Cynsational News & Giveaways

Children’s Literature from India and the Indian Diaspora from PaperTigers. Features include:

an interview with author Kashmira Sheth by Aline Pereira (“Your most recent book, Boys Without Names (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins, 2010), is the moving story of Gopal, a teenager who, in an attempt to help his family financially, finds himself trapped in a sweatshop job.”);

an interview with Tulika Books’ Radhika Menon, founder and publisher, and Sandhya Rao, editor and author, by Aline Pereira (“Tulika Publishers is an independent publishing house from Chennai, India which, since 1996, has been publishing multilingual children’s books and stories in translation in a variety of genres. The first publisher of bilingual books in India, Tulika is committed to addressing the needs of children growing up in a pluralistic society.”);

an interview with Manisha Chaudhry, Head of Content Development of Pratham Books by Aline Pereira (“Established in 2004, Pratham Books is a non-profit trust that publishes high quality children’s books at affordable prices and in multiple Indian languages. Pratham Books is one of the arms of, the largest non-profit organization in the area of primary education in India. Their programs have reached over a million children to date, in 13 states.”);

in the illustrators gallery with Uma Krishnaswamy and Bhajju Shyam;

Returning to Essential Questions by Uma Krishnaswami (“Sometimes it takes a while to travel to a place where the winds are right, and you’re looking in the direction you need to face, and your mind isn’t distracted. Only then can you read your own words and see, hear what lies underneath them. Sometimes you have to return to find the swale.”);

Trailblazers of Yesterday: Bengali Children’s Classics Shouldn’t Be Forgotten by Swapna Dutta (“I can’t fathom why publishers don’t translate these and some of the other popular adventure-mystery stories of yesteryear – Hemendra Kumar’s “Bimal-Kumar and Jayanto-Manik” stories, or the Manoranjan’s “Huka-Kashi” stories, for instance. After all, stories of mystery and adventure are perennial favourites among children.”).

More News & Giveaways

Twitter Book Parties! a celebration of new books for kids, tweens, and teens. Peek: “The day your book releases (full list here), we’ll spread the news, raise a glass, break out the chocolate, and virtually party with you. I’ll also provide a link to an independent bookseller of your choice (send me the link featuring your book) or to IndieBound so that thousands of tweeps can buy your book.”

Nominate the Best Books of the Year for the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (the Cybils). Books published between Oct. 16, 2009, and Oct. 15, 2010, are eligible. Note: my upcoming picture book, Holler Loudly (Dutton, 2010), is not eligible; it’s official publication date is Nov. 11.

Congratulations to Georgia McBride, founder of YALITCHAT, on signing with Mark McVeigh of The McVeigh Agency, and congratulations to Mark on signing Georgia! Read a Cynsations interview with Mark.

Interview with Middle Grade Novelist Royce Buckingham by Clete Barrett Smith from Through the Tollbooth. Note: “Royce Buckingham is a Pacific Northwest author who specializes in boy-friendly fiction. His latest book, the supernatural mystery/thriller The Dead Boys, was released by Putnam on September 2 and is a Junior Library Guild Selection.” Peek: “It’s a knife-edge, so to speak, because you’re trying to scare them but you’re not trying to traumatize them.” See also Clete on Things I’ve Learned about Writing Novels from Reading Comics.

Defeating Your Inner Critic Part I: Track the Problem by Carolyn Kaufman from Query Tracker. Peek: “The Inner Critic can be the writer’s worst enemy. Each time we sit down to work, it feeds on our insecurities, reminds us of past failures, and criticizes everything we put down on paper.” See also Part II: Put the Critic on the Stand.

Antagonists in Contemporary Fiction by Mary Kole from Peek: “…what do you do if you don’t have a villain in mind? If there’s no shadowy baddie behind the curtain, always threatening danger and doom? Do you still have a story?” See also Mary on How to Pick an Agent if You Write for Many Audiences. Read a Cynsations interview with Mary.

Susan Hawk of the Bent Agency from Shelli at Market My Words. Peek: “We all know that promotion continues to become a more central part of any book’s success, and as that has changed over time, agents’ focus on the marketing plans that publishing houses create has grown as well.”

Selling Color in a White World: Notes From New England Independent Booksellers Association by Mitali Perkins from Mitali’s Fire Escape. Peek quoting Elizabeth Bluemle: “Our industry is still dominated by white people, and honestly, we get lazy handselling books featuring people of color.”

Interview with Children’s Book Press Executive Editor Dana Goldberg and Sales and Marketing Manager Janet del Mundo by Uma Krishnaswami from Writing with a Broken Tusk. Peek: “CBP was the first nonprofit press in the country established to focus solely on multicultural and bilingual literature.”

Dystopian Worldbuilding Worksheet Part One and Part Two from Kate Messner. Peek: “Even imaginary worlds need rules. Consider Hogwarts. The incantation ‘Expelliarmus!’ always results in an opponent being disarmed, if it’s done right. As readers, we wouldn’t be on board if a character used ‘Expelliarmus!’ to disarm an enemy in one scene and then cried ‘DroppusWandus!’ five pages later. Things need to be consistent.”

Congratulations to Helen Hemphill, Annemarie O’Brien, and the other eight finalists for the Katherine Paterson Prize from Hunger Mountain: The VCFA Journal of the Arts!

A Look at School Visits: Dealing with Problems by Verla Kay from Verla Kay’s Blog. Peek: “You are human. You might make some mistakes during the day. That’s not a tragedy unless you turn it into one. You are in control of your attitude for the day and if you keep a positive attitude about you, everyone will “roll” with whatever happens and the day will be a success.”

When Back List Books Go POD from April Henry. Peek: “One downside to this idea is that a book might never be considered out-of-print, so the rights would never revert back to the author. Speaking as someone who made a few dollars putting her out-of-print backlist on the Kindle…”

What Do Amazon Rankings Mean to Authors? by Richard Mabry from Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent at Rants & Ramblings on Life as a Literary Agent. Peek: “The first consideration is that Amazon isn’t the only place people buy books.”

Agent Advice: Jen Rofe of Andrea Brown Literary from Chuck at Guide to Literary Agents. Excellent in-depth interview in which Jen talks about her preferences. Note: She represents “children’s fiction ranging from picture books to young adult” and is open to diverse voices and characters, especially where race is not the primary issue.

Cynsational Giveaway Reminder

Enter to win a copy of The Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas (Aladdin, 2010)! To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type “The Wish Stealers” 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: Oct. 31. Sponsored by Simon & Schuster; U.S. entries only.

Cynsational Screening Room

Linda Sue Park talks about A Long Walk To Water (Clarion, 2010) and introduces readers to the subject of the novel, Salva Dut, from Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

How The Million Man March Inspired a Picture Book by Kelly Starling Lyons from Nathalie Mvondo at Multiculturalism Rocks! Peek: “Years later when I began writing for children, the memory of that little girl and her dad came back to me. What if I imagined what the March was like for her? What if the little girl was the storyteller sharing the story of her dad and all of the men who made history that day?”

More Personally

Quirky & Quintessential Writer Series: Featuring Cynthia Leitich Smith by Mahtab Narsimhan from Moonlight Musings. Peek: “…what about the stuff totally unrelated to books? The quirky stuff that makes them the quintessential writer? I’ve wondered the same thing about a lot of writers I’ve greatly admired and so, was born the idea of asking them questions mostly unrelated to the world of writing. Fun stuff that makes them come alive for me!”

Cynthia’s Story at ReaderKidZ has been expanded to include a Q&A interview.

Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith: review from Jeanette Larson at Parent Wise Austin (PDF). Peek: “This original tall tale will delight kids from preschool through third grade, who will especially enjoy joining in on some hollering! Cartoonish illustrations add to the fun and this is a definite ‘must’ for reading aloud—loudly!”

Book Review – Jingle Dancer from Mundie Kids: Mundie Moms Children’s Book Reviews. Peek: “Jingle Dancer is a beautifully written story that belongs in both school and home libraries. I highly recommend this story. (Five stars.)” Note: I’m pleased to announce that both the trade and library editions of Jingle Dancer are going into reprint! Thanks to all for your continued support of my first book!

Thank you to the Lonely Comma for recommending Cynsations and my official website. Peek: “Under the link to Children’s and YA Literature Resources is a section for Diverse Reads. Within it are sub-categories such as multicultural, multiracial, Native Americans, and an Asian-Heritage page.” Note: the Lonely Comma is “dedicated to highlighting the work of Asian American authors and writers.”

Cynsational guest posts and interviews are currently pre-formatted and scheduled through the third week in January. However, if you would like to suggest a news blurb for a future Friday round-up, please take a look at the examples above to learn the typical format styles and frame your request according. Include relevant links at the end (I’ll code them for you), and attach any related images. Thanks!

Two Chances to Win Blessed ARC

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith Review and ARC Giveaway by Insert Book Title Here. Peek: “The world of Tantalize and Eternal combine in Blessed (PDF) to create an amazing story that is captivating. I loved both of the previous novels, but Blessed has blown them both out of the water. This is Cynthia at her best.” Note: U.S. and Canadian citizens are eligible to win. Deadline: midnight Oct. 31. Enter here.

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith ARC Giveaway by P.J. Hoover from Roots in Myth. Deadline: midnight Oct. 15. Note: P.J. is also giving away an ARC of her upcoming novel, The Necropolis (CBAY, 2010), an ARC of Brains for Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! by K.A. Holt (Roaring Brook, 2010), and an ARC of Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences by Brian Yansky (Candlewick, 2010). Newly added: Truth with a Capital T by Bethany Hegedus (Delacorte, 2010). Click titles for details!

Cynsational Events

Check out the schedule for Texas Book Festival on Oct. 16 and Oct. 17 in Austin. Cynthia Leitich Smith will be reading Holler Loudly, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton, 2010) from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Children’s Read Me a Story Tent. Her signing will follow immediately afterward at the Children’s Signing Tent (13th and Colorado). Note: In a limited early release, Holler Loudly will premier at this event.

“Beyond Feathers and Fangs: Crossing Borders in Realistic and Fantasy Fiction, with Cynthia Leitich Smith” at The 33rd Annual Mary Calletto Rife Youth Literature Seminar – Kalamazoo Public Library. The seminar costs $40 (lower student rates are available) and is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m Nov. 5. Note: Maria Perez-Stable and Beth Amidon will also present a book talk, and additional speakers are Gillian Engberg, Booklist editor, and Debbie Reese, UIUC professor. See more on the speakers. Note: I’ll also be speaking on Nov. 4 in a public event at the Kalamazoo Public Library!