Cynsational News, Giveaways & Texas Library Association Conference Report

Enter to Win an Eternal T-shirt this month at! Check out the available styles. Read a Cynsations interview with logo designer Gene Brenek. See the five-star review of Eternal from TeensReadToo. Peek: “This novel is definitely a page-turner. It is filled with danger, deception, humor, love, sadness, and hope.”

Enter to Win one of 25 Advance Copies of Piper Reed Gets a Job from author Kimberly Willis Holt. Deadline: noon CST on Thursday, April 9. Read a Cynsations interview with Kimberly.

More News

Check out the book trailer for I and I Bob Marley by Tony Medina, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson (Lee & Low, May 2009). Source: G. Neri.

Rhyme Time: A Children’s Verse Workshop with Laura Purdie Salas: four week-workshop will take place from May 7 to June 4. Cost $195. More details.

Poetry Makers – J. Patrick Lewis: an interview from The Miss Rumphius Effect. Peek: “When I discovered poetry, I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with it. All I knew was that I loved it. So I donned a hair shirt, lived on scarabs and watercress, and did nothing but read poetry, books about poetry, poetics, prosody—the classics for both adults and children—for three years until I learned the craft.”

A Revision Medley by Lisa Schroeder. Peek: “What do authors go through when writing or revising a book? This gives you a peek into one author’s revision process, featuring a medley of songs to tell the story.” Read a Cynsations interview with Lisa.

Straight Talk on Race: Challenging the stereotypes in kids’ books by Mitali Perkins from SLJ. Peek: “Books for a generation of readers who regularly mix and explore race and ethnicity must express diversity lest we fall into the trap of the television show Friends, in which an all-white cast lived and worked in an apparently all-white New York City.” Read a Cynsations interview with Mitali.

Interview – Ellen Jensen Abbott from the Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: “Westtown is a Quaker school, and while I am not Quaker, I have learned a lot about Quakerism. Some of the themes of Watersmeet have been influenced by this. I couldn’t write about war in Watersmeet without thinking hard about the Quaker peace testimony. What is worth fighting for?”

Barnes & Noble Tagged: Molly welcomes Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman to the Studio to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Writing Through the Storms from Kristi Holl at Writers First Aid. Peek: “Sounds contradictory, but it’s not. Do schedule writing time, as usual. Strive to keep that appointment, no matter what else is going on in your life.”

Black Kid’s Lit Authors/Illustrators – Up 7.8% in 2008 from Kyra at Black Threads in Kid’s Lit. Note: numbers of Latino, Native, and Asian Americans also are up.

Writing after Major Losses from Kristi Holl at Writers First Aid. Peek: “Always having ‘everything tightly under control’ leaves a writer too rigid to produce a decent rough draft.”

Curtis Brown Ltd.: new official agency website. Peek: “Founded in 1914, Curtis Brown, Ltd. is among the most venerable and prominent literary agencies in the world…” See submissions information. Note: I’m honored to say that I have been happily represented by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown for the entirety of my career.

Blue Slip Media: new publicity-and-marketing agency, specializing in youth literature. Peek: “In a business climate where publicity and marketing resources at major publishing houses are stretched thin, we offer expertise in crafting effective press releases, targeted mailing lists, niche and local market outreach, and event planning to create comprehensive campaigns for print and online media.” See testimonials.

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing from Editorial Anonymous. Peek: “You’re building a name for yourself, remember– and you want the qualities associated with that name to be consistent, whether it’s ‘fun / character-driven’, ‘”literary / romantic’, ‘suspenseful / humorous’, etc. You don’t want to confuse people with ‘fun / ugly’, ‘literary / boring’, or ‘suspenseful / like a bad acid trip’.”

Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner – Richard Michelson from Jewish Books for Children with Author Barbara Bietz. Peek: “Twelve years later, less than 10 percent of those living in the neighborhood were Jews. There was anger, bitterness–and friendship –on all sides. Much of my work is an attempt to both heal society’s racial wounds, and those within myself.”

People of Color: a new blog from Jeff Rivera at GalleyCat. Peek: “features people of color throughout the publishing industry – agents, editors, authors and anyone else in the business of books.” Source: The Brown Bookshelf.

Workshop Proposals by Robin (R.L.) LaFevers at Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: “Think of the workshop proposal as a query letter for your workshop. You want to put your best, most professional foot forward, as well as hook your audience, in this case the conference organizers.” Read a Cynsations interview with R.L. LaFevers.

More Personally

Thank you so much to Jennifer Yoon of Candlewick Press editorial and both Sharon Hancock and Jenny Choy of Candlewick Press marketing for your support, enthusiasm, and hospitality at the Texas Library Association conference in Houston.

Thanks also to everyone who was kind enough to come to my signing at the booth and to Dr. Teri Lesesne AKA The Goddess of YA Literature for including Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) among her Best New YA Books of 2009. What an honor, and talk about great company!

Let’s take a tour of the exhibitor floor!

Here’s Brian Anderson, author of the Zack Proton series (Aladdin, 2006). Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

Greg poses with Writers’ League of Texas director (and fellow Jayhawk) Cyndi Hughes. For more details on our trip, see Greg’s report.

Rising star Varian Johnson smiles for the camera. Get the scoop on TLA from Varian. Read a Cynsations interview with Varian.

Elaine Scott signs Mars and The Search for Life (Clarion, 2008). Read a Cynsations interview with Elaine.

Melanie Chrismer shows off Phoebe Clappsaddle and the Tumbleweed Gang, illustrated by Virginia Marsh Roeder (Pelican, 2004). Read a Cynsations interview with Melanie.

Here’s Mary Dodson Wade with her latest release, Sam Houston: Standing Firm, illustrated by Joy Fisher Hein (Bright Sky, 2009).

What a treat it was to see author-librarian Debbie Leland! Read a Cynsations interview with Debbie.

Wendy Litchman‘s Do the Math #2: The Writing on the Wall (Greenwillow) was one of my Cynsational Books of 2008.

Chris Barton‘s T-shirt is an introduction to his upcoming debut picture book, The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors, illustrated by Tony Persiani (Charlesbridge, 2009). See Chris’s TLA report.

Illustrator Don Tate displays Ron’s Big Mission (Dutton, 2009). See Don’s report (part two). Note: the star is from Kirkus Reviews. Read a Cynsations interview with Don.

Here’s a winning smile from YA author Jennifer Ziegler. See her TLA report. Read a Cynsations interview with Jennifer.

YA author Margo Rabb poses at the Random House booth. Her latest book is Cures for Heartbreak (Delacorte, 2007), which received too many stars to count. Read a Cynsations interview with Margo. Note: next to her is a lovely and gracious RH publicist.

Next up is author Jessica Lee Anderson. Jessica’s next book is Border Crossing (Milkweed, fall 2009). Read a Cynsations interview with Jessica.

Say howdy to debut author Joy Preble and Texas author Janet S. Fox. Joy’s Dreaming Anastasia is forthcoming from Sourcebooks in fall 2009. Read a Cynsations interview with Janet.

Check out the Horn Book booth. Read a Cynsations interview with Horn Book editor Roger Sutton.

Author sightings also included Justina Chen Headley, Lorie Ann Grover, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Toni Buzzeo, Jan Peck, and David Davis. Note: SCBWI members who were manning the booth (or at least one of you) are encouraged to contact me so that I can confirm your names and include your photo in my next round-up. Note: sorry, I forgot!

On a related note, huge thanks to Rebecca and everyone at the Barbara Bush Branch Library/Harris County Public Library in Spring, Texas for your hospitality on Friday afternoon!

Finally, I was just delighted by this fangtastic homemade thank-you card from one of my former VCFA students, Rebecca Van Slyke!