Cynsational News & Giveaways

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Congratulations to Michelle Knudsen on the elease of Big Mean Mike, illustrated by Scott Magoon (Candlewick, 2012). From the promotional copy:

Mean Mike is the biggest, toughest dog in the whole neighborhood. He
has a big, mean car that he likes to drive around the big, mean streets.
Everyone knows that Mike is big and mean, and that’s just the way he
likes it.

But one day a tiny, fuzzy bunny shows up in his
car. Mike can’t believe it! Before anyone can see, he puts the bunny
down on the sidewalk and drives away.

When the tiny,
fuzzy bunny shows up again — and this time brings a friend — Mike tells
them both to get lost. Big mean dogs do not hang out with tiny, fuzzy

But gosh, those bunnies sure are cute. . . .  A
comical lesson about how keeping up your image is not nearly as fun as
being your own quirky self.

Join Michelle at the launch party at 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at WORD in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

More News & Giveaways

Do You Have a Writerly Support System? How Important Is It to Your Process? from Wastepaper Prose. Note: several YA authors chime in.

Romance by Jennifer R. Hubbard from writerjenn. Peek: “We human beings are famously afraid of our own vulnerabilities, and we often get squicked out by our own desire to have someone hold us or show us we are cherished or tell us we are loved.”

The Door to Acceptance by Kimberly Sabatini from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing. Peek: “The passage of moving from a writer to an author is never completely in your control. Do your best to grow your craft and always value your journey as much, if not more than, the prize of publication.”

Character as Plot by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog. Peek: “The way to a character’s heart (and isn’t that where we, as writers, are trying to get?) is through the things he or she wants/needs/desires and the things he or she fears.”

Impartial Observers by Mary Kole from Peek: “That’s what writers and shy kids do, they observe. While this is perfect in real life, it doesn’t work well for fiction.”

Separate, Not Equal by Coe Booth from CBC Diversity. Peek: “I can’t tell you how many libraries I’ve been to where my books are not even shelved in the mainstream YA section. They are relegated to the shelf labeled ‘Street Lit’ where the books about black people live.”

Andrew Karre on Editing in the YA Boom Era by Mitali Perkins from Mitali’s Fire Escape. Peek: “I believe the teenage population of the US crested at an all-time high
sometime around 2007. I have no idea where I saw that number, but I know I saw it.”

Process Talk: Kate Hosford’s Fictional Uma and Infinity by Uma Krishnaswami from Writing with a Broken Tusk. Peek: “Yes, children will be confounded by infinity, but no more so than the
rest of us. Rather than ignore a topic like this for children, isn’t it better to simply explore it?”

MFA Programs: The Golden Ticket? by Mary Ann Rodman from Teaching Authors. Peek: “…my rejection letters all said the same thing…’you write really well but…’ But what?  Nobody would tell me. My MFA program did.”

Possibilities by Ginger Johnson from Quirk and Quill. Peek: “Once upon a time, you stood on an empty stage. Space surrounded you:
stage left, stage right, upstage, downstage. Just you and the space and the lights and possibility.”

The Biggest Mistake Writers Make and How to Avoid It by Lisa Cron from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “…writers tend to believe that the more lyrical the language, the more
compelling the novel. Not so. In fact, lovely words that do not in some
way move the story forward, stop it cold.”

The Stephen King Guide to Marketing by Jason Kong from Jane Friedman. Peek: “…you really ought to try to please at least some of the readers some of the time.”

Using Personal Issues to Enhance Fiction by Carolyn Kaufman from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “From a psychological standpoint, there is often something healing in writing, and if you are continually finding the same theme on your page,
that repetition compulsion (i.e. a repetitive re-enactment of a particular set of circumstances) may indicate something you (and your characters) need to work through before you’re going to be able to move on to something new.”

Do You Have a Novel to Finish by Dec. 1? Sign up for JoNoWriMo+1.5 from Jo Knowles.

The Definition of Action by Mary Kole from Peek: “Action means something that has story consequences.”

18 Questions to Ask Yourself about Gender Relations in Your Novel from Mette Ivie Harrison. Peek: “Who has the most power?”

Editor Interview: Heather Alexander, Dial Books/Penguin by L.B. Schulman from Emu’s Debuts. Peek: “There isn’t a ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting (to Publish)’
guide—although maybe there should be—so there is a lot of managing
expectations, and explaining the process.”

New Study: 55% of YA Books Bought by Adults from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Accounting for 28% of sales, these adults aren’t just purchasing for
others — when asked about the intended recipient, they report that 78%
of the time they are purchasing books for their own reading.”

Beware What Your Say by Stina Lindenblatt from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: “…while you’re finding fault with his successes, you can guarantee his other friends aren’t. They’re happy for him and being supportive.”

Cynsational Giveaways

Breaking News! Debbie Ridpath Ohi has added a hand-drawn doodle to the I’m Bored giveaway!

The winner of Beauty Shop for Rent by Laura Bowers was Susan in Virginia, and the winners of Just Flirt by Laura Bowers were Tal in Jerusalem, Jamie in Oregon and Melodie in Calgary.

The winner of three picture books (and one F&G) by Pat Mora has still not responded with an address; check your email!

This Week at Cynsations 

Cynsational Screening Room

Trent Reedy debuts a new author video program; read a Cynsations interview with Trent.

1000 Books for Hope: “…a book drive to collect 1000 good books for…five new libraries in Kenya, serving a dozen schools and thousands of readers eager for a few of your favorite books.”

More Personally

Exciting news! Advanced reader copies of Feral Nights are in the house! I can’t wait to show y’all the gorgeous cover art–the rockin’ design team at Candlewick has really outdone itself!

Here’s a shout out to Ramsey and all the students in Mrs. Steinberg’s class at Seaford Middle School in Seaford, New York! I understand y’all are reading my debut novel, Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001). Don’t miss the behind-the-scenes chapter insights in the sidebar here. Hope you enjoy Rain’s story–holler if you have any questions!

Congratulations to Greg Leitich Smith and the rest of the authors (including Austin’s own Shana Burg, Nikki Loftin, Jacqueline Kelly, Cynthia Levinson, Liz Garton Scanlon, Don Tate, and Philip Yates) to appear at the Texas Book Festival Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 in Austin!

Thanks to Zest Books for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week shout out! I think you’re awesome, too!

Personal Links

Cynsational Events

Cynthia Leitich Smith will be part of the mass reading of “Buried Treasure” at 2 p.m. at the O. Henry 150th Birthday Crawl Sept. 15 at the O. Henry Museum in Austin, Texas.

Join Newbery Honor author Marion Dane Bauer
for a free live teleconference at 7 p.m. EST Sept. 19. She will also be
offering a free live webinar on “Point of View in Fiction” at 7 p.m.
EST Sept. 26. See more information.

Visit the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels

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