Cynsational News & Giveaways

Stefanie discusses Confetti Girl as a model.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Join in “It’s Complicated,” a conversation about diversity, authenticity and representation at CBC Diversity. See:

  • It’s Complicated! an introduction by Roaring Brook editor Nancy Mercado. Peek: “To begin diving into some of these questions, we’ve asked an author, an agent, an editor, and a children’s literature advocate/reviewer to weigh in on an aspect of diversity in publishing that is meaningful to them.”
  • A Prayer to the Silent by author Cynthia Leitich Smith. Peek: “You who care so much that you’re immobilized, silenced, I’m asking you to make yourselves heard.”
  • Feeding the Demand by literary agent Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel. Peek: “I’ve found it’s important to show publishers there is a demand, and in turn help them feel confident to publish even more diverse voices.”
  • Writing Outside Your Perspective by Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein. Peek: “…as a person who thinks a lot about diversity issues, I would at that point pause a moment and ask myself: Did the voice sound believable to me as that of a Mexican-American teenager, given the character and the world the author created around him? (Here I have to acknowledge that I myself am a white woman, and keep an eye on my own privileges, biases, and knowledge/lack thereof.)
  • It’s Even More Complicated Than Most People Know by Debbie Reese of American Indians of Children’s Literature. Peek: “Most people don’t know anything at all about tribal sovereignty and what it means.”

More News & Giveaways

Uncovering YA Covers 2011 from Kate Hart. A look at color distribution and minority representation on the covers of young adult novels. Note: 90% featured a white character. 1.2% featured a black character. Peek: “Of the groups represented enough to show up in a pie slice, black characters/models are not only fewest in number, they’re barely even on their own covers.”

When Life Throws You Rotten Eggs…Make Lemonade by Sarah Davies from Greenhouse Literary. Peek: “I’ve known agents who so hate imparting bad news that they just don’t
return phone calls; they disengage. It’s like the boyfriend or
girlfriend who doesn’t return messages, hoping their partner will get so
frustrated that they’ll initiate the break-up for them.”

Five Plot Fixes for Peace Makers by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: “I am really a nice person and I want my characters to be treated well. No more.”

Author Chat: A Special Aloha from Margo Sorenson by Jama Rattigan from Jama’s Alphabet Soup. Peek: “Truly, moving back to the Mainland was a culture shock in so many ways, and, especially as a teacher, I wished that my California students would be able to understand how the aloha spirit worked, as it did in Hawai’i.”

Nurturing Your Inner Nerd by Dom Testa from P.J. Hoover at Roots in Myth. Post includes giveaway of Dom’s novel, The Comet’s Curse: A Galahad Book (Tor, 2011). Eligibility: North America. Deadline: 12:01 a.m. June 2.

Don’t Think Too Much: You’ll Create a Problem That Wasn’t Even There by Julie Musil from Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing. Peek: “I read about noun/verb placement, misplaced modifiers, and comma usage, and began to over-analyze my work. I found myself worrying less about a good story, and worrying more about mechanics.”

Think Like an Author by Danyelle Leafty from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “An author is someone who goes in and gets the job done.”

Traditional vs. Self-publishing is a False Dichotomy
from Nathan Bransford. Peek: “We’re all writers trying to figure out
the best way to get our books to readers. We’re all on the same team.”

Confusion Is Not the Same as Mystery by Mary Kole from Peek: “…if you give us no grounding information at the beginning–if it’s all action and no context–you run the risk of confusing your reader with not enough information.” See also Sounds Great, No Substance.

It’s Raining Cupcakes Birthday Party by Lisa Schroeder from Lisa’s Little Corner of the Internet. Peek: “Check out all of these adorable pictures, which I was told I could share on my blog. So impressed with all of the details that went into the decorations and everything!”

This is Your Guarantee of Failure. Proceed Anyway. from Danielle LaPorte. Peek: “There will be many, many things that you’ll wish you had said — fiercely loving and bravely tender things, righteously justice-rendering things that could change everything — but instead, you’ll fail to rise in the way you wanted to.” Source: Ruth McNally Barshaw.

Fact and Fiction: One Author Sharing Story by Bethany Hegedus from ALSC Blog. Peek: “There is an adage in writing—write what you know.  I do that. But I also write what I don’t know. Fiction for me takes a little bit of facts—some from my own life—and mixes it with a whole lot of what ifs and what thens.”

How Much Interaction Should an Author Have With Readers? from Jody Hedlund. Peek: “a few days later she said, ‘Mom, I haven’t heard back from that author yet. Do you think she’ll write back to me?” Source: Stina Lindenblatt from Seeing Creative.

Pace Yourself! The Art of Pacing a  Novel from Elissa Cruz. Peek: “A story with lots of action that’s sparse on details is going to be
fast-paced.  A story that weaves you through setting and details and
inner monologues but where the characters don’t do much is going to be

Trailer Talk: While He Was Away and The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond from Crowe’s Nest. Peek: “If I was using Karen’s trailer as a primer on trailers for my novel-writing students, this is what I’d probably tell them….”

Cynsational Giveaways

Learn more!

Enter to win a signed copy of Brendan Buckley’s Sixth-Grade Experiment by Sundee T. Frazier (Delacorte, 2012).

To enter, comment on this post (click previous link and scroll) and include an email address (formatted
like: cynthia at cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email
address. Or you can email Cynthia directly with “Brendan Buckley” in the subject line.
Author sponsored. Eligibility: U.S./Canada. Deadline: midnight May 28.

Read an author interview about the book with Sundee.

The winner of a signed copy of Eye of the Sword by Karyn Henley (Book 2 of the Angelaeon Circle)(WaterBrook, 2012) was Betsy in Ohio.

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally

The first official day of summer may be June 20, but it feels as if it’s already here. Schools are concluding their spring semesters. Austin feels a bit empty with the U.T. students gone. On the upside, the waits are sure a lot shorter at local restaurants, and a sushi joint has just opened in my neighborhood.

Meanwhile, I plan to feature a bounty of ideas for summer reading, including more book trailer posts. If you’re a regular Cynsations reader and I haven’t previously highlighted your 2011-spring 2012 book, zip me a link to your trailer and maybe you’ll see it here in the days to come.

What else? If you haven’t already, please join in this week’s CBC Diversity conversation. Don’t miss my post, A Prayer to the Silent.

Wow! A letter from Dolly!

Yee haw! My 2010 picture book, Holler Loudly, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton) has once again been selected for inclusion in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

This literacy program serves children from birth through preschool.
See Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library on facebook and find out how you can help.
Follow Imagination Library on Twitter.

See also a Pre-K teacher guide for Holler Loudly, created by Shannon Morgan (guides for kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2 are likewise available (PDFs)).

Personal Links:

Swag shop!

From Greg Leitich Smith:

Cynsational Events

Central Texans! Mark your calendars for June 9 at BookPeople! Greg Leitich Smith will speak on “Writing Speculative Fiction” at 10 a.m. and Don Tate will host a book launch and signing of It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (Lee & Low, 2012) at noon.

Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will appear June 30 at Bastop Public Library in Bastrop, Texas.

Interested in taking a class with Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith this summer?

3 thoughts on “Cynsational News & Giveaways

  1. Hi again. I was hoping to read your Jingle Dancer at the Toronto Public Library but they don't have it. They do have many of yourother books, especially many copies of your paranormal novels. You might wish to contact them to order also the Jingle Dancer. I can find for you the appropriate contact. I read on Amazon the first and last pages from the book. I really enjoyed the line ..the Moon kissed the Sun good night. Only today I've learned that you are Native American, which is cool to know. Best wishes to you and your husband.

  2. Hi Giora, Thank you for your interest in Jingle Dancer. Librarians are much more responsive to local reader requests than those from authors. Next time you're at the library, ask how to request an order or interlibrary loan. The book can be found at other libraries in Canada, so I'm sure they can get it in. Happy reading! Tink, tink, tink, tink.

    My pleasure, Tricia! You're both gems!

Comments are closed.