64 episodes

A podcast about reading and writing middle grade novels utilizing ninja stealth and skill. Rob Kent interviews fellow authors and various publishing professionals to discuss the craft and business of producing middle grade and young adult novels. Episodes are also available as videos. Learn more at MiddleGradeNinja.com.

Rob Kent is the author of BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES.

Middle Grade Ninja Middle Grade Ninja

    • Arts

A podcast about reading and writing middle grade novels utilizing ninja stealth and skill. Rob Kent interviews fellow authors and various publishing professionals to discuss the craft and business of producing middle grade and young adult novels. Episodes are also available as videos. Learn more at MiddleGradeNinja.com.

Rob Kent is the author of BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES.

    Episode 60 Author Catherine Linka

    Episode 60 Author Catherine Linka

    Catherine Linka and I discuss the art world and teen homelessness as both are featured in her new novel, WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE. Catherine shares how she became an author through first being a bookseller, which led her to query only two literary agents, both of whom offered representation. We chat about crucial tips for writing young adult novels, mentoring other authors, writer critique groups, the magical moment a character comes to life, practical book marketing, and so much more.

    Catherine Linka has been immersed in books her whole life, most recently as a writer and bookseller. She’s the author of the young adult novel WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE as well as the dystopian duology A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS and A GIRL UNDONE. Catherine lives in Southern California and watches hawks and hummingbirds when she should be writing.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Episode 59 Author Jillian Boehme

    Episode 59 Author Jillian Boehme

    Jillian Boehme shares tales of being Authoress Anon and running one of the best author resource websites of all time, MISS SNARK’S FIRST VICTIM. We chat about her new novel, STORMRISE, how being a musician influences being a writer, how faith in God can aid the journey to publication, worldbuilding and language in fantasy novels, and so much more in a delightful conversation between long-time… people who blog and like each other’s blogs? Blog-leagues? Blog buddies? Whatever, enjoy the show.

    Jillian Boehme is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark's First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors.

    In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home.

    She's still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.

    • 1 hr 34 min
    Episode 58 Literary Agent Allison Hellegers

    Episode 58 Literary Agent Allison Hellegers

    Allison Hellegers and I discuss her twenty-plus years of experience in publishing as a literary scout and a foreign rights director, as well as her newest role as a literary agent. We talk about the types of projects she’s looking to represent and the ways she envisions serving authors over the course of their careers. This is another enjoyable conversation packed with insights about the publishing industry.

    Alli first fell for books as a way to escape her two brothers, who were obsessed with football (think 'Friday Night Lights' in Ohio). So, Alice in Wonderland, Tuck Everlasting, The Diary of Anne Frank and anything by Judy Blume or Lois Duncan were her refuge, but Alli didn't discover books as a career until after college at UW-Madison, where she received her degrees in Journalism and Women's Studies. She also spent a semester abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris and was thrilled when her jobs as Literary Scout and Foreign Rights Manager would take her back to France (among other countries). Alli also volunteered with the non-profit Girls Write Now, and empowering teen girls became one of the biggest drivers in her career. After working with the YA packager, Alloy Entertainment, Alli spent the last 10 years as Foreign Rights Director with Rights People. She also co-agents picture books, middle-grade and young adult novels on behalf of foreign publishers and agencies (international, British, and Australian) to represent authors in North America. Therefore, her taste leans towards books that have film/TV and/or translation appeal and take the reader on a journey. Alli loves nature, music and spending time with her friends, husband, young son (a new reader!), and her rescue mutt in Brooklyn.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Episode 57 Author Jennifer Voigt Kaplan

    Episode 57 Author Jennifer Voigt Kaplan

    Jennifer Voigt Kaplan and I discuss her award-winning debut novel, CRUSHING THE RED FLOWERS, set in 1938 Germany. We examine research techniques for writing historical middle grade fiction, including interviewing members of an author’s own family, and the importance of taking emotional breaks when focusing on grim subject matter. We also talk about writing contests, setting up a book launch, building an author website, challenging young readers to think for themselves, and more.

    Jennifer Voigt Kaplan is an award-winning author of children’s fiction. Her debut children’s novel, Crushing the Red Flowers, was recognized in six literary contests before its publication, including earning a Letter of Merit for the SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant and winning the middle-grade category of Publishers Weekly Booklife Prize for Fiction. Jennifer was born in Germany, raised in Philadelphia, and now resides in the New York City area. She holds degrees from the Wharton School of Business in marketing and from the London School of Economics in social psychology.

    Outside of writing, Jennifer founded The Public Arts Council, her town’s first organization dedicated to public arts. When she’s not inventing people in her head, she’s painting murals on underpasses, wishing she had more time to watch sci-fi movies, and arguing that there should be no limit on the number of garden gnomes that are considered socially acceptable. She lives with her husband, three children, and a cheeky beta-fish named Bubbles, who thinks it’s hilarious to play dead.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Episode 56 Author Shauna Holyoak

    Episode 56 Author Shauna Holyoak

    Shauna Holyoak and I discuss her KAZU JONES series with tips for writing middle grade mysteries, rewriting a story until it's right, and writing about a protagonist that's a different race than her author. Shauna tells the tale of how she landed her agent, previous guest Carrie Pestritto, and how she started her literary career after becoming a parent by writing a regular column. We also chat about book marketing, school visits, actively working to transition from a pantser to a plotter, and so much more.

    Shauna has been telling stories long before she could ride a bike, and some of them are even true! She writes for kids and teens and thinks it’s kinda the best job ever. KAZU JONES AND THE DENVER DOGNAPPERS is her debut novel, and it was released by Disney-Hyperion in April, 2019! She lives in Idaho Falls, ID with her husband, six of their seven children, and two naughty dogs.

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Episode 55 Author Erin Bow

    Episode 55 Author Erin Bow

    Erin Bow shares stories about winning the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award with her debut novel, working at the CERN laboratory, being a science writer for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and having just won the Governor General’s Award. I impress her with my knowledge of RICK AND MORTY and TINY TOONS. We have a wonderful conversation about writing for spite, transhumanism, her writing shed, a creepy cabin story, a fear of squandering talent, the joy of winning awards, and so much more.

    Erin Bow is a former physicist who currently writes speculative fiction young adult novels. She studied particle physics in college, eventually working at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. She then decided to leave science in order to concentrate on her love of writing. Originally from Nebraska, Bow came to Canada in 1997. She is the author of the YA novels Plain Kate, The Scorpion Rules, The Swan Riders and Sorrow's Knot. Plain Kate won the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award in 2011. Bow has also written poetry under her maiden name Erin Noteboom.

    • 2 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

TeresaLisaLou ,

Extremely helpful

I’ve hungrily consumed all of Rob’s episodes and can’t wait till the next one drops. For aspiring writers of any genre, this podcast is gold. It brings literary agents, editors, and best-selling authors right into your living room. They are right there, having coffee with you, providing an absolute wealth of knowledge, anecdotes, and advice. A definite must for anyone dreaming of, and working towards, a career as a writer.

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