Kirstin Cronn-Mills, PhD, teaches writing, literature, and critical thinking at South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota. She writes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction books and articles. Her young adult fiction and nonfiction have been honored several times, including a Minnesota Book Award nomination for LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field in 2017. LGBTQ+ Athletes was also a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection, a 2017 American Library Association Rainbow List selection, and a 2017 Best Children’s Books of the Year selection from Bank Street College.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Too many to list! I loved A HOLE IS TO DIG (very old Maurice Sendak) and the even-older A.A. Milne poems (NOW WE ARE SIX and WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG), not to mention PUT ME IN THE ZOO, MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK, and the very first LITTLE BEAR book.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
Too many to choose from! In my first memory of my grandmother, she’s reciting “The Pasture” by Robert Frost—I can see her saying “I shan’t be gone long/You come too.”
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Too many to list! Elizabeth Acevedo, A.S. King, and Maurice Sendak will do for now.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I think books are magic, and I wanted to be magic, too—so I started writing.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Just put your butt in the chair and write—don’t judge it, just do it. You can always revise. The most important thing is putting something on paper. As long as you’re working and practicing, you can call yourself a writer (or illustrator), even if you’re never published. Just keep doing it!