Cynsational News, Links & Giveaways

PaperTigers offers three great new features:

“Great Expectations: Breaking Down the Wall of Assumptions” by Debbi Michiko Florence; peek: “It’s not enough that a main character in a book is Asian-American in physical description, but he/she should also share that melding of cultures.”

interview with Linda Sue Park by Aline Pereira; peek: “I have always been grateful that I started my writing life with poetry. I feel strongly that the discipline of writing in poetic form for many years taught me to pay the closest attention to language and to make every word count.”

interview with author-publisher Icy Smith of East West Discovery Press by Marjorie Coughlan; peek: “We are an independent publisher specializing in multicultural and bilingual children’s books with a mission of promoting history, culture, and social justice.”

More News & Links

Interview with Elizabeth C. Bunce by Julie M. Prince of Off to Turn Another Page… at The Edge of the Forest. Peek: “Don’t get me wrong—I’m a huge fan of girls with swords! But there are many ways to be heroic, and I wanted to show a quieter sort of heroism, one that girls who maybe aren’t tomboys could relate to, and one that hasn’t traditionally been as visible in fantasy for young people.” See also Julie’s interview with Linda Urban; and Time for Prom (or Not) by Little Willow of Bildungsroman.

Book Buyer Blogs: Voodoo Curses and Refreshments from Editorial Anonymous. Peek: “It is better to be a brand-new author with nothing but fresh-faced innocence, a big grin and a shiny new book, than to be a ho-hum writer with a few books that have lousy-to-meh sales histories.” Note: includes factors for reconsideration and more.

The Summer Blog Blast Tour 2008 Schedule from Chasing Ray–don’t miss out!

Presenting…Claudia Gray: an author interview from Journey of an Inquiring Mind. Peek: “I’ve been a vampire fan for a long time, and I really enjoyed the TV show ‘Alias,’ which had an immortality cult as the baddies, so I suspect I’ve spent more time than most people thinking about how weird/difficult/great/bizarre it would be never to die.”

Finding Flow in a [Writers’] Group by Helen Hemphill (author interview) at Through the Tollbooth. Note: quotes a few of my favorite Austin authors–April Lurie (author interview), Frances Hill Yansky and Brian Yansky (author interview). See also Kimberly Willis Holt on her perfect “first reader” and a Cynsations interview with Kimberly.

ACPL Mock Geisel: a discussion of the year’s best early reader books from Allen County (Indiana) Public Library. Source: Children’s Book Biz.

An Interview with Agent Rosemary Stimola by Siobhan Vivian from The Longstockings. Peek: “I want to see an author grow and blossom and move along with them through different stories. Want to be a part of that ascent.” See also a Cynsations interview with Rosemary.

Debut author Shana Burg offers a new blog! Peek: “Please join me to explore civil rights issues, examine historical tidbits, and sit beside me as my first book hits the shelves.”

Monthly Special: Heroes from The Horn Book. Read a Cynsations interview with Horn Book editor Roger Sutton.

Present Your Portfolio Like a Pro by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Peek: “Feel free to jazz up your portfolio to show some personality, but keep in mind, the main thing is to keep it simple and clean so that your artwork can truly shine.”

Question of the Week Thursday: Jill Esbaum from Robin Friedman’s JerseyFresh Tude. Robin asks: “What are the differences between writing picture books and novels?” Read Cynsations interviews with Jill and Robin.

Children’s Writing Web Journal: From the Editors of Children’s Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children’s Writers. Note: recent posts include: a link to “YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author Simon Rose Interview;” a loaded “Video Interview with Walter Dean Myers;” a link to “10 flagrant grammar mistakes” and much more.


Author Susane Colasanti at Creative Visualization is sponsoring an exciting contest! The second runner-up will receive a signed copy of When It Happens (Viking, 2006). The first runner-up will receive a signed copy of Take Me There (Viking, 2008). The grand-prize winner will have their writing published in her third book, Waiting For You, which will be released next summer. The grand-prize winner also will receive a signed copy of Take Me There. Learn how to enter!

Win a copy of the picture book In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Tricia Tusa (Harcourt, 2008) from Susan Taylor Brown. Deadline June 1. Learn more about entering. Read a Cynsations interview with Susan.

Three Cynsations readers won copies of Violet by Design by Melissa Walker (Berkley Jam, 2008) this week: Jenny in North Carolina; Megan in Louisiana, and Swapna in Virginia. Note: some folks queried as to whether international entries are eligible, and the answer is always yes.

The Cynsations grand-prize May giveaway is an autographed paperback set of all three of Lauren Myracle‘s New York Times bestselling Internet Girls novels (in chat-room-style writing)–ttyl, l8rg8r, and ttfn, all published by Amulet!

Read a Cynsations interview with Lauren. Read Lauren’s blog, and visit her at MySpace!

To enter the giveaway, email me with your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST May 31! Please also type “Internet Girls” in the subject line. Note: one autographed set will be awarded to any Cynsations YA reader.

Shooting Stars Mag is giving away a Sanguini’s T-shirt and a marked-up hardcover copy of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008). Note: Sanguini’s is the vampire-themed restaurant featured in the novel. I made notes in the margins about the writing of the book, the characters, the Austin setting, and much more! The deadline is midnight EST May 31. See more information! And thanks to the Shooting Stars!

On a related note, Jamie has created an “I Never Drink…Wine” fan image celebrating Tantalize and its literary roots in Dracula by Bram Stoker (1987). She suggests using it as wallpaper; I’m using it on my desktop.

More Personally

Cynsations works differently than many blogs–it’s pre-formatted and scheduled up to five months in advance. Consequently, it’s difficult for me to participate in blog tours without “bumping” interviews that are already in the queue. However, I’m happy to highlight tours in Friday’s news-and-links round-ups. Please feel free to write me with related announcements.

Rain Is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith (HarperCollins, 2001)(Listening Library, 2001) is included among books featured in Booktalking Authentic Multicultural Literature: Fiction, History, and Memoirs for Teens by Sherry York (Linworth, 2008).

From the promotional copy: “Bring authentic multicultural booktalks to your students by using this well-researched, easy-to-use book of recommended titles and talks.

“Offers a focus on contemporary multicultural fiction, history, and memoirs. Highlights award winning, well-written fiction. Allows the library to serve and reach underserved populations. Recommended titles and talks written by some of the best authors around. Inspire your NCLB subgroup students to read by booktalking these culturally responsive books! Indexed by subject, title, and by author.

“Encourage secondary students to read more, read thoughtfully, and think critically. Engage all students, promote cross-cultural understanding, increase diversity, and help prevent dropouts.”

Congratulations to Amanda King, whose fresh and fascinating Gothic fantasy YA novel manuscript has made it to the final round in a contest in conjunction with the Writers League of Texas Agents and Editors Conference!

Greg and I saw The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian last weekend at The Alamo Drafthouse Theater on South Lamar. I recommend it. I liked the departures from the book–yes, including the romance–and didn’t mind it’s “more serious” tone. I plan to see it again at the theater. Austinites: the Drafthouse is serving a Narnia-themed menu. See also “From Page to Screen: Andrew Adamson’s ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian'” by Anita L. Burkam from The Horn Book.Finally

Take a peek at Me Hungry! by Jeremy Tankard (Candlewick, 2008)(inside spread)! From the promotional copy: “‘Me hungry!’ the boy pleads. ‘Me busy,’ say his preoccupied mom and dad. So the boy decides to go hunting, setting his sights on an elusive rabbit, a prickly porcupine, a too-mean tiger, and finally, a like-minded mammoth who’s more than happy to help. With comical, energetic illustrations and a simple, repetitive text, this child-friendly tale will have little listeners fully engaged right up to the funny final twist. An inventive Stone Age boy takes matters into his own hands in a humorous, satisfying story for every young child who wants something now.”

Check out the video trailer for Braless in Wonderland by Debbie Reed Fisher (Dutton, 2008)! Learn more about the Class of 2k8, and read “Introducing Debbie Reed Fischer and Braless in Wonderland:” an author interview from Alex Flinn at alixwrites. Peek: “I wanted elements of Alice in Wonderland to be woven throughout the story, so the title had to reflect that. Miami Beach is very Wonderland-esque.” See also a Cynsations interview with Alex.

And wouldn’t you just die to read Soul Enchilada, a debut novel by David Macinnis Gill (Greenwillow, 2009)?