Our low residency session here at Hamline is in full swing, and today we had a marvelous presentation by Gene L. Yang, author of American Born Chinese and other graphic novels and comic books. He talked quite a bit about his writing process and the things he focused on while crafting his stories. Character, page turns, arc–all of it just as important to a comic book and graphic novel as it is to a picture book or traditional middle grade novel. The lecture hall was buzzing with excitement.

Marsha Wilson Chall, one of our faculty members, reminisced about buying comic books as a child, and whether that had any influence on her becoming a picture book author. I too remember trips to the drugstore to buy comics. Maybe a fascination with Archie and Veronica is the real reason I turned to writing YA fiction.