Marsha Skrypuch, whose book STOLEN CHILD won the 2011 Crystal Kite Award for The Americas (Canada/Mexico/Central & South America). To learn more about today's award-winning author, visit her website. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.
Please tell my readers a little about your winning book.
STOLEN CHILD was inspired by my own late mother-in-law's childhood in Ukraine during World War II. She lost half of her classmates to the Lebensborn program--children kidnapped by the Nazis for their "Ayran looks" and brainwashed into thinking that their real parents were criminals. I wrote this novel as a mystery--the past part is revealed like peeling off layers of an onion as Nadia's past is revealed in disturbing flakes and flashes.
How does it feel to receive an award voted on by your peers? What does this award mean to you?
Peer recognition is such an affirmation of what we do. We often hear that the children's writing industry is a bunny-eat-bunny world but that has never been my experience. I find children's writers and illustrators to be the most supportive and professional group of people I've ever met. There is not a sense of competition. We all realize that our goal is to nurture a passion for reading in youth. When that happens, we win. Bigger than that, when we create passionate readers, the universe wins.
How long have you been a member of SCBWI? How has your SCBWI membership been helpful to your career?
I've been a member since 2009. I was a member in the 1990s as well, but let my membership lapse when I got an agent and book contracts.
SCBWI has superb industry resources in terms of up-to-date info on publishers and agents. I attended the NY conference in 2010 and was blown away by how much I learned--and I've had more than a dozen books out, so it's not as if I'm a newbie. I have registered for the LA conference this summer and am looking forward to it.
What will we see from you next?
The companion novel to STOLEN CHILD is coming out in the spring of 2012. It is called MAKING BOMBS FOR HITLER. I also have a book coming out in September 2011, but that one is under wraps for the moment.