Cynsational News & Giveaways

Reminder: enter to win an autographed hardcover of National Book Award Finalist Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt (Front Street, 2006) from Cynsations. To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type “Keturah and Lord Death” in the subject line. Deadline: March 30! All Cynsational readers are eligible! Note: there is a slight uneveness to the cut of the back of the cover and a couple of slightly bent page corners, but it’s otherwise in great shape.

More News

Check out the awesome cake (I can tell how it tastes by looking) that Penguin sent Laurie Halse Anderson in celebration of the release of Wintergirls! Attention Austinites: Laurie will be at BookPeople on the evening of March 28!

Here’s the book trailer to Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr (HarperCollins, 2009). See also the newly launched micro site. Read a Cynsations interview with Melissa.

Getting a Spine by Tiffany Trent from Eudaimonium. Peek: “I’ve always hated it when people tell me the two basic things about fiction: a character must want and a character must change. Because the rebel in me always says: Why?” Read a Cynsations interview with Tiffany.

Barry Goldblatt Literary has added two new agents: Joe Monti and Beth Fleisher. Source: Jo Knowles via Publishers Weekly. Read a Cynsations interview with Barry.

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Emily Gravett from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Peek: “I try and make school visits as interactive as possible. The kids I talk to can be quite young, so I get them to do lots of shouting out and joining in. I tell them a little bit about how I became an illustrator, using slides with photos and drawings, and then we write a book together with me doing the drawings. It’s fun, nerve-wracking (for me), and sometimes a little chaotic!”

Combine Babies and Bylines by Kristi Holl from Writers First Aid. Peek: “The (survival) skills you need to both write and parent change with each stage of your children’s lives. (Sometimes your biggest need is time or energy. Other times your biggest need is keeping your sanity!) So over the next few days, I thought I’d blog about practical ways to combine writing and parenting throughout these stages.”

On Conflict from Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent. Peek: “A character at peace with their surroundings and the characters they’re interacting with is, well, completely boring.”

The Last Exit to Normal by by Michael Harmon (Knopf, 2008): a recommendation by Greg Leitich Smith. Peek: “Harmon eschews cliches and portrays each of Ben, his father and stepdad, and the people of Rough Butte as authentic, realistic, and rounded.”

“Take a right turn. Or a left.” from Helen Hemphill at Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “So, as you are working the middle of your novel, you probably are thinking about the conflict and moving your story forward. You probably aren’t thinking that your story should just change directions. But it should—that’s what will keep readers turning the page.” Read a Cynsations interview with Helen.

An Author at Home: Jen Bryant from Kimberly Willis Holt at A Pen and A Nest. Peek: “Jen Bryant writes picture books, novels and poems for readers of all ages. Her biographical picture book: A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, received a Caldecott Honor award and her historical novel in verse Ringside 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial is an Oprah Recommended Book for ages 12 & up.”

Me, Tom by Troy Howell from Crowe’s Nest. Peek: “The more time you spend in a character’s shoes—or feet, with one toe wrapped—whether you’re a reader or writer (or an illustrator, for that matter), the deeper the experience, the more natural the representation. You can hear his voice, smell her hands.”

The Silence of the Bunnies: the revelation of Horn Book editor Roger Sutton’s Kryptonite from Read Roger. Peek: “We’ve been entrusted with the care of Ruby for a couple of weeks. She may look like a rabbit but behaves more like a Sphinx, her silent inscrutability causing me to project all manner of implacable menace into her unblinking gaze.” Note: raises the question of whether Roger is a vengeance demon, but to be sure, this is my Geektastic link description of the day. Read a Cynsations interview with Roger.

In celebration of the upcoming release of Stargazer (HarperCollins, March 24, 2009), author Claudia Gray is giving ten winners their choice of Evernight Academy T-shirts and other nifty stuff. Learn more here. Note: peek at the Stargazer prologue and chapter one.

More Personally

Thank you to my website designer, Lisa Firke of Hit Those Keys, for my beautiful new page to showcase my book trailers. Read a Cynsations interview with Lisa.

Thanks to author Helen Hemphill for reporting a sighting of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) in Cape Town (South Africa). Wow, I can hardly believe a story made it all there way there from that first draft tapped out on the daybed in my sun room. Read a Cynsations interview with Helen.

Author Interview: Cynthia Leitich Smith from {Insert Book Title Here}. Peek: “I’m pretty happy as a human being. But if I had to pick, I’d rather be an angel. Among other things, I’d get better hair with the deal. Are shape shifters an option? It would be fun to be a werecat!”