Cynsational News, Links & Giveaway

Enter to win an advance reader copy of Jump the Cracks by Stacy DeKeyser (Flux, March 2008)! From the promotional copy: “Angry that her dad (once again) fails to be at the train station when she arrives in New York City, fifteen-year-old Victoria has had it with her divorced parents and their broken promises. Earlier on the train ride, Victoria witnesses some rough treatment towards a little two-year-old boy. Victoria then watches as his teen mom stashes her son in the bathroom and exits the train. When Victoria spots the mom arguing with a guy over what appears to be drug money, she makes a split-second decision. She boards the next train out, taking the toddler with her. Victoria’s determined not to let this kid fall through the cracks, so she resolves to stay on the run until everyone responsible starts keeping their promises. Jump the Cracks is a fast-paced thriller whose action revolves around a frustrated but strong-willed teen girl who finds herself as both rescuer and abductor of a child at risk.”

Read Stacy’s LJ, visit her JacketFlap, and check out her MySpace!

Two autographed ARCs of Jump the Cracks will be given away–one to a teacher/librarian and one to any young adult reader! To enter, email me with your name and address by 10 p.m. CST Feb. 13! Please also type “Jump the Cracks” in the subject line, and indicate whether you are a teacher/librarian or YA reader in the body of the message. Good luck!

Note: winners of the the recent Cynsations giveaway of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Razorbill, 2007)(excerpt) were YA readers in Palm Desert, California; Australia; Miami; and Granite City, Illinois.

Congratulations to the winners! Thanks to Razorbill for donating the books! Read a Cynsations round-table interview with the Razorbill editors.

Read Richelle’s LJ (Even Redheads Get the Blues).

More News & Links

Writers Interviewing Writers: a new blog from Kendra Saunders featuring interviews between writers in different genres, in different fields. According the debut post, “We’ll feature song writers, YA novelists, writers of fantastical short stories, fan fiction gurus, PR specialists and heroes of the role playing realms, among other things.” If you would like to be a featured writer–or would like to interview a fellow writer–for the blog, please contact Kendra by leaving a message at this post! Note: Kendra is the “author of the award winning The South Crawley Kids (Runner Up in the YA category of the 2007 Writers’ Digest Book Awards).”

What’s Fresh with Micol Ostow! from YA Fresh. Visit Micol, and her her LJ, First Person Present, which is one of my favorite blog names.

What Does a Career in Writing Look Like? from Darcy Pattison’s Revision Notes. Source: Janni Lee Simmer.

Blurb Etiquette by Justine Larbalestier. Read a Cynsations interview with Justine.

Author Name Pronunciation Guide from Wondering how to pronounce my name or lots of others? Find out! Source: BookMoot.

Interview with Mitali Perkins from Teen Book Review. Here’s a sneak peek: “Many of my stories are about feeling displaced, rootless, and like an alien, emotions that have defined me most of my life. Also, I’ve seen a lot of poverty in my global travels, so I write about that, too.” Read Mitali’s blog.

Review Survival: It Can Be Done! from Jo Knowles. Read a Cynsations interview with Jo. Visit Jo at MySpace!

Congratulations to Kerry Madden on the upcoming Valentine’s Day release of Jessie’s Mountain (Viking, 2008)! From the promotional copy: “Can something that’s so awful wrong have shiny bright bits of right to it? It’s slowly dawning on twelve-year-old Livy Two Weems that not every decision in life falls neatly into categories of right or wrong—and the harder the decision is the blurrier the lines get. It’s winter 1963, and just about every member of the large Weems family has a decision to make. Should Livy Two run off to Nashville to audition for that music man? Is Daddy finally ready to play his banjo again? Should the kids be secretly reading Mama’s girlhood diary? And worst of all: will Mama make them move away from their beloved Maggie Valley home? Even strong-willed Livy Two is overwhelmed by so many looming choices, but she’s as determined as ever to make her family’s dreams come true. That stubborn determination inspires all of the Weems—and leads to a tender and satisfying conclusion to Kerry Madden’s Maggie Valley stories.” Read Cynsations interviews with Kerry on Gentle’s Holler and Louisiana’s Song. See Kerry’s LJ for information on the “Book Giveaway, Old School Picture Contest!” Visit Kerry’s MySpace page.

The Holocaust in Teen Fiction: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Book Thief By Susan Whelan from Suite

Children’s Book Insider is now at MySpace! “Since May of 1990, aspiring children’s writers from across the globe have turned to Children’s Book Insider for advice, inside info and market tips that have helped make their dreams of writing a children’s book into a reality.”

Writing for the Educational Market: “a discussion and resource for freelance writing and working for the education market” from Laura Coulter.

Austin SCBWI offers a great line-up for its April 26 conference. Speakers include: author and editor Deborah Noyes Wayshak from Candlewick Press (author-editor interview); Alvina Ling from Little Brown (personal blog); agent Erin Murphy (interview from by Pam Mingle from Kite Tales, Rocky Mountain chapter, SCBWI); artist’s agent Christina Tugeau; and writing professor Peter Jacobi. See details at Austin SCBWI.

An Interview with Amy Goldman Koss from Little Willow at Slayground. Here’s a sneak peek: “I think we careen in and out of countless cliques between the cradle to grave, and the stings and squirms that go with social life and relationships are a life long phenomenon. Grown women can feel just as snubbed by other PTA moms as their daughters can by snotty classmates.”

Spooky blue ribbon books from The Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books include Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt (Front Street, 2006) and Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore (Delacorte, 2007). See the whole list! Read a Cynsations interview with Rosemary.

The SCBWI Bologna 2008 series debuts Feb. 14 at Cynsations! Mark your calendar for 32 insightful question-and-answer interviews with agents, editors, authors, and illustrators about the U.S. and international youth publishing scene. To register for the SCBWI Bologna Biennial Conference 2008, please visit and click on SCBWI@Bologna. Queries?

Young Adult author Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban: official author site features biography, about the book, about the worlds in Two Moon Princess, quiz, sequel information, etc. Carmen’s tween novel is Two Moon Princess (Tanglewood, 2007)(PDF file excerpt).

Tea Time at Annick Press: a new blog from “a small, independent publisher of books for kids and young adults.” Based in Toronto, Vancouver, New York. See also the Annick Press official publisher site.

30 Days to Stronger Characters: a helpful series for writers from Darcy Pattison at Revision Notes. Read a Cynsations interview with Darcy.

Remember my recent post on Spookycyn and Cynsations LJ about authors Varian Johnson, Suzanne Crowley, and Suzanne Harper? See also Varian’s own post on his SCBWI event.

More Personally

Thanks to Prof. Stiles and her Young Adult Literature class at Concordia University in Austin for their hospitality and wonderful questions last night. It was a great honor to visit with author April Lurie and discuss our own books and the field more globally. Read a Cynsations interview with April. Visit April’s blog and her MySpace page!

Cynthia Leitich Smith on Fantasy, YA, and Vampires from Writers Interviewing Writers. Here’s a sneak peek: “You can write with less subtlety because that fantasy layer already gives the reader enough distance to see more clearly. Say you’re talking about a hero feeling as if she’s on verge of damnation. In a fantasy novel, you can go ahead and show the literal gates of hell.”

Listening Library’s audio production of Tantalize goes on sale Feb. 26! Actress Kim Mai Guest is reading the book. Listen to an audio excerpt.

Learn more about the text novel from Candlewick Press.