For our final faculty interview before the Fall Philly event this Saturday, author Nadine Poper had a chat with Boyds Mills & Kane Editor Jes Negrón. Here’s what they had to say.
Nadine: Welcome, Jes! It is a chilly, rainy evening here in eastern PA and I have a cup of hot red clover tea sitting here beside me. What would you be drinking on such a night?
Jes: As soon as the chilly weather rolls in, I stock up on hot chocolate and cayenne pepper. Spicy hot chocolate gets me through CT winters!
Nadine: And anything yummy to eat with that?
Jes: Probably a pumpkin pastry of some kind. Or cheese. Hot chocolate and cheese is great.
Nadine: Looks like Boyds Mills & Kane has some beautiful books. Do you have a soon-to-be-released title that you can’t wait for the world to read? Or a newly released title that everyone must read? And what is in that book that makes you feel that way?
Jes: I am beyond excited for a couple books on my list releasing very soon. BROWN SUGAR BABE by Charlotte Watson Sherman and illustrated by Akem (out January 2020) is a wonderful message of self-love and acceptance for all the beautiful brown babies out there. And LET’S DANCE! by Valerie Bolling and illustrated by Maine Diaz (out March 2020) is a fun, rhythmic showcase of dances from all over the world. I am so proud of these books and the impact they’ll have on kids who are searching for themselves on shelves!
Nadine: And along those same lines, can you share a book that made you laugh out loud?
Jes: HAIR LOVE by Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison! When the hair tie snapped into Dad’s eye I choked on my cocoa.
Nadine: Cry out loud (or silently)?
Jes: It’s tough for a book to make me cry! I think the most recent one to succeed was ON THE COME UP by Angie Thomas. Thomas’s writing is always real and raw, and her books never fail to get my eyes watering.
Nadine: And one that you didn’t want to end?
Jes: I really don’t want THE SHADOW GLASS by Rin Chupeco to end. I am so enamored by this trilogy that I’ve forced myself to savor this book. I started it months ago and still haven’t finished because my heart can’t take more than a few pages at a time.
Nadine: What will your Fall Philly day look like?
Jes: I’ll be speaking on a panel discussing diversity in the publishing industry and sharing query critiques with a handful of writers! It’s always a pleasure to attend events where I get to interact with the amazing talent that makes the industry run. All of us would be lost without writers!
Nadine: I read that you have an unhealthy obsession with xenomorphs . . . LOL! Are they on your manuscript wish list? Just kidding. If a manuscript with xenomorphs crossed your desk, what elements would the story have to contain for you to say “YES”?
Jes: I would LOVE to see a “monster in the house” book in my inbox! The perfect submission would have a great balance between nail-biting suspense and clever character ingenuity. I’m all about unique creatures terrorizing crafty kids in small spaces, especially when the writer’s made the setting a character in and of itself.
Nadine: Jes, thank you so much for stopping by to chat. I loved reading all about you. Everyone looks forward to meeting you at Fall Philly in just a few days!
Jes Negrón has worked in media in both the book and video game industries. Her biggest passion is elevating underrepresented voices, which is reflected in both her professional and personal projects. Jes currently works as Editor for Boyds Mills & Kane, where she acquires children’s literature. When she isn’t reading, writing, or editing, she is probably playing video games, binging TV shows, or singing karaoke. She has an unhealthy obsession with Xenomorphs and will fight you about the feminist themes in the Alien franchise.