Author Barb Odanaka

Barb Odanaka, the author of Skateboard Mom, illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi (Putnam, 2004), writes that she is moving from California to Dallas. She also says she hopes to meet my “four fat cats”* and plans to check out the skateboard park in Austin.

Barb is “a world traveler who’s dived with sharks, communed with gorillas, and sipped snake blood for breakfast.” In addition, she is the founder of the International Society of Skateboard Moms. “Barb and her band of skater moms have been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, The Early Show, NPR, USA Today, and the L.A. Times.”

Her next book, Smash! Mash! Crash! There Goes The Trash (McElderry, 2006), will be illustrated by Will Hillenbrand.

Her site includes a sidelink to “The Book Biz,” a collection of interviews and articles. Interview subjects include: editor Andrea Davis Pinkney at Houghton Mifflin; editor Wendy Lamb at Wendy Lamb Books/Random House; author Jack Gantos on writing the memoir; and editor Allyn Johnston at Harcourt.

Articles include: Tips For Beginners; Branding: Do Children’s Authors Need A Niche?; Is Rhyme A Crime?: Rejection 101: Getting A Grip on the Gobbledygook; The Space Between The Words: Why Picture Book Authors Need To Let Illustrators Do Their Thing.

Welcome to Texas, Barb! We have plentry of writers, illustrators, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and readers eager to meet you!

*only three of the cats are plush; Leo (“Galileo”) is petite.

Cynsational News

I had lunch this week with Austin children’s writer Debbie Dunn, a soon-to-be published star. She’s a student in the MFA program at Vermont College, where I’ll be guest teaching this summer, and she was gracious enough to give me the inside scoop.

I also see from Alison’s Journal that Lisa Wheeler‘s Austin SCBWI picture book workshop was a success (not that I’m surprised).

Because we’re both Cynthias, I’m sometimes confused with Cynthia Lord. Visit her journal and Web site and learn more about Rules (Scholastic, 2006).

Cynsational Links

The March Children’s Writing Update from Children’s Book Insider is available. Highlights include: magazine market information and resources; poetry links; and a feature article on similies and metaphors.

Getting To Know Author Jeff Stone by Barb Odanaka from SCBWI. Jeff’s debut book Tiger (Random House, 2005) is the first in a “seven-book, middle-grade kung fu action/adventure series called The Five Ancestors.”

Interview With Barbara Odanaka: The Skateboard Mom from

My Fellow Americans: Barbara Odanaka: Skateboard Mom from NPR. An audio interview. Note: I was only able to connect to about half of it, but maybe you’ll have better luck.

Safe, Edgy, Hopeful; What’s That Mean? from The YA Novel And Me, an online journal from Gail Giles; see the March 11, 2005 entry. An analysis of YA buzz words.