Saturday, April 11, 2020

Middle Grade Ninja Episode 68: Author Joy McCullough

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Joy McCullough and I talk about her transition from playwright to young adult author and how she kept focus on her long journey to publication, as well as her new middle grade novel, A FIELD GUIDE TO GETTING LOST. She shares the story of how she met her second literary agent, some advice on tending to your mental health, some tips for effectively using social media without over sharing, some tales from her time as a Pitch Wars mentor, and so much more.




Joy McCullough’s debut young adult novel Blood Water Paint (Penguin) won the Washington State and Pacific Northwest books awards, as well as honors such as the National Book Award longlist, finalist for the ALA Morris Award, a Publishers Weekly Flying Start and four starred reviews. Her debut middle grade novel, A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Simon and Schuster) releases on April 14, 2020, and is a Junior Library Guild Selection.

She writes books and plays from her home in the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband and two children. She studied theater at Northwestern University, fell in love with her husband atop a Guatemalan volcano, and now spends her days surrounded by books and kids and chocolate.




Sutton is having robot problems. Her mini-bot is supposed to be able to get through a maze in under a minute, but she must have gotten something wrong in the coding. Which is frustrating for a science-minded girl like Sutton—almost as frustrating as the fact that her mother probably won’t be home in time for Sutton’s tenth birthday.

Luis spends his days writing thrilling stories about brave kids, but there’s only so much inspiration you can find when you’re stuck inside all day. He’s allergic to bees, afraid of dogs, and has an overprotective mom to boot. So Luis can only dream of daring adventures in the wild.

Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different from each other. Except now that their parents are dating, these two have to find some common ground. Will they be able to navigate their way down a path they never planned on exploring?




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