Cynsational News, Links & Giveaways

Enter to win one of three autographed copies of A Growling Place by Thomas Aquinas Maguire (Simply Read, 2007)(author-illustrator interview)! To enter, email me with your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST April 29! Please also type “A Growling Place” in the subject line. Note: one copy will be awarded to a teacher/librarian (please identify yourself accordingly in your entry), and two copies will be awarded to any Cynsational readers!

Thomas says: “It’s about nighttime and tea, wind gusts and windows, feathers, birds, blankets, bears, bedtime and a little girl named Aril who befriends all of these things.” Read the whole interview.

Enter to win one of two autographed copies of How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler (Delacorte, 2008)(author interview)! To enter, email me with your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST April 29! Please also type “How Not to Be Popular” in the subject line. Note: one copy will be awarded to a teacher/librarian (please identify yourself accordingly in your entry), and one copy will be awarded to any Cynsational reader! Visit Jennifer’s LiveJournal and MySpace page!

Jennifer says: “The book centers on Maggie, a seventeen-year-old girl who has just moved to Austin, Texas. Most new students do their best to make friends and fit in, right? Well, not her. This is because her parents always make her move after a few months or so, and she is just done with it. She knows she will only be in Austin for a short while, so she asks herself, ‘Why try to be accepted at all?'” Read the whole interview.

Reminder: Enter to win a copy of By Venom’s Sweet Sting (Mirrorstone, 2007). To enter, email me with your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST April 30! Please also type “By Venom’s Sweet Sting” in the subject line. Note: one copy will be awarded to any Cynsations YA reader, and one copy will be awarded to a member of Tantalize Fans Unite! at MySpace. Please identify yourself accordingly as part of your entry! Don’t miss the latest Hallowmere book, latest Hallowmere novel, Between Golden Jaws by Tiffany Trent (Mirrorstone, 2008)(sample chapter)! Read a Cynsations interview with Tiffany.

More News & Links

Interview with Susan Burke, Associate Editor by Pam Mingle from Kite Tales, the newsletter of the SCBWI Rocky Mountain Chapter. See also Pam’s interviews with literary agent Erin Murphy and editor Jennifer Wingertzahn.

Writers v. Editors: A Battle for the Ages by Michael Kinsley from Time. Peek: “…nothing here should be construed to apply to the editors of Time, who edit with the care of surgeons, the sensitivity of angels and the wisdom of the better class of Supreme Court Justices.” Note: a humorous, tongue-in-cheek look at both sides of the relationship.

What Makes a Good Picture Book: the initial post at this week’s discussion, led by Dianne White, at Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “Simple. Simply irresistible. And a hair-puller to write. That’s how Schertle describes picture books, and those of us who love them and love to write them, know truer words were never spoken. So how does the aspiring picture book author work through the hard parts to write a picture book that ‘sings and swings,’ or that’s ‘cozy and quiet,’ as Schertle suggests?” See also Picture Book Biographies with Kathi Appelt and Fairy Tales with Louise Hawes. Read Cynsations interviews with Kathi and Louise.

Question of the Week Thursday: Dianne Ochiltree from Robin Friedman. On behalf of a reader, Robin asks: “Should I self-publish my children’s book/memoir/self-help book/novel?” Read interviews with Robin and Dianne from Cynsations.

Enter to win one item from az-ang‘s CafePress shop, Pickled Pixel Toe. See also her products at my-my-my-my Muse-rona, My Inner Critic, and Writing, Illustrating, and Conference.

Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling’s Copyright Case: Behind All The Legal Jargon: Case against The Harry Potter Lexicon hinges on the doctrine of fair use — but what does that mean? by Shawn Adler from MTV. Peek [quoting J.K.]: “This trial has decimated my creative work over the last month,” she said. “You lose the [plot] threads and worry whether you’ll be able to pick them up again. Should my fans be flooded with a surfeit of substandard books–so-called lexicons–I’m not sure I’d have the will or heart to continue.” Source: Alex Flinn.

Rants and Ramblings on Life as a Literary Agent from Rachelle Gardner. Peek: “In all genres, I’m looking for books that express a Christian worldview. In some books, particularly non-fiction, the message will be overt, while in others (especially fiction) the Christian message should be subtly woven through, not in-your-face.” Note: In youth literature, she seeks YA only (not middle grade or picture books). See also: Literary Agents Who Represent Christian Authors from Mike Hyatt, president and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Congratulations to Cyndi Hughes on becoming the new director of the Writers’ League of Texas, and thanks to outgoing director John Pipkin for all of his hard work in the position! Note: Cyndi was the original director of the Texas Book Festival.

Naming Maya by Uma Krishnaswami (FSG, 2004) is the Tiger’s Choice on PaperTigers this month. Check it out, and join in the conversation. Read a Cynsations interview with Uma.

Bookjoy! a new blog from Pat Mora and a literacy concept that stresses sharing the love of books and reading; sharing with families and community. El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Book Day/Children’s Day) is one part of Bookjoy!

“We Don’t Make Fuzzy-Bunny Books” (Part 2) from Tony DiTerlizzi, co-creator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. Peek: “Before I post more sketches of the characters and world I created for Kenny and the Dragon, I thought I would share some of the inspirational art that I looked at while writing the story.”

We Love Children’s Books: Laurina Cashin and Bobbie Combs specialize in promoting children’s books. Services include: websites, catalogs and marketing publications, collection development and research, writing and editing, trade shows, workshops and informal presentations. Clients include: authors and illustrators; publishers; education and retail wholesalers; organizations; children’s bookstores.

Interview with Alice Hoffman from Kim Antieau. Peek: “I think I fear that if I ever figure out how I do it, I’ll lose the ability. I think that’s why so many academics find they can’t write fiction—they are so busy deconstructing they can’t just let go.” See also: Adelphi University Alice Hoffman Young Writers Retreat: “an intensive writing workshop where high school students and their teachers can experience the power of arts-based learning.”

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (by Mary E. Pearson (Henry Holt, 2008)): official website has been expanded to offer trailer, reviews, sample chapter, author bio, author interview, and medical-ethics related links. See also “Meanwhile, Back in the Garden…” from Mary.

Mentoring: The Writer You Guide Might Be the Future by Tara Yellen at B0okSquare. “He instructed us to spend as little energy as possible on the classes that we taught. He told us to keep time with our students to an absolute minimum. ‘Teaching, critiquing, working with them. It’ll suck out your writing soul,’ he said.”

Guest Blogger: Jennifer Hubbard On Going From Blog Reader to (soon to be) Published Author from Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent. Peek: “Not that there’s so much mystery involved. I signed with Nathan not as a result of knowing any magic words or secret handshakes, not as a result of being related to him, and not as a result of cocktail-party schmoozing. (As if I’ve ever been to a cocktail party in my life.) If I knew any magic words, I would tell you. Or sell them at an entirely reasonable price.” See also Jennifer Hubbard’s LJ at writerjenn.

Children’s Book Agents and Artist’s Representatives: A Guide from Harold Underdown. Note: includes Finding and Choosing Literary Agents; Resources Listing Literary Agents and Artists Representatives; and three case studies: Firebrand Literary; Writers House; and [Name Withheld]. Read a Cynsations interview with Harold; and check out the third edition of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Children’s Books (Alpha, May 2008).

Short Stories: a bibliography of recommendations from The Horn Book. Read a Cynsations interview with Roger Sutton, editor of The Horn Book.

Online Classes from Laura Purdie Salas

The Line Forms Here: Writing Poetry for Kids and Teens: taught by Laura Purdie Salas from May 12 to May 16. Don’t miss Laurie’s Write Your Own Poetry (Compass Point, 2008).

Matchmaking Your Manuscript: Lisa Bullard and Laura Purdie Salas are offering a three-week online class. They will lead participants through the steps of market research to create a list of publishers and editors that might be a good match for a particular manuscript. Lisa and Laura also will guide participants in how to create an attention-grabbing cover letter or query letter. Note: The dates are June 2 to June 19, with two classes/posts per week. There will also be a fourth week that will be strictly for Q&A and discussion.

Writing Kids’ Nonfiction Books for the Educational Market
: Lisa Purdie Salas offers an intense, one-month course from July 21 to Aug. 22.

More Personally

Thanks to Ms. Triplitt and her fourth and sixth grade students at Terral Elementary in Terral, Oklahoma for Wednesday morning’s wonderful online author chat! It was great fun discussing Jingle Dancer (Morrow, 2000) and Indian Shoes (HarperCollins, 2002)!

This weekend’s Austin SCBWI conference has sold out! Here’s a warm Texas howdy to all of the speakers and participants, especially my Candlewick editor Deborah Wayshak! I hope to see some of you there! Note: here’s a sneak peek from Chris Barton at Bartography: Get some wisdom from accomplished children’s literature professionals. Or from me.

Congratulations, Y’all!

Congratulations to Austin YA author Varian Johnson on his sale of The Path of The Righteous to Delacorte!

Crank the sound and check out the Austin Public Library‘s Bibliofiles book cart drill team‘s winning performance at the recent Texas Library Association in Dallas, Texas. Wow!