Cynsational News & Links

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith: an interview from the YA Authors Cafe. Here’s a sneak peek: “It’s a story about hope, but it’s also about loss. A lot of people can’t bear to read sad stories, but I’ve always been really drawn to them, because they move you in a way that makes them really meaningful. My favorite books growing up were always the ones with a lot of heart, books like Where the Red Fern Grows and Bridge to Terabithia–the kinds of stories where you really feel like you’ve really been through something by the time you reach the end.” Visit Jennifer at MySpace!

At Question-of-the-Week Thursday, Robin Friedman asks Sara Zarr: “How has your life changed since being nominated for a National Book Award?” Read Cynsations interviews with Robin and Sara.

“How to Impress an Editor” by Jill Esbaum from Down a Dusty Gravel Road. Jill says: “Last fall, for our state SCBWI conference, my RA asked me to work up something to read to the group regarding conference etiquette–hoping to avoid the old accost-the-editor-in-the-restroom embarrassment.” Read a Cynsations interview with Jill.

Check out the new book trailer for Big Slick by Eric Luper (FSG, 2007)(scroll to read excerpt). See also a recent recommendation of the novel by Greg Leitich Smith at GregLSBlog. Read Eric’s LJ, and visit him at MySpace!

Boys Blogging Books: Reviews, Interviews, and What We Really Like in a Book from Kurtis (age 14), Michael (age 12), and David (age 12).

Survival Stories: a bibliography from The Horn Book. Note: an interview with Susan Beth Pfeffer, author of Life As We Knew It (Harcourt, 2006)(excerpt), is coming soon to Cynsations. Read a Cynsations interview with Roger Sutton, editor of The Horn Book.

3 Evil Cousins: Book Reviews 4 and By Teens offers interviews with Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, and Libba Bray! See also Cynsations interviews with Cassandra, Holly, and Libba!

Teens: Branding for Beginners by Eve Conant from Newsweek. Here’s a sneak peek: “…brand names appeared an average of more than once per page: 1,553 references in all. Among them were 65 allusions to brand-name alcohols, cigarettes or prescription drugs.” Note: discusses “six best-selling novels from the Gossip Girl, A-List and Clique series.” Source: April Henry.

Australian Author Wins Lindgren Award: $818,000 Prize Is Largest in Children’s Lit by Malin Rising of the Associated Press from The Washington Post.

Congratulations to Dori Chaconas on the release of Cork & Fuzz: The Collectors, illustrated by Lisa McCue (Viking, 2008)! Read a Cynsations interview with Dori. Read Dori’s LJ. Source: Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup. See also Picture Books: Plan, Polish, and Publish as well as Writing in Rhythm and Rhyme, both by Dori.


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! Check back Monday for more interviews with authors, illustrators, editors, art directors, agents, and more from the U.S. and around the world.

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

More Personally

My apologies to anyone hoping to see me and Greg at the Illinois Reading Council conference in Springfield this weekend. As we tried to check our bags at the Austin Airport, we were informed that our flight was canceled, nothing else that day was going to Springfield, and that the soonest we could get to Chicago (and rent a car to drive the rest of the way) would be 10 a.m. the next day. We were supposed to speak at 8 a.m. We felt terrible and frustrated and considered driving, but, after some debate, decided we wouldn’t be worth much after 17 hours on the road. Again, my apologies. Note: no reason was given for the flight cancellation by American Airlines.

The winners of the Tantalize audio giveaway (including a Sanguini’s T-shirt) were a YA reader from Los Vegas and a librarian from Lebanon, Tennessee. Congratulations to the winners, thanks to all who entered, please watch this blog for future giveaways!

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!