2 MG Author Spotlight: Christina Collins & K.A. Reynolds

Aug. 17, 201

Today we are pleased to feature two MG debut authors:
  • Christina Collins, author of AFTER ZERO (Sourcebook Jabberwocky, Sept. 4, 2018)
  • K.A. Reynolds, author of THE LAND OF YESTERDAY (Harper Collins, July 2018)
Be sure to enter the giveaway for both books!


Author of AFTER ZERO (Sourcebook Jabberwocky, Sept. 4, 2018)

© Emma Gornall

About your book & what inspired it: When twelve-year-old Elise struggles to fit in at her new school, she copes by speaking as little as possible, but soon her silence becomes an impediment to friendship and to dealing with family secrets. While the plot of AFTER ZERO is loosely inspired by the Grimm tale “The Twelve Brothers,” the moments in which Elise experiences anxiety about speaking are inspired by my adolescent experience with low-profile selective mutism. 

 Cover design © Ellen Duda

Favorite classic MG books: ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine and ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by LM Montgomery both meant so much to me growing up and still do! 

Favorite recent MG books: There have been so many amazing middle grade books published this year. A few that recently blew me away were THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST by Samantha M. Clark, P.S. I MISS YOU by Jen Petro-Roy, and THE SCIENCE OF BREAKABLE THINGS by Tae Keller.

Best advice for aspiring authors: Trust yourself and do not give up; take it from someone who almost gave up on the manuscript that would become my debut novel. Also, write stories that you'll be glad you wrote even if they don't get published.

One thing most people don't know:  I have gone skydiving (and loved it)!

Where to find you online:  You can find me on Twitter and Instagram as @stinacoll or visit my website at christinacollinsbooks.com.

Christina Collins grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Northern Ireland, where she’s always on the lookout for castle ruins and secret gardens. She holds an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and is finishing a PhD in creative writing at Queen's University Belfast.


Author of THE LAND OF YESTERDAY (Harper Collins, July 31, 2018)

© Melissa Mullen Photography

About your book and what inspired it: THE LAND OF YESTERDAY is the dark and fantastical journey of eleven-year-old adventurer, Cecelia Dahl, as she struggles to reunite her family after her little brother’s death tears them apart. It was inspired by my own childhood grief, and a desire for other children experiencing tragedy to know they are not alone.

Favorite classic MG booksTHE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. In fact, TLP wound itself so tightly around my heart, I wrote an entire chapter in The Land of Yesterday as a tribute to The Little Prince and its genius author. Others: ANNE OF THE GREEN GABLES by Lucy Maud Montgomery; CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY by Roald Dahl; BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sewell; All THE TALES FROM MOOMINVALLEY books by Tove Jansson! 

Favorite recent MG books: Maybe not *so* recent, but . . . all the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. RAVENCLAW FOREVER! Others: THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC by Amanda Rawson Hill; PEASPROUT CHEN, FUTURE LEGEND OF SKATE AND SWORD by Henry Lien; WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW  by Cindy Baldwin; THE TURNAWAY GIRLS by Hayley Chewins; AFTER ZERO by Christina Collins.

Best advice for aspiring authors: When you’ve been writing and working and striving for years. When you could paper your city sidewalks with your rejections twice over. When you’ve quit and tried again. When you end up a crying mess on your floor after your fourth book crashes and burns and it seems no agent gets you or will ever love your words or voice enough. This is the moment you must get up one more time. This is the last ten feet to the top of the mountain you’ve been climbing. Keep going. You are almost there. Never surrender your dreams!

One thing most people don't know: I had a spaceship fly over my mountaintop house a few years back. No joke. A strange light hung out in the back of the sky a good distance away. Then it sprang toward us and went no more than ten feet over our roof. It shook the house, we saw the lights on the base, felt the hum. It was the most amazing and terrifying moment of my life!

K. A. Reynolds is a poet and author from Winnipeg, Canada, currently residing in the wilds of Maine. When not typing, hiking, or caring for the elderly, she enjoys swapping bad jokes with her numerous offspring, herding various furry beasts, and reading strange and colorful tales expertly crafted by other imagination astronauts in love with words. 

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  1. Congratulations on your stories, Ms Collins and Reynolds. Both of these books sound and look exceptional. Thank you also for your encouraging words of advice. Great feature!! Looking forward to reading them.

  2. Congratulations on getting published! All the best of luck with these debuts and future writings! They say 'write what you know,' and it sounds like both of you have thoughtfully and lovingly weaved your own experiences into your stories. Look forward to reading them.

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  4. What lovely stories! I also love being able to find new authors to follow on social media ��

  5. I like the sound of the fantasy with "The Land Of Yesterday"!

  6. I am so excited to read these books. The debuts this year have been fun and amazing to read.

  7. Great news! Congratulations to both of you! Can't wait to read them!

  8. Congratulations! Using Brothers Grimm and (one of my faveS) Le Petit Prince as inspiration has me wanting to read both! Good luck, ladies.

  9. Thanks for sharing your writing journeys. Your books look great. barb

  10. It's refreshing to find books that for kids that deal with death and grief.


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