Cynsational News & Links

Author Brian Yansky interviews Sherman Alexie in conjunction with their recent appearances at the Texas Book Festival. Scroll to listen.

Candie Moonshower on Dealing with Rejection from Alice’s CWIM blog.

Spicy Reads: Ed Spicer’s Teen Book Reviews has been updated.

Holidays Around the World from CBC Magazine.

Mo’ Love for MO’s Main Street Books by Alison Morris from Shelftalker: A Children’s Bookseller Blog.

Debut Author of the Month: Crissa-Jean Chappell from Alice’s CWIM blog. Here’s a sneak peek: “I wanted to show that OCD is not a punchline to a joke. It’s not about funny rituals: like tapping a light switch or counting footsteps. It’s about feeling as if your life has slipped out of your control. I think that many teenagers can relate to that experience.”

Interview With Debut YA Author Jo Knowles by Debbi Michiko Florence. Here’s a sneak peek: “I began to think about how powerful and binding childhood friendships can be. How hard they are to pull away from. Almost immediately, a story began to take shape. I went home that night and started writing.”

More Personally

Attention, Oklahomans! I’ll be speaking at the Norman Public Library Nov. 11 as part of its Native American Festival, which will take place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Note: Also honored will be Dr. Mary Jo Watson (Seminole) who is the Director of the OU School of Art and Commander John Herrington (Chickasaw) who was a NASA Astronaut and flew on the space shuttle in 2002. The Oklahoma Fancy Dancers will perform from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. I’ll speak afterward, and then John’s talk will follow. The event will include food, crafts, and vendors.

Attention, Austinites! Greg and I will be reading Santa Knows, illustrated by Steve Bjorkman (Dutton, 2006) at 1 p.m. Dec. 2 at Barnes & Noble Westlake. From the flap copy: “Who knows if you’ve been naughty or nice? Santa knows, that’s who! But not everyone believes in Santa Claus. Consider Alfie F. Snorklepuss. He thinks he’s proven that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Alfie thinks there is no way that Santa could do all the things he’s supposed to, like deliver billions of presents all over the world in one night or know what every little kid wants. When Alfie starts spreading the word that there is no Santa Claus, he makes someone very unhappy: his little sister Noelle. And so Noelle turns to the only person who can help her. The one person Alfie thinks doesn’t exist: Santa Claus. Ho, ho, ho!” Visit!

Listen to a new podcast interview about my children’s books–Jingle Dancer (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000), Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001), Indian Shoes (HarperCollins, 2002), and Santa Knows (Dutton, 2006) from Children’s Book Radio. Note: forgive a couple of stumbling answers and one overstatement; phone interviews with four cats in the room are perilous (the alternative is to lock the beasts out, which would result in howling screams in the background).

More of a YA fan? Listen to another new podcast interview, this one zeroing in on Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) from LibraryLoft (PLCMC Teen Page).

This month, Indian Education students in the neighborhood of the Maxwell Park Library in Tulsa, Oklahoma will soon receive signed copies of my debut picture book Jingle Dancer, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu (HarperCollins, 2000). The gift was made possible by the Charles W. and Pauline K. Flint Foundation grant to the Tulsa City County Library. This program provides children with a signed book of their own to help foster a love of reading and learning. Sue Anderson of Maxwell Park Library said, “Jingle Dancer was chosen for it’s positive depiction of American Indian children in a contemporary situation.” View interior illustrations from Jingle Dancer at HarperCollins and my website.

It was a great honor to offer a keynote talk last Saturday at the Twenty-Fifth Annual Children’s Book Festival and the Twenty-First Annual Young Adult Conference hosted by The Department of Library Science at Sam Houston State University Nov. 3 in Huntsville. Featured speakers were: Joan Bauer, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, and Mo Willems. See Teri’s report at The Goddess of YA Literature. It’s incredibly hard work putting together a conference of this level and enthusiasm–much thanks!

I’d likewise like to thank Clay and everyone who planned and worked the Texas Book Festival Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 in Austin. I was among the YA authors featured at the Not-For-Required Reading Event from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Alamo Drafthouse. Authors also included: Sherman Alexie, Jacques Couvillon, Adrienne Kress, April Lurie (author interview), Perry Moore, Neal Shusterman, and Brian Yansky (author interview). I also participated with authors Adrienne Kress and April Lurie on the “Tough Girls” panel, moderated by author Julie Lake on Sunday. Thanks also to Julie for a wonderful job! Note: vote for the Texas Book Festival as your favorite Austin festival!