Cynsational News & Giveaways

In celebration of her newly redesigned website, Heather Vogel Frederick is giving away three advance reader copies of her upcoming release, Pies & Prejudice (Simon & Schuster, Sept. 14, 2010). From the promotional copy:

Right before the start of their freshman year, the mother-daughter book club faces yet another challenge when Emma’s family unexpectedly moves to England.

Leave it to the resourceful girls, however, to find a way to continue meeting and discuss a particularly fitting choice, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In England, Emma encounters a new queen bee, Annabelle, who sets out to make her life miserable. Back in Massachusetts, meanwhile, Annabelle’s cousins swap homes with Emma’s family and are causing some major distractions. Cassidy clashes with moody Tristan, a modern day Mr. Darcy, while her friends swoon over Tristan’s younger brother Simon.

As the year progresses, the girls each discover new talents, and when they cook up a plan to bring Emma home for a visit by holding a bake sale, it grows into a thriving business, Pies & Prejudice. After their sweet scheme looks like it’s going to fall short, though, they’re left wondering if the club will ever all be together again.

Leave a comment here at Heather’s blog to enter; deadline: midnight PST Aug. 15–winners announced Aug. 16. Read a Cynsations interview with Heather.

More News & Giveaways

Nancy Werlin: The Anatomy of a Book Cover: a conversation with Elizabeth Bluemle from Shelf Talker. Peek: “Conceptually, though, the ‘same but different’ mission was tricky for the designer. You couldn’t have the cover of Extraordinary (Dial, 2010) suggest to readers that they’d be getting the continuing adventures of Lucy Scarborough from Impossible (Dial, 2008), only that they are likely to get a similar reading experience.” Read a Cynsations interview with Nancy.

Cover Stories: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey from Melissa Walker. Peek: “The model who represents Jess looks eerily like how I picture her in my mind….” Read a Cynsations interview with Beth.

Unreliable Narrators by Jennifer R. Hubbard from writerjenn. Peek: “How can we convey this unreliability without shouting it at the reader? How can we walk the tightrope between being too obscure and too obvious?”

Top 20 Picture Book Agents in Publishers Marketplace by Brenda Sturgis from Peek: “The world of children’s literature is packed with promise and savvy literary agents, listed below are the top 20 deal makers as of Aug. 6, 2010.” Note: not all sales are reported to PM, so this should be taken as a general indicator rather than a complete listing.

Writers Against Racism: Bethany Hegedus from Amy Bowllan at Bowllan’s Blog at School Library Journal. Peek: “What I hope to accomplish in Truth with a Capital T (Delacorte, 2010) is to depict a modern-family story that showcases the blended families of those of my friends and family and also asks hard questions as it harkens back to the past.”

Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq: a recommendation by Sally from papertigers blog. Peek: “Yes, librarians can be super-heroes, and Alia is a prime example of the kind of courage and determination, as well as wit and presence-of-mind that it takes to save a library from imminent ruin.”

Florida Writers Foundation Silent Auction Call for Donations from Larissa’s World. Peek: “I’d love to get a bunch of critiques and other writerly prizes and auction those online a couple of weeks before the conference so everyone can bid!” Note: the FWF (the charity arm of the Florida Writers Association), is a non profit 501 (c) 3 benefiting literacy.”

The Book Trailer Manual: Build Trust, Gain Readers and Break-out with the Right Video about Your Book: a new blog from Darcy Pattison. Read a Cynsations interview with Darcy.

Thinking Like a Nine-to-Fiver by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid. Peek: “Yes, it’s easier if you work at an office with a boss. None of your friends or family members expect things from you during the day when you work outside the home. So your only option is learning to say ‘no.'”

Do You Tell a Potential Agent About That Other Project? by Jackie Morse Kessler from Open Up and Say “Blog.” Peek: “You may never write that down-the-road project.” Note: also includes insights on YALITCHAT at Twitter.

ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominees from YALSA. Updated as of Aug. 9. Nominees include Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge (Candlewick, 2010).

Is Your Story Real, and Are You Your Characters? by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog: Writer Talk. Peek: “I write what I know and what I know is that any story I write will have parts that are taken from real life and put into the Crazy Imagination Blender™ and used in the construction of character and story along with totally made up parts.” Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

Interview with Lisa Schroeder from Debbi Michiko Florence. Peek: “My best books have come about because I tried something new, even though I was scared to do so.” Read a Cynsations interview with Lisa.

Writing Is a Business by Lisa Shearin from The Magic District. Peek: “Before I was published, my deadlines were self-imposed, which meant that I could take all the time I wanted to make my manuscript as perfect as possible. Now, I essentially have nine months from typing that first word, to turning in a final manuscript to my editor. The deadlines are in your contract, so they might as well be graven in granite.” Source: Elizabeth Scott. Note: hang in there, debut authors; others before you have survived this and gone on to prosper.

Inside the Writer’s Studio with Kathi Appelt by Bethany Hegedus from Writer Friendly; Bookshelf Approved. Peek: “The biggest challenge I had with Keeper was actually figuring out Keeper herself. I felt I knew all of the supporting cast, each one of them, including the animals.”

Making the Most Out of Your Conference Critique by Cynthea Liu. Peek: “Your hands are sweating. You lie awake at night. You can’t stop thinking about your face-to-face critique with the publishing professional of your dreams.” Source: A Brief Word (Writers’ League of Texas). Read a Cynsations interview with Cynthea.

Guest Blog: Jennifer R. Hubbard on The Secret Year from readergirlz. Peek: “…most writers who include sexually active characters in their YA books want to lift that veil of secrecy and shame a little, to confront some basic truths of human nature and cut through the myths and mysteries.”

Balancing Pain: Things to Consider When Throwing Rocks at Your Character by Maggie Jamison from Apex Book Company. Peek: “A friend asked me a few weeks ago about balancing both pain and sympathy in fiction: how do you create a character who suffers immensely, but who doesn’t sound whiny to the reader?” Source: Jennifer R. Hubbard via Terri-Lynne DeFino.

Congratulations to fellow Austinite Lindsey Scheibe for signing with literary agent Mandy Hubbard, and congratulations to Mandy for signing Lindsey! Read a Cynsations interview with Mandy.

Cynsational Screening Room

Check out the book trailer for Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus (Simon & Schuster, 2010):

Check out the book trailer for Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick, 2010).

Follow David’s blog tour:

Aug. 9 – Picture Book Review
Aug. 10 – Katie’s Literature Lounge
Aug. 11 – Readaholic
Aug. 12 – Two Writing Teachers
Aug. 13 – Not Just for Kids
Aug. 14 – Milk and Cookies, Comfort Reading…
Aug. 15 – Bookworm’s Dinner
Aug. 16 – Where the Best Books Are
Aug. 17 – KidsLit review

Check out the trailer for Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham (Viking, 2010).

Check out the Rampant and Ascendant (both HarperTeen) Book Trailer, featuring author Diana Peterfreund:

Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children’s Literature demonstrates Google’s Story Search program.

WriteOnCon: a free online children’s-YA writers’ conference. Check out: The Revision Process by Cynthea Liu (part two, three), Romance in YA by Lisa Schroder, Plot and Pacing by author/literary agent Weronika Janczuk (part two, three) and much more!

In the video below, P.J. “Tricia” Hoover offers writing advice from many children’s-YA authors (and at least one librarian) who attended the June conference of the American Library Association.

Interview with Egmont USA publisher Elizabeth Law by Angela L. Fox from az-ang. See also a Cynsations interview with Elizabeth.

Author-librarian Erica Silverman on the importance of librarians to writers from Lee Wind at I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? Save L.A. Libraries.

More Personally

This week was quiet and productive. Yesterday, I sent off my final, final response to my Candlewick editor’s final, final line edits on the pass pages for Blessed. Look for cover art soon!

I also sent her a draft of Eternal: Zachary’s Story, a graphic novel. It’s significantly less text heavy than Tantalize: Kieren’s Story was when it first went in. Hopefully, I’ve learned something by having taken out so much text on that last book.

Congratulations to Margaret, winner of the Figment flash fiction contest! Note: I had the honor of judging the finalists, and Margaret has won signed copies of Tantalize and Eternal (both Candlewick). Figment is currently a private site, but you can sign up at to join in!

Last Call for 2010 Debut Authors: I have just a few (mostly December) slots remaining for my current New Voices interview series. Please contact me directly if you’re a traditionally published, first-time children’s-YA author who’s interested in participating!

Cynsational Giveaways

Enter to win Vampire High: Sophomore Year by Douglas Reese (Delacorte, 2010)(author interview). To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) and type “Vampire High: Sophomore Year” in the subject line (Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are welcome to just privately message or comment me with the name in the header/post). I’ll write you for contact information, if you win. Deadline: Aug. 31. Publisher review copy; U.S. entries only.

Enter to win an author-signed copy of Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson, illustrated by R.G. Roth (Knopf, 2010). To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) and type “Busing Brewster” in the subject line (Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are welcome to just privately message or comment me with the name in the header/post). I’ll write you for contact information, if you win. Deadline: Aug. 31. Sponsored by the author; U.S. entries only.

Cynsational Events

The Austin SCBWI Diversity in Kid Lit Panel Discussion will feature author-illustrator Don Tate, illustrator Mike Benny, author Varian Johnson, author Lila Guzman, author/librarian Jeanette Larson and take place at 11 a.m. Aug. 14 at at BookPeople in Austin.

Author Pamela Ellen Ferguson will be presenting and signing Sunshine Picklelime, illustrated by Christian Slade (Random House, 2010) at 2 p.m. Aug. 15 at BookPeople in Austin.

The launch party for Brains for Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! by K.A. Holt, illustrated by Gahan Wilson (Roaring Brook, 2010) will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 at BookPeople in Austin.