Funk, Josh

Funk, Josh

Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books – such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series Dear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, Albie Newton, How to Code a Sandcastle and more! Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes manuscripts.

For more information about Josh Funk, visit him at www.joshfunkbooks.com and on Twitter at @joshfunkbooks.

3 Fun Facts

1. Josh Funk plays a mean rhythm guitar – he wrote and sang the songs for all of his book trailers.
2. Josh Funk has a system for eating pancakes so the bottom pancake gets the same amount of syrup as the top.
3. Josh Funk can only think of 2 fun facts about himself.

Connor, Leslie

Connor, Leslie

As a kid, Leslie Connor loved to be upside down in odd places such as the middle of the stairway at her family home where she could look out and gain new perspective. She studied visual art at the University of Connecticut and is happily surprised to be writing today. Leslie is the author of several award-winning books for children, including Waiting for Normal, winner of ALA’s Schneider Family Book Award, and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, an E.B. White Read Aloud Honor book. She lives with her husband and rescue dogs in a little house in the Connecticut woods. www.leslieconnor.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Dogs are always welcome at my house.
2. My two most important writing tools are listening and daydreaming.
3. I caught and released forty mice from our screen porch last summer.

Roy, Jennifer

Roy, Jennifer

Jennifer Roy is an award-winning, bestselling author or many books including Yellow Star, the Trading Faces series with Julia DeVillers, Jars of Hope, Mindblind, and her newest book Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein, inspired by the true story of a boy growing up in Iraq during the first Gulf War. Ms. Roy’s books have won numberous honors including the Boston Globe. She lives near Albany, NY and loves to read. www.jenniferroy.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I have an identical twin sister Julia DeVillers, who is also an author.
2. I spent childhood summers on my grandparents’ farm in Copake, Columbia County.
3. I have a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix and a rescue cat.

Stewart, Melissa

Stewart, Melissa

Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 180 nonfiction books for children, including Can an Aardvark Bark?; No Monkeys, No Chocolate; and Feathers: Not Just for Flying. She holds a degree in biology from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and a master’s degree in science journalism from New York University. Melissa believes that nothing brings nonfiction writing to life like firsthand research. While gathering information for her books, she has explored tropical rain forests in Costa Rica, gone on safari in East Africa, and swum with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands. www.melissa-stewart.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite research experience was observing hippos from a hot air balloon floating over the African savannah.
2. I often write in my pajamas.
3. My favorite punctuation mark is the question mark because I’m so curious.

Wallmark, Laurie

Wallmark, Laurie

Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark’s debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books, 2015), received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal) and many national awards including Outstanding Science Trade Book and Cook Prize Honor Book. Her latest picture book biography, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code (Sterling Children’s Books, 2017), earned a Kirkus star and is on several public library’s best of lists. Laurie has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. When not writing, she teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College. www.lauriewallmark.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I was the only girl in a boys-only architectural drawing class in junior high.
2. The high school principal told me I would never take advanced math classes because I was a girl, but he was wrong.
3. I teach computer science to students on campus and also those in prison.

Kimmelman, Leslie

Kimmelman, Leslie

Leslie Kimmelman is the author of several dozen popular and prize-winning picture books for children, including We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3!; Write On, Irving Berlin; Here Come the Helpers!; and Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic. She is also an editor at Sesame Workshop. She lives in New York with her family. www.lesliekimmelman.net

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve been an editor at Sesame Workshop for over 20 years, so yes, I know the way to Sesame Street.
2. If I weren’t a writer, I’d be a wildlife photographer.
3. To any question, the correct answer—in my opinion—is “good-quality chocolate.”

Olien, Jessica

Olien, Jessica

Jessica is the author and illustrator of four books for Balzer+Bray/Harpercollins including RIGHT NOW, ADRIFT: AN ODD COUPLE of POLAR BEARS, THE BLOBFISH BOOK and SHARK DETECTIVE. Jessica’s cartoons have been published in the New Yorker and the New York Observer and Conde Nast Traveler and her writing for adults has been published in Slate, the Atlantic, McSweeney’s and many others. www.jessicaolien.com

3 Fun Facts

1. When I’m stressed I look at pictures of Corgis.
2. My favorite fruit is pomegranate.
3. I used to live in Egypt.

McDonough, Yona Zeldis

McDonough, Yona Zeldis

Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of 28 books for children, including several in the highly popular WHO WAS…? series. She has also published seven novels for adults as well as articles, essays and short fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, photographer Paul McDonough.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love Pomeranians and I’ve had as many as three at once.
2. My husband built a doll house for me. It inspired one of my books (The Doll House Magic) and it has pride of place in our living room.
3. I like to memorize poetry an know over sixty poems by heart.

Ventresca, Yvonne

Ventresca, Yvonne

Yvonne Ventresca’s latest YA psychological thriller, Black Flowers, White Lies (Sky Pony Press, 2016) won a National IPPY Gold Medal for YA fiction in 2017. Her debut novel, Pandemic (Sky Pony Press, 2014), won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Yvonne’s other work includes two nonfiction books and several short stories selected for anthologies. She loves a good ghost story and studies Isshinryu karate in a haunted dojo. You can learn more about her books at YvonneVentresca.com, where she also features resources for teen writers.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m a Sandan (third degree) Black Belt in Isshinryu Karate.
2. I make all my revisions with a purple pen (when I’m not typing).
3. My favorite way to procrastinate is by reading books and articles about productivity.

Castle, Jennifer

Castle, Jennifer

Jennifer Castle is the author of ten books for children and teens. Her YA novels include The Beginning of After, You Look Different in Real Life, What Happens Now, and Together at Midnight. Her four-book middle grade fantasy series is Butterfly Wishes. She’s also the co-author of two non-fiction books, Friends and Frenemies: The Good, the Bad, and the Awkward and Famous Friends: Best Buds, Rocky Relationships, and Awesomely Odd Couples from Past to Present. She lives in New Paltz, NY with her husband, two daughters, and two cats/writing assistants. www.jennifercastle.com

3 Fun Facts

1. BUTTERFLY WISHES was inspired by my daughters, the mysterious woods behind our house, and my fascination with butterflies.
2. I’m a Ravenclaw.
3. My favorite book of all time is A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET by Madeleine L’Engle.