how to be an empathetic parent and raise thoughtful, emotionally well-adjusted children. There are several posts that share advice from child psychologists in this vein. Since her books work on this same theme, it is a consistent message.

I’m sure that the big gaps in between blog articles are a sign that she is placing other work as higher priority. Which is fine, but it would be nice to have her share a little more of herself. Some of the posts are a little impersonal, which is weird because in her podcasts she is very open in talking about herself and her family. I’m going to make a guess that the blog articles that are there were from before she got more involved in publishing and podcasting.

Ali Standish

Ali is an author who writes Middle Grade novels such as “The Ethan I Was Before,” “August Isle” and “The Climbers.”

Topics in the blog relate to her personal journey of becoming a writer. The most recent article that I found is an essay exploring the motivations of middle grade authors and whether they really understand the audience they are writing for. I very much appreciated that she went and asked some direct questions of young readers and shared their answers pretty much verbatim. This gave me some very good food for thought and will likely stay with me as I develop my own career as a writer.

Original content is something I really value when I find it in blogs. Maybe it’s because I’ve done enough brand writing to know when stuff is just derivative of other people’s work. But things like interviews with readers or surveys of other writers take a lot more time to put together and are tremendously additive to the discourse.