Coffee & Conversation with Amy Cloud

Happy Friday, everyone! We are continuing our series of Spring: From the Bay to the Mountains conference interviews. Missed our earlier ones? No problem, here’s the links:

Kate Angelella

Emily Feinberg

Fred Bowen

Heather Alexander

Keynote Speaker: E.B. Lewis

Oh, and I forgot to include a reminder to use the hashtag #bay2m for tweets in my last all things conference post, which kind of means it didn’t include all things, right? 😉

From Simon & Schuster website

From Simon & Schuster website

Today, we have Amy Cloud in the cyber chair! Amy is an editor at Aladdin Books at Simon & Schuster, where she has edited everything from picture books to nonfiction, though her heart is in realistic middle-grade and tween novels and humorous chapter books. She’s on the lookout for engaging, relatable characters—especially boy protagonists; quirky voices; unique concepts; and gut-busting humor. At Aladdin she’s lucky enough to work with talent such as Bruce Coville, Debbie Dadey, and Jen Malone and Gail Nall. Prior to joining Simon & Schuster, Amy was an editor at Callaway Arts & Entertainment, where she edited books by best-selling authors such as David Kirk, Madonna, and Jill Abramson.

On Saturday, Amy will give a presentation on Crafting Come-Alive Chapter Book Characters:

Chapter books occupy that often overlooked space between picture books and more fully developed middle grade and YA, yet some of the most beloved characters in children’s literature come from chapter books. From Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Amelia Bedelia to Clementine and Junie B. Jones, characters in the early reader space can connect and stay with children in a way no other character can. In this workshop you’ll learn the ins and outs of crafting chapter-book characters with heart, dimension, and internal consistency—the kind of characters kids will relate to, love, and want to return to again and again. We’ll go through examples of what makes a character sing and the concrete steps you can take to ensure your characters are robust enough to hold the hard-to-capture attention of a 6-10 year old. We’ll also discuss techniques that will help your chapter-book characters stand out to prospective editors and agents.

And now that Amy is settled in the cyber chair with her favorite coffeehouse beverage, an Americano…


… and her favorite snack … a chocolate croissant … let’s get started!

First off, Amy, what was your favorite book as a child?


The one that’s resonated with me the most is probably Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy

And now, what’s your favorite book as an adult?


That’s nearly impossible to answer, and it really depends on my mood, but Lolita is one I’ll return to again and again. Such beautiful writing!

You magically find a $100.00 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it? (Key word: Frivolous!)

I have a bit of a clothing addiction, so I’d probably head to my favorite boutique and buy a new dress.

For one day, time travel is a reality and you can visit any famous deceased author you want.  Who do you pick?

E.B. White. I think he’d be a fascinating conversationalist.

eb white

Awesome, thanks for stopping by, Amy, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the conference!

Happy writing and drawing, everyone, and don’t forget … #bay2m!

ETA: Nice, just realized after publishing this that it’s my 200th post on As The Eraser Burns! Huh, think I’m going to get some chocolate to celebrate my anniversary … like I need an excuse to do that. 😉

About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two awesome boys, wife of one fantastic husband, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She loves run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
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