We are proud to bring you a visiting author guest post by best-seller Liesl Shurtliff. We have enjoyed her take on classic fairy tales (RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin being my personal favorite), as well as her TIME CASTAWAYS series. During this visit, Liesl shares her thoughts on finding inspiration in writing what you wish!


When I was growing up, my family didn’t travel much. We had a lot of kids and money was tight, so the family vacation was usually a camping trip in the mountains of Utah, practically our backyard. If we did venture to cross state lines, it was never certain we’d get to our destination, as our clunky twelve-passenger van usually broke down in the middle of nowhere.

It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I began to travel and experience other places. I toured museums and cathedrals in Europe, jungles and volcanoes in South America, and major cities and destinations all over the United States. For the past 13 years, I’ve called Chicago home, a fantastic city steeped in history and rich cultural diversity.

But even all this is not enough. The more I see and experience in the world, the more I realize how much I don’t know, how much I’m still missing, and my desire for more only deepens. Some people say write what you know. I say write what you wish. I wish I could travel anywhere, any time. I wish I had a time machine that could take me forward and backward. I don’t want to just learn about famous events in history. I want to live it, feel it, smell it.

My latest series, Time Castaways, fulfills this wish for me. The Hudson children have never traveled in their lives. They’re not even allowed to ride the Subway! Until one fateful day, they break the rules. Mateo, Corey, and Ruby find themselves on a time-traveling frigate ship called The Vermillion, crewed by mysterious persons from all over the world and all over time. As they discover secrets about their past, present, and future, they also learn things about themselves, their family, and what it really means to stick together.

Writing these books has transported me. I hope it will transport many readers, both young and old. With the right book, you can travel anywhere, any time. I wrote these books for any child who’s ever wished for a time machine.

Liesl Shurtliff is the New York Times bestselling author of the (Fairly) True Tales series and the Time Castaways trilogy. The second book is available October 15th! Her books have been named to over two dozen state award lists and have won many awards including a Children’s Book Award from the International Literacy Association. Liesl lives in Chicago with her husband and four children. Lieslshurtliff.com @lieslshurtliff