Cynsational News & Giveaways

To Sir, With Love: Meet Terry Pratchett—royal knight, creator of Discworld, and one cool dude by Jonathan Hunt from School Library Journal. Peek: “Amazingly, I find that children understand rather more than their parents think they do.” See Terry’s Books for Young Adults. Source: Confessions of a Bibliovore.

The Cliché: Unloved and Underappreciated by Danyelle Leafty from Blog. Peek: “It’s definitely possible to work within conventions while still bringing something new and fresh to the table. I write fairy tale-type fantasy, and those clichés and tropes can come in handy because they resonate with the reader.”

Featured Sweetheart: Lara Perkins, Publishing Manager for Laura Rennert of Andrea Brown Literary by P.J. Hoover from The Texas Sweethearts. Peek: “As Laura’s publishing manager, I work closely with Laura as a part of her business, and my work combines some of the duties of an editor/agent with those of a business manager.”

Promoting Your Book: The Do’s and Don’t’s of Being a Great Interviewee by Carolyn Kaufman from Peek: “The more personable and professional you can be, the better the interviewer (and probably readers) will like you.”

Kidlit Con 2011: How It’s Shaping Up by Colleen Mondor from Chasing Ray. Kidlit Con will take place Sept. 16 and Sept. 17 in Seattle. Prices are quite reasonable, and early bird rates are available until July 1.

New Faces at Pippin Properties: An Interview with Literary Agents Elena Mechlin and Joan Slattery by Bethany Hegedus from Hunger Mountain. Peek: “The Underneath and Stitches are great examples of some of the darker work on Pippin’s shelves, but one common thread, and an important one in darker work aimed at younger audiences, is that there is a sense of hope and redemption in each.”

How to Handle a Negative Critique by Kathy Temean from Writing and Illustrating. Peek: “You must mentally prepare yourself beforehand to the possibility that the person critiquing your manuscript may not like what you submitted.”

Please Don’t Serial Query by Mary Kole from Peek: “…you need to get to the next phase of your development, and possibly the phase after that, or the phase after that phase, before you’re ready. So don’t send me something else, immediately, from the same phase of your development.”

What Happens When the Chains Won’t Carry You by R.L. LaFevers from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Note: Robin talks money, using actual examples from her own books.

Giveaway reminder: Enter to win an author-signed advanced reader copy of Tantalize: Kieren’s Story, a graphic novel by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Ming Doyle (Candlewick, Aug. 2011), plus a magnetic Sanguini’s wipe board! Note: Sanguini’s is the fictional restaurant that appears in Tantalize and Tantalize: Kieren’s Story. To enter, comment on this post (click link), specify “Tantalize: Kieren’s Story” and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or you can email me directly with “Tantalize: Kieren’s Story” in the subject line. Author-sponsored. Deadline: June 17. This giveaway is for U.S.-Canada readers.

The Year of Being a Writer from Jo Knowles. Peek: “It is a very scary thing, to really put your writing first. I mean, in front of a sure thing as far as a paycheck goes. But this, too, seems what being a writer is all about. Having a little faith in yourself.” Scroll to view the book trailer for Pearl by Jo Knowles (Henry Holt, July 2011).

Take it to Heart or Shake It Off: Two Truths About Handling Criticism from Ashley Perez. Peek: “…the people to listen to are those who have a specific sense of what your writing is like when it’s at its best. That is, their criticism is not geared toward turning what you’ve written into “their kind of thing” but rather is committed to helping you make your work what it is trying to be.”

Jessica Lee Anderson: newly redesigned official author site. Jessica’s next release will be Calli (Milkweed, September 2011).

Rejection is Not Personal from Nathan Bransford – Author. Peek: “It’s one thing to know it, it’s another thing to live it.”

The Light and Round Project

“The perception that there’s no variety in YA isn’t true. Dark and edgy may be popular, and it absolutely deserves its spot on the shelf, but there are plenty of options and variety for people who are seeking something different. But the problem is, how to find it?”
Jennifer Bertman

The Light and Round Project from The Mixed-Up Files of Jennifer Bertman will consist of a weekly roundup of suggestions for tween/YA books that are light-to-absent on dark and edgy elements.

Anyone can participate. If you are a blogger, email her a link to your post about a book that fits in this category. If you aren’t a blogger, email her the book title, author, whatever you’d like to say about it, and a link to more information on the author’s, publisher’s or an Indiebound book page. Write fromthemixedupfiles(at)gmail(dot)com, and specify “The Light and Round Project” as the subject heading. There’s no limit on the number of books you can recommend.

The latest roundup will be posted every Wednesday. Jennifer also will manage a running list of all the suggested books and related posts. (If multiple people submit a review/blog post for the same book, she’ll include all links under the book title.)

Jenn says, “What constitutes ‘dark and edgy’ is subjective, and I don’t want to place judgments on books. If it meets your criteria, then please share it. I’ll post a note on The Light and Round Project page that the list is comprised of suggestions only, and to use one’s personal taste to guide choices.”

Cynsational Screening Room

Check out the book trailer for Penelope Popper: Book Doctor by author-librarian Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Jana Christy (Upstart, 2011).

Check out the trailer for Pearl by Jo Knowles (Henry Holt, July 2011).

Check out the book trailer for Haunted by Joy Preble (Sourcebooks, 2011).

Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Angel: A Tribute Trailer by CarSmellBorp. Source: Kim Baccellia.

Mark your calendars! I’ll be appearing as a comic creator Nov. 11 to Nov. 13 at Wizard World Austin Comic Con, which is also featuring “Buffy”/“Angel” actors James Marsters (“Spike”) and Charisma Carpenter (“Cordelia”), and that makes my little geek heart sing.

More Personally

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith: a “five bats” review by Amy from A Simple Love of Reading. Peek: “The human world and the underworld blend seamlessly in this novel, and her characters are honest and well rounded.” Note: some spoilers.

Crissa Jean Chappell at Total Constant Order talks about her students’ reactions to various YA books/shorts, including my short story, “The Wrath of Dawn,” co-authored by Greg Leitich Smith for Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little Brown). Peek: “I took this home and read it with my daughter.”

“Cat Calls:” Short Story Success for Cynthia Leitich Smith by Karleen from Kids’ Ebook Bestsellers. My free e-book short story “Cat Calls” hit the #3 spot on the Books on Board e-book store bestseller list last week.

Thoughts on Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu by Matt Thompson from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology. Peek: “The art work in Jingle Dancer is stunning. Bold and rich watercolor over the faintest charcoal lines. I have not seen finer watercolor in a children’s book.”

Personal Links:

From Greg Leitich Smith:

Tweet of the Week:

@davidlubar Confession: I save the really dark stuff for my middle-grade readers, ’cause they get too many puppies and rainbows. #yasaves #mgtraumatizes

Cynsational Events

The First Annual BooksmART Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11 as part of Arts & Letters Live from the Dallas Museum of Art. Peek: “Come spend the day with authors, illustrators, musicians and actors, and enjoy talks, workshops, gallery tours, and entertainment, designed to appeal to every member of the family and every age group.” Featured children’s-YA book creators include Rick Riordan, Norton Juster, Laurie Halse Anderson, David Wiesner, Jerry Pinkney, Gene Luen Yang, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Duncan Tonatiuh, Antonio Sacre, Joe McDermott, Jan Bozarth, and Ann Marie Newman. See also Dallas Museum of Art Announces Artists for First Annual BooksmART Festival by Mechele R. Dillard from The Examiner.

Authors Jennifer Ziegler and Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak to YA readers at 2 p.m. June 18 at Bee Cave Public Library in Bee Cave, Texas. Mark your calendars for book talk and pizza! See also event planner information on booking Jennifer and Cynthia for the joint “From Classics to Contemporary” program–two authors for the price of one!

Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak to the Cedar Park Teen Book Club at 11 a.m. June 25 at Cedar Park (TX) Public Library.

2 thoughts on “Cynsational News & Giveaways

  1. Thank you for including my project in your roundup! 🙂

    R.L. LaFevers article about book chains is fascinating, and the advice Kathy Temean offers for receiving a negative critique is spot on. Looking forward to checking out more of these links!

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