Cynsational News & Giveaways

Sequels by Michelle Knudsen from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: “When my editor expressed interest in a sequel, I was thrilled — and terrified. For the first time I had to really think about how to continue to the story, and figure out how to approach writing a new book that depended so much on something already written and out in the world.” Don’t miss part two, featuring insights from Ellen Jensen Abbott, Cinda Williams Chima, Janni Lee Simner, Jill Santopolo.

Plot Points and Vanishing Points by Danyelle Leafty from Peek: “Imagine the specific things that are happening in the story. These are the plot points. Plot points can be either external or internal to the character. Or even better–both. Those points would be the trees spaced out in the picture.”

Online Persona Workshop Week 6 by R.L. LaFevers from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: “While there are advantages to blogging daily (the more often your content is updated, the higher up on the search engine returns you are placed) in terms of building and connecting with an audience, consistency is probably more important than volume. Blog every Monday or every Tuesday & Thursday, or whatever works for your schedule. But be consistent.”

Whitney Awards: “an awards program for novels by LDS authors.” Note: “honor novels in the following categories: General Fiction, Romance, Suspense/Mystery, Speculative Fiction, Youth Fiction, Historical, Best Novel of the Year, and Best Novel by a New Author. Novels can be nominated by any reader (via this website or by mail), and nominees are voted on by an academy of industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics, and others.” Source & for more information: Stacy Whitman.

Why Backstory is the Bomb from Denise Jaden. Peek: “Just because we don’t want that backstory up front, doesn’t mean we don’t need it at all. It doesn’t mean that we can vaguely imagine a few scenarios of what could have been the history of our characters. We have to know. And for that, in most cases, we have to write it.”

Top 10 Religion Books for Youth from Booklist. Peek: “Religion and spirituality, sometimes bright, sometimes with a darker edge, get memorable treatments in these books reviewed over the course of the last year in Booklist.” Source: Lee & Low.

Bethany Hegedus, Featured Author from ReaderKidZ. Peek: “I revise and revise and revise. I both love it and hate it. What I love about revision is I can shape and play and try, try, again. With writing, what you first put down on the page isn’t supposed to be perfect. I like that.”

Get to a Bookstore by Julie Berry from The MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Massachusetts. Peek: “Your local independent bookstore employs those rare and priceless gems – salespeople who eagerly steer you around the store to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. From infants to octogenarians, they can find you the exact titles to suit your people.”

Happy 40th Anniversary to BookPeople in Austin, Texas! Here’s to 40 more!

Novels — Sagging-Middle Fixes by Kathy Temean from Writing and Illustrating, reporting on a workshop by Anita Nolan. A list of strategies.

2011 Debut YA/Middle Grade Authors of Color compiled by MissAttitude from Reading In Color. Peek: “I decided to publish this list earlier to put the books on people’s radars and hopefully you can add on to my list!”

Deepening Your Novel with Imagery, Symbolism, and Figurative Language by Martina from Adventures in Children’s Publishing. Peek: “For me, it’s a combination of the above, but it’s also that indefinable magic that suddenly makes symbols and images appear in the writing without my knowledge, the overarching, structural metaphors and symbols that bring disparate elements together and illuminate what the story is about.”

Just Stay Comma by Jan Fields from the Institute of Children’s Literature. Peek: “Now before you enter the terrifying world of the comma, you must remember one thing: the basic purpose of all punctuation is to help make text easier to read.”

Interview with Laura Purdie Salas – Writing for the Educational Market by Donna Bowman Bratton from Simply Donna. Peek: “Educational publishers today are aiming to not just provide accurate information but to also engage and entertain kids.”

Should You Include Illustration Notes in Your Picture Book Manuscript? by Mary Kole from Peek: “The point of an illustration note is to convey something to the manuscript reader that is not obvious from the text.”

Historical Fiction Month: a celebration by Melissa Rabey from Librarian By Day. Peek: ““Every weekday in November, there will be discussion of young adult historical fiction. Whether it’s a book review, an essay from a guest contributor, or a post from me, readers will learn new things about historical fiction.” Source: Liz B at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy. Note: learn more about Historical Fiction for Teens: A Genre Guide by Melissa Rabey (Libraries Unlimited, Dec. 30, 2010).

Congratulations to Kathryn Erskine, author of Mockingbird (Philomel, 2010)! Cheers also to the finalists: Paolo Bacigalupi, Ship Breaker (Little, Brown); Laura McNeal, Dark Water (Knopf); Walter Dean Myers, Lockdown (Amistad/HarperCollins); Rita Williams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer (Amistad/HarperCollins). Note: links lead to full NBA information and author interviews related to each of the honored books. See also Sara Zarr’s thoughts on the NBA judging process.

Random House to Shutter Tricycle Press by Judith Rosen from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “As of January 31st Random House Children’s Books is discontinuing the frontlist publishing program of Berkeley-based Tricycle Press, the 18-year-old children’s book imprint.” Notes: (a) bad news, I know, but it’s best that writers aren’t awaiting answers on manuscripts at this imprint; (b) thank you to the authors, illustrators, editors, and publishing professionals at Tricycle for all of the wonderful books you’ve created over the past almost 20 years. Tricycle is already missed.

The Apocalypsies: Children’s and Young Adult Authors Debuting in 2012. Note: fellow 2012 debut authors are invited to contact the group for information about joining. official site of the debut author of What Can’t Wait (Carolrhoda Lab, 2011)(excerpt). Peek: “When I’m not reading, writing, studying, or teaching, I am very busy hanging out with our little boy, Liam Miguel. He keeps me very, very busy. In the scraps of time that remain, I also like to run (I did the Houston Marathon in 2007 and the Chicago Marathon in 2009), bake (but let’s don’t revive the ‘Cookie Girl’ nickname, please), watch movies, work in my garden, and destroy my mother in long-distance games of Scrabble.”

Do Book Reports Make Boys Want to Scream? by Margie Gelbwasser from Scholastic Instructor. Peek: “Here are eight surefire ideas that will send them running—to the library.”

The 2011 Kerlan Award has been awarded to children’s author Jane Kurtz. The Kerlan Award is given by the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children’s literature. The award ceremony will be held next April.

SCBWI National States Position Regarding Self-Publishing from Austin SCBWI. Note: five points.

Happy Birthday Author: Where Reading and Birthdays Come Together. Peek: “The goal of this blog is to encourage families to read a variety of books together. The format of celebrating authors on their birthdays provides families an opportunity to have fun while developing their reading interests. I started celebrating the birthdays of children’s authors when I was a teacher. Luckily, I am able to continue the celebrations as I am stay at home dad for my three children.”

How to subscribe to KidsBuzz to “‘Meet’ the Authors”

Great news! In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be joining the ranks for authors featured at KidsBuzz! Here’s how to jump in. See also Publicist Interview: Deborah Sloan of Deborah Sloan and Company.

  • Subscribe to Shelf Awareness: Daily Enlightenment for the Book Trade (KidsBuzz runs in this book trade e-newsletter every other Monday and Wednesday).
  • Subscribe to enewsletter (via your local library); be sure to select the “KidsBuzz” e-newsletter (though there are lots of other subjects that might interest you, too).
  • To learn about new books for book clubs/book groups (grades 2 – 12), see Kidsbookclubbing.
  • Follow @KidsAuthorBuzz on Twitter for news of new authors, why they wrote their books and want is it about these books that makes them just-right for kids and teens (plus freebie offers too).
  • Subscribe to The Picnic Basket blog for notes about new KidsBuzz authors and books.
  • Follow KidsBuzz on Facebook.

Cynsational Screening Room

Maya Soetoro-Ng talks about Ladder to the Moon, illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Candlewick, 2010).

Yuyi Morales talks about Ladder to the Moon written by Maya Soetoro-Ng (Candlewick, 2010).

In the video below, Scholastic interviews Siobhan Vivian, Cecil Castellucci, and Natalie Standiford.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of Love Drugged by James Klise (Flux, 2010).

To enter the giveaway, email me (scroll and click envelope) and type “Love Drugged” in the subject line. Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are welcome to just message me with the title in the header or comment on this round-up. I’ll write you for contact information, if you win. Deadline: midnight CST Nov. 30. U.S. entries only; sponsored by the author.

Win an ARC of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2011) from Jama Rattigan from Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup. Deadline: Nov. 21. See details. Peek: “Sounds tantalizing, no? If you’re seriously salivating over the prospect of more amped-up vamps, generous servings of diabolically delicious suspense, romance, wit and gothic gore presented in a contemporary setting, enter this giveaway post haste!”

More Personally

Inside the Writer’s Studio with Cynthia Leitich Smith: an interview by Bethany Hegedus from Writer Friendly; Bookshelf Approved. Peek: “The challenge is time. Over the ten years I’ve been actively publishing, the marketing/business expectations that fall on authors have multiplied tenfold while we’re expected to produce books—of the same, if not higher, caliber—on a quicker and more predictable schedule.”

Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Barry Gott: a recommendation from Uma Krishnaswami. Peek: “How can you not fall in love with a book in which Mama and Daddy Loudly name their baby Holler because he cries so loud?”

Soup of the Day: Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Barry Gott by Jama Rattigan from Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup. Peek: “Better tie yourself down, lest you end up flyin’, blowin’, and catapultin’ through this uproarious, outlandish taller than tall tale.” Note: the love, energy and creativity that Jama puts into her blog is simply jaw-dropping. Check out what she did with that soup bowl! Note: also features some interior spreads.

We Hollered Loudly about Alien Invasion and Truth with a Capital T: a report by Donna Bowman Bratton from Simply Donna on Sunday’s launch event at BookPeople. Peek: “Besides the delicious books just waiting to be snatched up by adoring fans, all in attendance enjoyed chili, cake, and the yummiest sugar cookies prepared by author Anne Bustard.”

Even more personally, my mother sent celebratory flowers!

Cynsational Events

“Fangs vs. Fur” event will include Cynthia Leitich Smith 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 19 at the University Hills Branch (4721 Loyola Ln.) of the Austin Public Library. From the promotional copy:

In a literary battle between vampires and werewolves, who will be victorious? You be the judge!

Play Family Feud: Vampires vs. Werewolves. Sink your fangs or teeth into the sumptuous Blood Bar. Compete for prizes in the Costume Contest or go for the gusto in the Howling Contest, if you dare. Enjoy Twilight sock-puppet theater, vampire and werewolf anime films, a Vampire Knight and Hellsing manga and anime discussion, and so much more.

For more information, call 512.974.9940.

Save the Date! Joint Launch Party: Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick) and Night School by Mari Mancusi (Berkley) book party and signing at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at BookPeople in Austin.