Cynsational News & Links

The Adoration of Jenna Fox book trailer (click to view) celebrates Mary E. Pearson’s latest YA novel. Note: stay tuned for a new interview with Mary. In the meantime, read a previous Cynsations interview with Mary.

The Fusty Blob: the blog of YA author Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson. Kathleen’s books include Gone (Roaring Brook, 2007), Dumb Love (Roaring Brook, 2005), A Fast and Brutal Wing (Roaring Brook, 2004), and A Parallel Universe of Liars (Roaring Brook, 2004). Read a Cynsations interview with Kathleen.

Interview with Jo Knowles at Becky’s Book Review. Here’s a sneak peek: “Yes, it was definitely hard to write the uncomfortable scenes. I’ve learned, though, that the only way to tell this story was to tell it in the most true way I could, and that meant not taking the easy way.” Read a Cynsations interview with Jo about this same novel.

Author Darcy Pattison offers a variety of articles on publishing. Those recently added to her site include: The Power of Myth (2003); I Don’t Want an Honest Critique (2004); Solicited! Queries That Make it Happen (2004); The Bad Guys Wear Black: Villains (2004); If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again (2004). Read a Cynsations interview with Darcy.

Congratulations to L. K. Madigan on her debut two-book sale to Houghton Mifflin! Look for Flash Burnout (Houghton Mifflin, fall 2009)! Note: I love first-sale stories! Share the excitement here.

The Scene of the Crime: Investigating New Mysteries by Jeanette Larson from Book Links. See Bringing Mysteries Alive for Children and Young Adults by Jeanette Larson (Linworth, 2004) from Cynsations. Read a Cynsations interview with Jeanette. See also Cynsations interviews with Jeanette’s recommended mystery authors Bruce Hale, Candice Ransom, Marion Dane Bauer, April Lurie, Alan M. Gratz, and R.L. LaFevers.

Divorcing Your Agent from BookEnds, LLC–A Literary Agency. Here’s a sneak peek: “…while I know it’s incredibly stressful for an author to suddenly go agentless again, I think that you need to make the decision to fire your first agent before querying others.” Source: Editorial Anonymous.

“Announcing, a free web source of authors of Jewish-themed books worldwide, searchable by name, location, or genre. Each listing includes the author’s city, book titles, lecture topics, areas of travel, along with contact information. Note: a clearing house for bookstores, libraries, Federations, JCCs, and and other organizations who want to arrange programs and signings with authors, especially around the Jewish holidays, such as Chanukah and Passover. More authors of Jewish-themed books join each month, so please bookmark the site and visit throughout the year.”

Author Varian Johnson has added a page about his author-visit programs to his site. Varian’s latest novel is My Life as a Rhombus (Flux, 2008)(PDF excerpt).

Let’s Talk About Luck by Justine Larbalestier. Here’s a sneak peek: “It’s true that the surest path to publication is to keep on writing and writing and writing. Then you have to keep submitting. It also helps if you’re talented. Those are the facts. But there are a small percentage of people who just can’t get a break.” Note: Justine also references a couple of links of particular usefulness, The Real World Book Deal Descriptions from Whatever, and Getting Paid, Or Don’t Quit Your Day Job, from Justine herself, (on advances and “earning out.” Read a Cynsations interview with Justine.

Check out Sara Zarr, recording her audio book at Listening Library/Random House. Read a Cynsations interview with Sara.

How Long Does It Take to Sell a Novel? from Nathan Bransford–Literary Agent (Curtis Brown, Ltd.). Read a Cynsations interview with Nathan.

Advice from the Trenches (for Schools on Planning Author Visits) from Barbara O’Conner.

Sylvia Long by Kris Bordessa at The Edge of the Forest. Here’s a sneak peek: “This book relates the journey of various seeds as they float and fly to new ground, where they flower, fruit, and grow into mature plants or trees.” Read a Cynsations interview with Sylvia.

Top 10 Children’s Easter Books by Elizabeth Kennedy at Children’s Books.

JacketFlap on the Rise by Sally Lodge of Publishers Weekly. Read a Cynsations interview with JacketFlap CEO Tracy Grand. Note: think of it as MySpace for youth literature. Visit my JacketFlap!

Cinco Puntos Press: a new blog in celebration of an independent publisher with roots on the U.S./Mexico border. “The blog will have news about our books and bring our readers general news and comments about the very interesting world of independent publishing.” Posts to date include “a discussion of…upcoming picture book, Little Zizi. This wonderful story, which has a joyous ending, is about a little boy who worries about the size of his zizi. Do you know what a zizi is?” Read a Cynsations interview with author-publisher Lee Merrill Byrd of Cinco Puntos.

Congratulations to The Reading Tree, a new independent children’s bookstore in Alpharetta, Georgia!


Congratulations to Maryrose Wood on the forthcoming publication of My Life: The Musical (Delacorte, 2008)! From the promotional copy: “To best friends and devoted theater fans Emily and Philip, ‘Aurora’ is no ordinary Broadway musical. Their love for the hit show (whose reclusive author has never been named) is nothing short of an obsession. Thanks to a secret loan from Emily’s Grandma Rose, seeing the Saturday matinee has become a weekly ritual that makes real life seem dull and drab by comparison.

“But when the theatre chat rooms start buzzing with crazy rumors that Aurora may close, Emily and Philip find themselves grappling with some truly show-stopping questions: Why does Emily’s English teacher, Mr. Henderson, have such a strong aversion to ‘Aurora’? What, exactly, is the ‘one sure thing’ in show business? How will they pay back the money they owe Grandma Rose? And why hasn’t Philip asked Emily out on a real date

“As they go to hilarious lengths to indulge their passion for ‘Aurora,’ Emily and Philip must face the fact that all shows close sooner or later. But first they’ll put their friendship to the ultimate test, solve Broadway’s biggest mystery–and spend one unforgettable night at the theater.

“In My Life: The Musical, Maryrose Wood delivers a rollicking, warmhearted novel about Broadway, friendship, and the universal experience of being a fan.”

Read an interview with Maryrose about the novel from Little Willow at Slayground, and visit Maryrose at MySpace.

Texas News

Congratulations to Polly M. Robertus on the forthcoming release of The Richest Doll in the World (Holiday House, 2008)! From the promotional copy: “Her parents having died, Emily faces the worst Christmas Eve ever. She decides to set off in the middle of a snowstorm for a spooky old mansion in hopes of seeing “the richest doll in the world.” Polly also is the author of The Dog Who Had Kittens, illustrated by Janet Stevens (Holiday House, 1992). She is based in Austin.

Congratulations to author Janice Shefelman and her husband, illustrator Tom Shelfelman on the release of I, Vivaldi (Eerdmans, 2008)! Read an interview with Janice and Tom from Eerdmans. See also Vivaldi Bio for Kids Edifies: Book Written and Illustrated by Austinites Teaches about History, Music and Architecture by Jeff Salamon of the Austin American-Statesman.

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. Note: I hope to see you there!


The SCBWI Bologna 2008 series is ongoing here at Cynsations! Have you read today’s interview with Giselle Tsai, one of the founding members of the children’s book department at CommonWealth Magazine Group, yet? Here’s a sneak peek: “…creating books is also important and something fewer people do in Taiwan. In my role as editor, I hope to introduce those lesser-known works from abroad, as well as to cultivate creators in our own country.”

To register for the SCBWI Bologna Biennial Conference 2008, please visit and click on SCBWI@Bologna. Queries?

More Personally

Greg Leitich Smith at GregLSBlog features recent and upcoming WriteFest booksThe Curse of Addy McMahon by Katie Davis (Greenwillow, 2008)(author interview)(debut novel); Going Bovine by Libba Bray (Delacorte, forthcoming)(author interview); Good Girls by Laura Ruby (HarperCollins, 2006)(author interview); The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (Atheneum, 2008)(author interview)(debut novel); and Wonders of the World by Brian Yansky (Flux, 2007)(author interview). Cheers to all!

In other exciting news, this month you can enter to win a hardcover copy of Tantalize from the Imperial Beach Teen Blog of the Imperial Beach Library in Imperial Beach, California. Runner-ups will receive an author-signed bookmark!

The trade edition of Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001) has gone into another reprint. Thanks to all for their enthusiasm and support! In addition, through the Maxwell Grant project, students at Franklin Youth Academy in Tulsa have received bookplate-signed copies of the novel. Note: the students voted to receive Rain Is Not My Indian Name from a selection of contemporary Native-themed novels for young readers.

Attention JacketFlap subscribers, in case you missed these because of the server changeover (a lot of posts were downloaded after the fact), check out: SCBWI Announces 2007 Golden Kite Awards; Author Interview: Cassandra Clare on City of Bones (Book One, The Mortal Instruments); and SCBWI Bologna 2008 Publishing Director Interview: Sarah Odedina of Bloomsbury Children’s Books UK, all from Cynsations.