Cynsational News & Links

Intensive Picture Book Workshop with 3 critiques from Anastasia Suen April 28 to May 23 ($325). Peek: “The Intensive Picture Book Workshop is a 20 day email course. It takes at least an hour a day to read five picture books and complete the homework. By clicking “reply” to your Intensive Picture Book emails, we can discuss storyboarding, plotting, pacing, page turns, and more.” Note: “You will read 100 picture books…” A self-paced class also is available. Read a Cynsations interview with Anastasia.

“We Don’t Make Fuzzy-Bunny Books” from Tony DiTerlizzi, co-creator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. Peek: “I am in the thick of finishing the 30+ illustrations for my upcoming chapter book, Kenny and the Dragon. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it is inspired from Kenneth Grahame’s short story, The Reluctant Dragon, from his book Dream Days.” Note: I covet the art of Mr. DiTerlizzi, which I suspect is out of my price range. Sigh.

Reading Queries by Agent Kristin at Pub Rants. Peek: “…the glaze factor can hit SF&F queries harder as I find writers will often ramble about world building in their queries. Short, succinct, and well done should be your mantra.”

Presenting K. L. Going from Journey of an Inquiring Mind. Peek: “I would have to say the most valuable thing I learned was that editors and agents are regular people. It’s easy when you’re trying to break in to publishing to see them as somehow removed from the average person, to put their literary taste on a pedestal, but in reality, they’re just as fallible as the rest of us, and somehow knowing that helps me to put my career in perspective.” Read a Cynsations interview with K. L.

Rhymes with Young Readers by Robyn Smith from BookPage. Peek: “For children who love poetry—or might one day learn to appreciate it—here are a few of this season’s most memorable poetry collections.” See also: “A poet’s advice on tapping your own creative genius” (Jack Prelutsky) by Heidi Henneman from BookPage.

The Heroic Journey of the Requested Manuscript from Editorial Anonymous. Peek: “Sometimes I fantasize about taking time out of my day to sit comfortably with my reading and a cup of coffee and give everything the time and consideration it deserves. And then I roll my eyes or snort or laugh a little hysterically (depending on my current emotional stability) and get back to answering emails.”

Author 2 Author: Kerry Madden: interview by Karen Zacharias from Authors Round the South. Peek: “When I come to a grinding halt plot-wise, (one of my fortes) I usually write an essay. It’s a different form, and it frees me up from whatever is stopping me in the novel. I go for long walks with the dogs and try to imagine what a kid would do…” Read a Cynsations interview with Kerry.

How To Find a Literary Agent by Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown. Peek: “…in today’s publishing clime it’s just not enough to have written a good book. Treat this business seriously, because it is a business.”

“The Mood I’m In” by Jessica from BookEnds, LCC-A Literary Agency. Peek: “The truth is that you never know the mood of the agent you’re pitching to or what is happening in her personal life that might affect the choices she’s making. In fact, in a lot of ways you don’t know what’s happening in her professional life that affects the choices she’s making.”

In Profile: NY Times Bestselling Novelist Lisa McMann by Kelly Spitzer from Writers in Profile. Peek: “There are millions of people who would give anything to be in your shoes. How badly do you want this? Enough to step out of your comfort zone and go get it? Enough that you don’t want to have to start this process over again because you were too afraid to promote your first book and it’s failing? If you want it, if you want this life as an author, if you ever want to sell another book, your goal needs to be this: You must do everything in your power to make this book succeed, because if you don’t, and this book fails, nobody gets fired…except you.” Learn more about Lisa.

America’s Next Top Author: And You Thought Models Couldn’t Read by Holly Brubach of the New York Times. According to Melissa Walker’s blog: “The way this story came about was that I emailed a Times editor, saying that a lot of Young Adult books about the modeling world were coming out, and maybe they’d like to do a round-up.”

Authors Talk About Agents in a week-long discussion led by Kelly Bingham at Through the Tollbooth. Note: begins at linked page and continues. Peek: “In many publishing houses, there is no more slush pile. “Not accepting unsolicited submissions at this time” has become the mainstay. Where does that leave us writers? In many cases, writers seek out agents.” Read a Cynsations interview with Kelly.


The winner of the Magic in the Mirrorstone, edited by Steve Berman (Mirrorstone, 2008)(author interview) giveaway is a Cynsational YA reader from Crowley, Texas! Read a Cynsations interview with Steve.

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.

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Interested in submitting a book to Cynsations? See the guidelines. Note: please do not write a “pitch” e-letter.

Check out the latest Tantalize fan trailer! See also the official trailer.