Middle Grade Ninja

44 EpisodesProduced by Middle Grade NinjaWebsite

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 … read more

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Episode 41 Author John Claude Bemis

September 12th, 2019


John Claude Bemis and I talk about a little bit of everything: art, music, elementary education, and, of course, literature. He gives a preview of his class on revision in the second half of our conversation that every …

Episode 40 Author Annie Sullivan

September 9th, 2019


What don't Annie Sullivan and I talk about in this extensive episode? We discuss her new novel, TIGER QUEEN, of course, but we also talk about her …

Episode 39 Public Relations Expert Claire McKinney

September 6th, 2019


Claire McKinney and I have an in-depth, though brief conversation about marketing middle grade novels. We talk about her work with both independently and traditionally published authors and the differences in promoting …

Episode 38 Author Thomas Taylor

September 4th, 2019


Thomas Taylor and I discuss his new novel, MALAMANDER, and writing creepy, atmospheric monster stories for children. We also talk quite a lot about ghosts, flying saucers, and the parts of being a writer that strike us …

Episode 37 Author Dan Gutman

September 2nd, 2019


Dan Gutman and I have an in-depth chat about his classic series, MY WEIRD SCHOOL, as I attempt to gain the secret to writing humor for kids. We talk about how he conceives of an idea, his process for planning and …

Episode 36 Author Sharon M. Draper

August 29th, 2019


Sharon M. Draper allows us to live vicariously through her with her story of writing TEARS OF A TIGER during study hall periods as an English teacher, which went on to win the Coretta Scott King Author Honor and launch …

Episode 35 Author Laura Martin Returns

August 27th, 2019


My friend Laura Martin, our first ever guest, becomes our first ever return guest. In her second episode, she and I discuss Big Foot, The Lochness Monster, flying saucers (naturally), and all of my favorite things, …

Episode 34 Author Allan Woodrow

August 23rd, 2019


Allan Woodrow and I talk about overcoming fear and self doubt in writing as well as his newest novel, THE CURSE OF THE WEREPENGUIN. We discuss how writing every day without fail has led him to publish thirty books in …

Episode 33 Author Kate Hannigan

August 21st, 2019


Kate Hannigan and I discuss her newest novel CAPE and the 2016 Golden Kite award winner, THE DETECTIVE'S ASSISTANT. We do a deep dive on writing and …

Episode 32 Editor Molly Cusick

August 16th, 2019


Molly Cusick and I discuss editing, both in her current role as an editor with Sourcebooks and as a successful literary agent for eight years. She …

Episode 31 Literary Agent Jennifer Mattson

August 13th, 2019


Literary Agent Jennifer Mattson and I discus her career in publishing from her time as an editor with Dutton to her time as a professional book reviewer up to her last decade spent as an agent with Andrea Brown Literary …

MGN Clip Show

August 2nd, 2019


It’s the first ever Middle Grade Ninja clips show, featuring snippets from each of the podcast’s first 30 episodes. This is the perfect place for new …

Episode 30 Author Debbie Dadey

July 12th, 2019


Debbie Dadey and I discuss her nearly 30-year career publishing over 160 children's books, from her classic debut, VAMPIRES DON'T WEAR POLKA DOTS, to her newest series, MERMAID TALES. She shares how she and coauthor …

Episode 29 Author M.G. Hennessey

July 11th, 2019


M.G. Hennessey and I discuss her new middle grade novel THE ECHO PARK CASTAWAYS and her previous book, THE OTHER BOY, as well as the state of the American foster care system. Also, STAR WARS and flying saucers. M.G. …

Episode 28 Editor Diana M. Pho

June 26th, 2019


Diana M. Pho and I chat about her career in publishing from her time as an international marketing assistant with Hachette to her eight years and counting as an editor with Tor Books. She walks me through the process of …

Episode 27 Author Marie Miranda Cruz

June 20th, 2019


Marie Miranda Cruz and I talk about her journey to write and publish her first novel, EVERLASTING NORA, including how she got her literary agent and her experience working with editor Diana Pho and even how she got the …

Episode 26 Author Amber Smith

June 15th, 2019


Author Amber Smith and I discuss her newest novel, SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY. We talk about where she got her idea originally, her process for writing it, and the techniques she employed in telling her story. We also talk …

Episode 25 Literary Agent Molly O'Neill

June 12th, 2019


Molly O'Neill and I discuss her career in publishing from her start in marketing with Clarion Books to her time as an editor with Harper Collins to …

Episode 24 Author Dustin Brady

June 7th, 2019


Author Dustin Brady and I discuss his experiences publishing both independently and traditionally for the middle grade market. We talk at length about his series TRAPPED IN A VIDEO GAME and the LEILA AND NUGGET …

Episode 23 Literary Agent John Rudolph

May 30th, 2019


Literary Agent John Rudolph and I discuss his career in publishing from his start as a reluctant reader in childhood to becoming an editor to his …

Episode 22 Author Daniel José Older

May 28th, 2019


Daniel José Older and I chat about his bestselling young adult series SHADOWSHAPER CYPHER and his new middle grade series, DACTYL HILL SQUAD. And …

A Reading From Banneker Bones And The Alligator People

May 15th, 2019


Author Rob Kent reads three chapters from his new middle grade novel, BANNEKER BONES AND THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE.

About the book:

Eleven-year-old cousins …

Episode 21 Author Jessica Lawson

May 10th, 2019


Jessica Lawson and I chat about writing and the strange quirks of being a writer. We discuss each of her books, where she gets her ideas, and her best writing practices. She doesn't sing a song about lost socks, alas, …

Episode 20 Literary Agent Elana Roth Parker

May 7th, 2019


Literary Agent Elana Roth Parker and I discuss her career as an editor and a literary agent (and a few other jobs). We talk about how authors should …

Episode 19 Editor Alison S. Weiss

April 25th, 2019


Editor Alison S. Weiss and I discuss her career in publishing and her editing expertise. We cover a little bit of everything from how she got her start in the business to recommendations for those who want to establish …

Episode 18 Literary Agent Holly Root

April 18th, 2019


Literary Agent Holly Root and I discuss her career in publishing from working in the mail room, to making a name for herself as an agent, to now …

Episode 17 Author Padma Venkatraman

April 16th, 2019


Padma Venkatraman and I discuss her new middle grade novel, THE BRIDGE HOME. We discuss everything from her childhood in India to her becoming an oceanographer and now an award-winning author. We also discuss religion, …

Episode 16 Public Relations Expert Megan Beatie

April 11th, 2019


Public relations expert Megan Beatie and I discuss book marketing for middle grade novels, young adult novels, and picture books. She shares her …

Episode 15 Author Kathi Appelt

March 18th, 2019


Kathi Appelt and I discuss her first young adult novel, ANGEL THIEVES, as well as her many wonderful picture books and middle grade novels. She …

Episode 14 Author Lamar Giles

March 13th, 2019


Lamar Giles and I discuss his newest middle grade adventure novel, THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER, his young adult thrillers, and our mutual love for …

Episode 13 Author Steven K. Smith

March 7th, 2019


Author Steven K. Smith and I discuss indie publishing for the middle grade market and his advice for writers. We talk about his series THE VIRGINIA MYSTERIES and how utilizing local landmarks and history helped him …

Episode 12 Literary Agent Jennifer March Soloway

March 5th, 2019


Literary Agent Jennifer March Soloway and I discuss the types of projects she's looking for, how she evaluates queries and writing samples, and the …

Episode 11 Author Tommy Greenwald

February 22nd, 2019


Author Tommy Greenwald and I discuss his career in publishing and his advice for writers. We do a deep dive on his process from having his initial idea to planning the story to planning a series and working with his …

Episode 10 Author Daniel Kenney

February 19th, 2019


Author Daniel Kenney and I discuss his career in publishing and his advice for writers. We go to some weird places with our mutual love of flying saucers and even discuss whether or not the moon landing was faked …

Episode 09 Literary Agent John Cusick

February 4th, 2019


Literary Agent and author John Cusick and I discuss his career in publishing and his advice for writers. We talk about diversity in publishing, his tips for landing an agent, and many other great things you won't want …

Episode 08 Editor Amy Tipton

January 22nd, 2019


Editor and former literary agent Amy Tipton and I discuss her career in publishing and her approach to editing. We chat about her time representing Courtney Summers, Amy Reed, and many other famous YA authors and I …

Episode 07 Author Jacqueline West

January 18th, 2019


NYT Bestselling author Jacqueline West and I discuss her career in publishing as well as her approach to writing and her background as a performer …

Episode 06 Author Susan Kaye Quinn

January 11th, 2019


Author and indie publishing expert Susan Kaye Quinn and I discuss her career in publishing as well as her approach to writing and editing. She shares …

Episode 05 Editor Mary Kole

December 4th, 2018


Editor and former literary agent Mary Kole and I discuss her career in publishing and her approach to editing. She shares many tips for how to create …

Episode 04 Author Darby Karchut

December 4th, 2018


Author Darby Karchut and I discuss her new middle grade novel, Del Toro Moon, as well as her advice for writers and thoughts and writing and publishing in general. We also chat a bit about our mutual love for author …

Bonus Episode Indy Author Fair 2017 Genre Writing Panel

December 4th, 2018


I chat with fellow genre writers Maurice Broaddus, Sandy James, and Tony Perona during the Genre Writing Panel at the Indy Author Fair held Saturday, …

Episode 03 Author Jeff Norton

December 1st, 2018


Author Jeff Norton and I discuss his new middle grade novel, Alienated, as well as his philosophy on writing and his advice for writers. Naturally, we also discussed our mutual love for zombies and the series Choose …

Episode 02 Author Barbara Shoup

December 1st, 2018


Barbara Shoup, one of my most favorite writers and the executive director of the Indiana Writers Center, joined me for this second episode. We had a …

Episode 01 Author Laura Martin

December 1st, 2018


Laura Martin, my friend and author of THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION series discusses her newest middle grade novel, FLOAT. She also shares intimate details into her writing process and her writer's journey thus far and …

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