Cynsational News & Links

After a mini summer hiatus, Cynsations is back online! I had a wonderful time in New England. If you missed reading Spookycyn, surf over to learn all about my adventures. But I must open by saying congratulations to the July 2006 graduates of the Vermont College M.F.A. program in Writing for Children and Young Adults!

Congratulations too to my husband, author Greg Leitich Smith, who’s sold the Japanese language rights of his debut novel Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo (Little Brown, 2003, 2005)(author interview) to Poplar Sha of Japan. The novel was a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner, named to ALA Popular Paperbacks, was a nominee for the Georgia Children’s Book Award, and won the League of Texas Writers’ Teddy Award. The Korean language rights sold previously. The companion book, Tofu and T. rex (Little Brown, 2005)(author interview) was recently named a finalist for the TSRA Golden Spur Award.

What else is new? Santa Knows by Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, illustrated by Steve Björkman (Dutton, fall 2006) is now available for pre-order at, Barnes & Noble, and many Booksense bookstores.

Also on the book front, Gail Giles (author interview) blogs about my upcoming gothic fantasy, Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) at The YA Novel and Me. She notes, “This is a vampire novel that moves like–well, a bat out of hell. ” Read the whole post.

And at Gwenda Bond’s Shaken & Stirred, the word on Tantalize is: “Simply put: FABULOUS. So good and dark. Best ending I’ve read in ages, and nicely feminist as well.” Read the whole post.

More News & Links

Author Dianna Hutts Aston is teaching an all-day picture book workshop in conjunction with SCBWI Brazos Valley on Nov. 18 in College Station, Texas. Learn more about the workshop. Dianna also offers a picture book critique service. Read a Cynsations interview with Dianna.

Illinois Authors Database: “an ongoing project by the Illinois Center for the Book.” Updated regularly; includes “authors, illustrators and photographers who are published, live in Illinois, have lived in Illinois, were born in Illinois, have written extensively about Illinois or have works set in Illinois.” See site if you’re interested in Illinois book creators and/or are an Illinois author/illustrator needing to add or update your profile. Note: I’ve lived in Chicago, and one of my books–Indian Shoes (Harpercollins, 2002)(readers theater) is set there. Also chef Vaggio from Tantalize (Candlewick, 2006) is a native Chicagoan. Speaking of which, Greg was born in Evanston, raised in Chicago, and his Peshtigo School novels–Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo (Little Brown, 2003, 2005) and Tofu and T. rex (Little Brown, 2005) were set in the city.

The July issue of PaperTigers includes: an interview with author-illustrator Allen Say; an illustration gallery featuring the work of Carl Angel; “Here to Stay: South Asian Literature for Teens” by Pooja Makhijani; “Diversity Matters: Growing Markets in Children’s Publishing” by Laura Atkins; “A Note to Young Immigrants” by Mitali Perkins; and new book reviews.

Poetry for Children: “about finding and sharing poetry with young people.” A debut blog from Sylvia Vardell, professor at Texas Woman’s University.

To Read or not to Read: “a high school librarian reviews books for young adults.” Focus on YA titles and adult titles suitable for high school; based in New Jersey. Recent reads include: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999)(a re-read); Endgame by Nancy Garden (2006)(author interview); Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar (2005)(author interview).

Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children’s Literature recommends an article by Shirley Sterling, author of My Name Is Seepeetza.