Authors Spotlight

Each quarter, SCBWI-Indiana is excited to feature an author from our region. Below you’ll find information about this quarter's featured author. We encourage you to take a few minutes to learn about this Indiana writer and their book projects.

Author Spotlight-Tanya Konerman.png

Author Spotlight

Meet Tanya Konerman, an author from Southern Indiana.

Tanya Konerman

How did you get started? Did you always want to be a children's author?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. AS a child, I created a neighborhood newsletter by hand, taught myself to type on an old-fashioned typewriter so I could write stories, and read voraciously...though for some odd reason it never dawned on me that I could study writing and do it for a living!

So when I went to college, I double-majored in Journalism and Psychology, and headed into Advertising and PR. I wrote ad copy, press releases, scripts, magazine articles, and teacher's guides. I was also a writer and editor of a business news magazine.

Writing for kids came much later. A friend (co-regional advisor Teresa Robeson) was writing for kids, and encouraged me to join her critique group. It took some time, but I finally did, and from there tried my hand at humorous stories (selling nothing). It wasn't until eight years later that I started writing nonfiction, which is where my heart lies.

What training do you have? For instance, are you self-trained, do you have a degree, etc.?

I have a dual BA in Journalism and Psychology from IU. Otherwise, I am self-trained over 10+ years.

What kinds of books do you write for children (such as PBs, CBs, MG, YA; fiction or nonfiction; poetry or prose) and who would you say influenced(s) you?

I write mostly picture books, though I've now branches out into MG. When SCBWI had a call-out a few years ago for The Haunted States of America, I decided to give writing for middle grade a try. It took me three submissions overall, but my Indiana-based story was eventually selected for the anthology.

For all ages, I write both fiction and nonfiction in verse and prose, but my favorite writing is free verse. I especially love to write about nature topics: animals, the forest, climate-related issues, etc. I'm also hoping to delve into chapter books down the road.

The Haunted States of America is arriving July 9th from Macmillan BFYR. Find out more about the book here.

Who would you say influenced you in the past in influences you now?

I would say my biggest inspiration has come from Mary Oliver. I can lose myself in her beautiful way of expressing her love for nature, and what nature can teach us about how to live a meaningful life.

What does your creative or workspace look like?

My "real" office is in my bonus room. I have a huge desk--handmade by one of my husband's friends--lots of shelves, and a four-foot-high fluorescent pink and purple paper maché rat that one of my kids helped make in school (his name is Templeton; we talk).

However, I live in the woods, so I am often working on my front porch glider, accompanied by my senior dog, two cats, birds, deer, squirrels, and raccoons.

Are there any past, current, or upcoming projects you'd like to talk about? Anything else upcoming you'd like us to know about?

Besides the July 9th release of The Haunted States of America, I will soon have the cover for my debut picture book, Mud to the Rescue!. This book will be published in spring of 2025 from Web of Life Children's Books. It is a lyrical nonfiction book about the ingenious ways animals around the world use mud to survive and thrive in their everyday lives.

I also have a free verse nonfiction picture book going to acquisitions in July (fingers crossed), plus other books slooowly making the rounds of editors, via my agent. Mona Kanin with Great Dog Literary. Plus, I am presenting on a panel at NCTE in Boston in November!

How/where can people reach out to you?

My website is where I have my monthly author newsletter, resources for children's authors/illustrators, picture book reviews my midwest musings blog, jigsaw puzzle reviews (I'm a bit obsessed), and fifteen years of horror movie reviews from my 31 Days of Horror event I hold every October. It's a bit eclectic!

Author Website:





Past Author Spotlights

Tanya Konerman
Kim Howard
Kathleen Doherty
Teresa Robeson
Co-Regional Advisor
Judith Roth