Cynsational News & Giveaways

More on In Honor (Simon & Schuster)

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cover Stories: In Honor by Jessi Kirby (Simon & Schuster, 2012) from Melissa Walker. Peek: “The art department actually went back in and put a set of dog tags dangling from Honor’s hand, which I thought was subtle and just perfect.”

Respecting Your Process by Therese Walsh from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “I’m a pantser by nature, but after the protracted process with my first book–the complete rewrite, the significant revisions on top of that–I developed a serious case of plotter envy.”

Cynsational Author Tip: List the name of your publishing company on any book marketing materials, online or off. If the imprint isn’t well known, list it along with the name of the main line. Notes: (1) This is important for credibility, marketing-event support and customer orders. (2) Bloggers, this is also useful information for your readers. (3) Ideally, you should list title, author, illustrator (if applicable), publishing house, and year of publication.

Goodreads Pledges to Remain “Independent Entity” by Lisa Campbell from The Bookseller. Peek: “Book recommendation website Goodreads has pledged to remain an ‘independent entity’, after the social media website agreed to its sale to on Thursday (28th March) ahead of the long Easter weekend.”

The Rich in Color Blog: a new blog “dedicated to reading, reviewing, talking about, and otherwise promoting young adult fiction starring people of color or written by people of color.”

Physical Attributes Entry: Faces by Becca Puglisi from The Bookshelf Muse. Peek: “One way to balance the showing and telling of physical description is to showcase a few details that really help ‘tell the story’ about who your character is and what they’ve been through up to this point.” See also Becca on Communication Breakdown in Dialogue.

Two Boys Kissing (Random House)

A New Way for Gay Characters in YA by Jen Doll from The Atlantic Wire. Peek: “In these new books, being gay or bi or lesbian or transgendered is wrapped up in conversations of identity that often transcend sexuality, and ask what happens beyond acknowledgment, coming out, and even generalized acceptance of one’s choices.”

Cart Before the Horse in Queries by Mary Kole from Peek: “When you look at the sheer number of things that get published every year, a much smaller percentage goes on to merchandising opportunities, movie options, video game licenses, and all of the other things that some aspiring writers dream about.”

Cloud Storage for Writers: Comparison & Caveats by Carolyn Kaufman from Peek: “…most writers back up their writing in some way—some keep a copy of things on a flash drive, for example, while others regularly email their manuscripts to themselves. But these days there’s an additional alternative called cloud storage, which refers to online file storage.”

Back to the Beginning; Ways to Begin a Story by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog. Peek: “Elmore Leonard says he begins with dialogue. He needs to hear his characters talking. Then he kills off the ones who don’t have interesting things to say.”

Author Insight: Branching Out Vs. Branding from Wastepaper Prose. Peek: “How big a role do feel being a diverse writer plays in an author staying in the publishing industry given the uncertain climate? Do you feel pressured to branch out?” Note: 13 authors chime in.

The Holocaust: Rescue and Resistance by Rachel Kamin from School Library Journal. Peek: “…these stories of resistance, rescue, courage, ingenuity, and survival are a beacon of light amid the dark horrors of the Holocaust. They inspire today’s readers to live by Helmuth Hubener’s words in The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti: ‘I don’t want to remember a time I could have done something but didn’t.'”

Industry Q&A with HarperCollins Editor Rosemary Brosnan by Caroline Sun from CBC Diversity. Peek: “I’ve seen strong efforts to sell diverse books that are sometimes met with low sales—and I’m thinking of Spanish-language and bilingual books in particular. It’s likely that publishers don’t quite know how to reach the market. But perhaps people who want publishers to publish more diverse books should make a commitment to buy the books.”

Winners of the Bangkok Book Award by Tarie Sabido from Asia on the Heart, World on the Mind. Peek: “To celebrate Bangkok, Thailand being the 2013 UNESCO World Book Capital, some international schools organized the Bangkok Book Awards.”

Exploring the New Adult Genre: A Q&A with Angela James (Executive Editor at Carina Press) and Margo Lipschultz (Editor at Harlequin HQN) from Harlequin. Peek: “…a genre that fills the gap between YA and contemporary romance. NA stories revolve around college- or just-post-college-age characters (18-25ish), characters that are experiencing some kind of monumental first—first love, first time away from home or first real job, first sense of adult responsibility.”

Advice for Writers at Different Stages of the Journey by C.J. Skuse from Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing. Peek: “…you
probably will get huffy at first when someone takes their red pen and puts multiple stab wounds through your masterpiece. But I’m telling you, it will be so much better once it’s gone through the process.”

National Poetry Month: Krissi Dallas: Torturing Confessions Out of Poetry from E.K. Anderson at Write All the Words! Peek: “I was going to make Poetry my best friend and, by extension, the most popular kid in my classes. Here’s how I did it….”

An Interview with National Book Award Winner, Inkie Will Alexander by Nancy Holder from The Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: “I get to feel like an author rather than someone indulging in a goblin-haunted hobby. This is a tremendous relief.”

This Week at Cynsations

Cynsational Giveaways

Christina in Dollard-des-Ormeaux is the winner of Unraveled by S.X. Bradley.

Tiffany in Georgia is the winner of Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger.

See also Giveaway: A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty from Jen Bigheart at I Read Banned Books.

More Personally

Hooray! I’m closing in on my revision of Feral Curse (Book 2 in the Feral series) for my brilliant Candlewick editor. This weekend, you can think of me, making notes as Greg Leitich Smith reads it aloud in our parlor.

At this stage of the process, I’ve re-read the story silently so many times that hearing it more slowly, in someone else’s voice is the only way to get a global view and catch typos my eye would otherwise glaze over. I have more keying in to do first, but I’m happy about my progress.

Through this revision, I’ve clarified the fantasy element, heightened the presence of an echo antagonist, built up a personality dynamic in one of the co-protagonists, and planted heartier seeds for book 3. I’ve also added more texture, sensory details, and a few brushstrokes of setting.

VCFA reception with Varian Johnson, Sean Petrie, Meredith Davis, Mary Welz, Bethany Hegedus, M.T. Anderson, April Lurie, Debbie Dunn & more. Photo courtesy of The Writing Barn.
At the VCFA reception with author-alum Varian Johnson. Photo courtesy of The Writing Barn.
With Catey Gonzales at the VCFA Novel Writing Retreat!
Tulips for Easter on my kitchen island
Visit Greg online!

Personal Links

From Greg Leitich Smith

Cynsational Events

Authors/Speakers at TLA 2013 from April 24 to April 27 in Fort Worth from the Texas Library Association. Look for Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s signing and Spirit of Texas High School author panel. See also the Itsy Bitsy Gallery to “take a chance on art at the TLA 2013 raffle” to benefit the Texas Library Disaster Relief Fund. Note: featuring an original illustration by Tom Shefelman from I, Vivali by Janice Shefelman (Eerdman’s).

YA lit readers! Join Cynthia Leitich Smith at 6:30 p.m. May 25 at Round Rock Public Library.

Join Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith at 11 a.m. June 11 at Lampasas (TX) Public Library.

Join authors Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, Nancy Werlin and ICM Partners literary agent Tina Wexler at a Whole Novel Workshop
from Aug. 4 to Aug. 10, sponsored by the Highlights Foundation. Peek:
“Our aim is to focus on a specific work in progress, moving a novel to
the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers.
Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program
one that guarantees significant progress.” Special guests: Curtis Brown
agent Sarah LaPolla, authors Bethany Hegedus and Amy Rose Capetta.

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