In Their Own Words:

Interviews with Children's and YA
Authors & Illustrators

Caine - Cheaney

Sample these Author Profiles and Stories Behind the Stories, then follow the links to the full interviews.

Glass Houses

"…I decided I wouldn't do it unless I could come up with a new attitude and a new take on vampires. This is what came out of that determination. Morganville is a planned vampire community, and there's loads we--and the main characters--don't know about the town, but find out as we move alone. That's the fun of it."

—on GLASS HOUSES (BOOK ONE OF THE
MORGANVILLE VAMPIRE SERIES) (YA)

 

 

Avielle of Rhia

"What, I thought, if you can't go marching bravely on? What if you do feel despair? I felt awful having these feelings because they seemed so unpatriotic. Un-American. I was letting the terrorists win."

—on AVIELLE OF RHIA (YA)


 

Good for You

"I was lucky enough to have two toddlers right down the hall in my apartment building..."

— on GOOD FOR YOU!
TODDLER RHYMES FOR TODDLER TIMES
(PB)

 

Last Dance on Holladay Street

"I knew I had to write a story about Jackie, and give her a chance to choose a different path."

— on LAST DANCE ON HOLLADAY STREET (MG)

 

 

 

Dragon's Keep
"I thought I'd write a fairytale that turned the "perfect princess" model on its head by mixing the princess and dragon together. The short fairytale fattened up to fifty pages, then to one hundred, and so on until I had to face the fact that I was writing a novel."

—on DRAGON'S KEEP (YA)

See also Janet Lee Carey on Career Building.

Red Hot Salsa (book Jacket)

“Unlike writing a novel—a challenge that both of us have experienced—editing a collection of bilingual poetry is more about sensibility.”

— on RED HOT SALSA (YA)

 

Moccassin Thunder

"If there were challenges in bringing it to life I wasn't aware of them, as doing this book was like praying. A deeply moving experience."

— on MOCCASIN THUNDER: AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES FOR TODAY (YA)

 

Beige by Cecil Castelucci"I have a theory. The ten-year theory. I think it takes everyone, any artist in any discipline, about ten years to 'make it'."

— on BOY PROOF (YA)


"Ha! Ha! Ha! Does it really look like I didn't suffer the dreaded sophomore novel block! It must be my regiment of salt scrubs, sleight of hand, balloon twisting and the art of mesmer!"

—on THE QUEEN OF COOL (YA)

"I love that graphic novels go along at a quick clip. You have to be lean and mean when you are writing the text that will go in the balloons or captions because there is that extra added element of the image."

—on BEIGE (YA) and THE PLAIN JANES (YA)

 

One Little Mouse
"It wasn't a planned sort of thing, but turned out to be a good marketing tool for the book..."

— on ON A WINTRY MORNING (PB).

"ONE LITTLE MOUSE was written in the late '60's."

— on ONE LITTLE MOUSE (PB).

 

My Friend the Enemy
“Without realizing it at first, I'd modeled the story on THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, and told my editor so. Her reply: ‘I've never read Huckleberry Finn.’”

— on MY FRIEND, THE ENEMY (MG)

"THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE has some significant Texas connections, because that's where the kids' grandfather is from. We're pretty well settled in Missouri now, but all those places we've resided are still residing in me, and I wouldn't be surprised if they find their way out in future books."

— on THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE (MG)

 

I try to keep the notion of success firmly attached to process. Was I successful in constructing that sentence, in conveying a particular thought? Was the solution to a certain character’s problem successful? At the end of the day, I measure success in satisfactory lines written or drawn, and wonder what successes or failures the next day’s work will hold in store.

—on Career Building