Author Spotlight: Karina Yan Glaser
May 27, 2022
We are excited to feature Karina Yan Glaser and her recent middle grade novel, A DUET FOR HOME (Clarion Books, 2022). Enter to win a copy!
|cover art by Felicia Chen/ design by Celeste Knudsen|
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
My name is Karina Yan Glaser, and I live in Harlem, New York City. I first started writing for children after my two kids were born and I began reading aloud to them all the books I loved from when I was a kid. We would go to the library twice a week (we read a lot!), and I discovered all the incredible new books written for children since I was young. Once my youngest began preschool, I started writing my own stories. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street began at a coffee shop I would go to when my kids were in school.
Congratulations on your recent middle grade novel, A Duet for Home! Tell us about the story and what inspired you.
Thank you! A Duet for Home was a story I’ve always wanted to write since I worked at an organization that provided shelter to families experiencing homelessness in New York City. I loved working with the kids living at the shelters, and I wanted to tell their stories.
You are known for your delightful Vanderbeekers series. How does your newest book compare to those books in style/tone or subject matter?
It was really great to work on A Duet for Home because I had the opportunity to experiment with a different style of writing. This book is told in two voices in third person, whereas the Vanderbeeker series is written in third person omniscient. Even though the books are different in plot and setting, I believe that the themes of family and community are present in all the books I write.
What are your favorite classic MGs? recent ones?
My favorite classic middle grade books are All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I have so many favorite recent middle grade books, but some of my favorites are See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, All Thirteen by Christina Soontornvat, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, A List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead, and The Best Man by Richard Peck.
What projects are you working on now?
I am currently working on the seventh (and final!) Vanderbeekers book!
What advice would you give to your younger self? Is this the same as you'd give to aspiring authors?
I would tell my younger self to collect as many experiences as possible, that it’s okay (and good!) to make mistakes, and to be steadfast in pursuing your dreams. And that is definitely the same advice I give to aspiring authors!
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I think most people don’t know that I used to be a gymnast growing up and that I was a part of the Columbia Dance Team in college!
Where can people find you online?
Karina Yan Glaser is the New York Times bestselling author of the Vanderbeeker series and the standalone middle grade novel A Duet for Home. She is a contributing editor for Book Riot and lives in Harlem with her husband, two daughters, and an assortment of rescue animals and houseplants. One of her proudest achievements is raising two kids who can’t go anywhere without a book. Find her online at www.karinaglaser.com.
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