Cynsational News & Giveaways

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story (Clarion, Nov. 2010) ARC Giveaway from What I’m Reading – Teachers, Librarians, Book Bloggers! The Reading (Mostly) Journal of Linda Sue Park. From the promotional copy:

A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985.

The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay.

Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Note: teachers, librarians and book bloggers are eligible to win.

See details from Linda Sue Park.

More News & Giveaways

Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers: “to ensure the voices of Native and indigenous writers and storytellers — past, present, and future — are heard throughout the world.” At Native Realities, the affiliated store site, you can purchase Wordcraft Circle, “Just Write,” and “The Pen Is Mightier Than Genocide” T-shirts and mugs. Proceeds go to support the organization.

Ageless Wisdom by Kristi Holl from Writer’s First Aid. Peek: “While sorting donated books and magazines for a library book sale, I came across a real treasure: a 1956 Writer’s Digest. Priced at 35 cents, it was a far cry from the large glossy print magazine or colorful web site of today.”

Fiction? Faction? New Nonfiction Narratives by Bethany Hegedus from Writer Friendly; Bookshelf Approved. Peek: “I wasn’t setting out to tell the facts of Gandhi’s life but to instead capture a moment in time between Arun Gandhi and his grandfather—and that moment of time was two years encapsulated in thirty-two pages.”

Writing Under the Influence by Tabitha Olson from Writer Musings. Peek: “So, now we have a dilemma: read and possibly be influenced by other authors, or don’t read and possibly come across as naïve or uninformed. What’s the solution?”

Brain Burps About Books: an all-kidlit podcast from Katie Davis. Peek: “I’m trying to provide content, interviews and reviews, so one episode might focus on sharing writing tips and advice, another might be all about supporting teachers who are passionate about using books in exciting new ways. There will also be shows for illustrators, with accompanying images.” School Library Journal blogger and New York Public children’s librarian Betsy Bird supplies a regular exclusive review. To be a part of the conversation, feedback and questions for the show can be left in a voice message at 888-522-1929.

Tim Tingle on Saltypie: Tim talks about and reads from his new picture book, Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness Into Light in a 2.24 minute podcast from See also Tim Tingle on Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom. Source: Cinco Puntos.

Copy Cat by Allison Winn Scotch from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “I’m trying to toe this line, to figure out the balance between recreating my work and challenging myself and not, say, offering a work so different that no one recognizes the threads that tie all of my books together.” Source: Elizabeth Scott.

YA Fantasy Showdown: “There are 32 characters, all present and accounted for. That means sixteen battles. Half of them will not be making it to the next round (yes, you may shed tears for them. We will). BUT. It is up to you to vote on who moves on.”

The Contemps: YA Authors Keeping It Real. Peek: “a group of YA authors with contemporary novels releasing over the course of a year. We are passionate about realistic fiction because these are the books that remind us we’re not alone in this real world. Our mission is simple – to spotlight contemporary fiction for young adults through blog posts, author events, and (over)sharing from our teen years.”

OpenSky helps authors develop their brands: The website gives them the chance to make money by selling books, as well as their favorite products, directly to consumers. By Geraldine Baum from the Los Angels Times.

Visit with Jessica Lee Anderson from Teens Read Too Book Club. Peek: “Here is my Tweet for my upcoming release (Calli, Milkweed, 2011): When Calli retaliates after her foster sister steals her stuff and kisses her boyfriend, the consequences are overwhelming.”

Writers Against Racism: Get Caught Reading an Author of Color’s Book by Amy Bowllan from Bowllan’s Blog. Peek: “I was hoping to end the summer, catching everyday people, reading books by Authors of Color. Please send these jpeg snapshots to me, via e-mail, with a short blurb about the setting and who is in the picture, name of the book, author etc…”

Agent Interview: Erin Murphy by Brenda Sturgis from Peek: “Picture books have to have enough layers that their genius only becomes truly apparent through multiple readings. Which is not the same as having a lot of words–not by a long shot.”

Kimberly Marcus: new site by the author of Scritch-Scratch a Perfect Match, illustrated by Mike Lester (Penguin, 2011).

How to Create a Dystopia by Parker Peevyhouse from The Spectacle. Peek: “Since the point of a dystopian novel is usually to magnify a current flaw in society, it works best to create a world based on one main flaw.”

Marianna Mitchell: Writer for Children and Young Adults: newly redesigned site from the author of Gullywasher Gulch, illustrated by Normand Chartier (Boyds Mills, 2002), Joe Cinders, illustrated by Bryan Langdo (Henry Holt, 2002), and more.

Random Acts of Publicity – Sept. 7 to Sept. 10 by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: “a week when you do something to promote a friend’s book, or to promote a recent book you’ve read. Four days of promoting others’ books should be great fun.”

Mary Kole – Agent Interview and Pitch Contest by Shelli from Market My Words. Peek: “So when you do any kind of promotion — running a blog/Twitter feed, a contest, having a reading or event, doing an interview — make sure the reader gets something out of it, too.” Pitch contest begins today at 9 a.m. EST and ends Aug. 22 (Sunday) at 9 a.m. EST. Winner gets a query critique from Mary.”

Ads and E-Books: Money Should Still Flow Toward the Author by Saundra Mitchell from Making Up Stuff for a Living. Peek: “Product placement should be treated as a subright- I propose, on the same percentages as foreign rights subrights. Approximately 25% to the house, 75% to the author.” Read a Cynsations interview with Saundra.

Onward Through the Fog by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog – Writer Talk. Note: Brian talks about the temptation to quit writing and holds up “The African Queen” as a model for reconsidering.

Congratulations, K.A. Holt

Congratulations to author K.A. Holt on the release of Brains for Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! by K.A. Holt, illustrated by Gahan Wilson (Roaring Brook, 2010)! From the promotional copy:

The difference being that this middle school novel is written entirely in Haiku. Loeb, its zombie protagonist has a problem: the object of his affection, Siobhan, is a lifer (i.e. human). What to do? In scenes set around a lunch table (the menu: brains) and around the school, eyes roll and jaws drop (literally). Also featured in the cast of characters is Carl, a chupacabra (bloodsucking critter) and Mrs. Fincher, a sympathetic and seductive librarian.

The launch party for Brains for Lunch will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 at BookPeople in Austin.

Cynsational Screening Room

Check out the book trailer for Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley (Feiwel and Friends, 2010).

Learn about the history of the Writers’ League of Texas by Blake Perkins and Chris Haynes, featuring Sarah Bird and Suzy Spencer.

Austin Scene

In the BookKids department of BookPeople, children’s author Pamela Ferguson shows off her debut novel, Sunshine Picklelime, illustrated by Christian Slade (Random House, 2010).

We both were attending a panel on “Diversity in Children’s Literature,” sponsored by Austin SCBWI. Regional advisor Debbie Gonzales led the discussion with author Varian Johnson, author/illustrator Don Tate, author/librarian Jeanette Larson, and author Lila Guzman.

After the meeting, a bunch of us met for lunch at Frank and Angie’s Pizzeria.

More Personally

Jeepers! I received nine blurb requests last week, most of them from folks who had some kind of connection to me. Here’s the scoop: I require that all book blurb requests come from editors or agents. I do not want to hear via email or in person from the author, no matter who it is.

Writers Against Racism: Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith: a review from Amy Bowllan from Bowllan’s Blog at School Library Journal. Peek: “This is Bowllan’s top pick for your home, or library collection.” Side illustration by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying Hwa-Hu; used with permission.

U.K. readers: you can find Tantalize and Eternal at WHSmith. Happy shopping!

Speaking of international releases, thanks to Curtis Brown for sending more copies of the Polish edition of Eternal and this copy of Sanguine (Tantalize) from Intervista Editions in France. Note: Tantalize was featured as a Random Recommendation at A Simple Love of Reading. Peek: “Although Kieren doesn’t have the largest part in this book, his feelings for Quincie are unmistakable, and I hope that in Blessed, the next book in the series, they are able to overcome what happened to Quincie in Tantalize.” I’m not giving out any spoilers (yet), but I will say that I suspect Quincie-Kieren fans will be pleased with what happens next.

Giveaway Reminders

Surf over to Mundie Moms to read the latest interview with me, and enter to win bookplate-signed copies of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and Eternal (Candlewick, 2009, 2010)! With Blessed (Candlewick, 2011) coming soon; now is a great time to get caught up on the series, if you haven’t already. Or enter to win a book to give to your local high school or public library. All you have to do is fill out a short form. Deadline: Sept. 15; 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. Read a Cynsations interview with Richard.

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.