Cynsational News & Giveaways

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Please consider supporting We Need Diverse Books through a donation or signal boosting!

At the time of this posting, we’ve raised $56,910, which is 57% of our goal.

Thanks to all who’ve already participated.

Diverse Campaign w Thanks Card from Undercurrent on Vimeo.

Don’t miss John Green on Why We Need Diverse Books and a celebration dance by WNDB president Ellen Oh and her daughter (Ellen promised this if we made $15K within 24 hours). See also Looking for a Diverse Middle Grade Book? from CBC Diversity.

More News 

Author Interview: Martine Leavitt and Blue Mountain by Lisa Doan from WCYA The Launch Pad. Peek: “Tuk is the name of my viewpoint character – he is the biggest and the fastest and the cleverest sheep. I love him because he is smart and strong, and yet he doubts himself.”

Story Mapmakers: No GPS Required by Sarah McCoy from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “We, authors, are story cartographers. We navigate characters, plot courses of action, and direct readers in an expedition across unfamiliar terrains.”

How Morals and Basic Needs Influence a Character’s Strength by Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: “…one of the main reasons we fall in love with characters is because we want them to succeed, to achieve their goals and overcome their flaws; this is where the positive attributes come in.”

I Can’t Be Faithful — To Genre by Brian Yansky from Brian’s Blog: Diary of a Writer. Peek: “…many of the writers I love have convinced readers to know them well enough to know that their fiction won’t fit neatly into a genre label.”

Mix It Up: 15 Books About Kindness and Giving from Lee & Low. Peek: “Mix It Up At Lunch Day, an annual day started by Teaching Tolerance over a decade ago to encourage kindness and reduce prejudice in schools by encouraging students to sit and have lunch with someone new, one day out of the year.”

Kapow! Cutting Scenes Like a Superhero by Liz Michalski from Writer Unboxed. Peek: “Every single one of those deleted scenes was a tiny jewel, and it’s obvious it pained Bird to cut them.”

Not Scary Scary Children’s Books: a bibliography by Ally Watkins from ALSC Blog. Peek: “…books for your kids who want to have some Halloween reading but want to be able to sleep at night.” See also Scholastic Highlights Books that Celebrate The Day of the Dead! / ¡El Dia de los Muertos! from Latin@s in Kidlit.

Compelling Middle Grade Boy Readers to Turn the Page by Joe McGee from Project Mayhem. Peek: “Through progressive revelation, shorter chapter construction, and powerful, chapter-ending beats, middle-grade fiction can compel boy readers to keep turning pages, despite the lure of the multitude of electronic sirens.”

Best Illustrated Books from The New York Times. Note: online gallery.

When Terrifying Leaps of Faith Pay Off: An Art- and Sketch-Filled Q&A with Abby Hanlon by Jules from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Peek: “When I started the book, the scary thing was that I knew I would get better as I got to the end, and that I would have to re-do everything (somehow before the deadline).”

November is Native American Heritage Month

Here are a few links, two from American Indians in Children’s Literature, to get you started:

Cynsational Screening Room

For those who missed yesterday’s reveal of the Feral series book teaser created by Book Candy Studios! Please share the trailer with your networks and the YA readers in your life.

Morganville: The Series; Rachel Caine’s The Morganville Vampires Comes to Life, An Exclusive Behind The Scenes Look At The Web TV Series from Mundie Moms.

Cynsational Giveaways

See flap copy & enter giveaway!

The winner of Time of the Fireflies by Kimberley Griffiths Little was Anna in Indiana.

The winner of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen was Katy in Florida.

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally

Thank you, Reading Is Fundamental, for hosting me at a school visit last week at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. See AP coverage.

With Judy Blankenship Cheatham, R. Gregory Christie and Carol H. Rasco at Daily Grill in Washington, D.C.

Thank you, Writers’ League of Texas for honoring me with your children’s-YA novel award for Feral Nights (Candlewick, 2013).

With children’s picture book winner Doris Fisher, author of Army Camels (Pelican, 2013) at the Texas Book Festival.

I’ll post a full photo report on the festival tomorrow, but quickly…

Greg Leitich Smith (with Anne Bustard and Jennifer Ziegler) was a featured author for Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn.

Last call! My e-edition of Blessed (Candlewick) is on sale this month for only $1.99. A perfect read for Halloween and beyond–check it out!

Personal Links

Never Counted Out 

Cynsational Events

Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak on a panel “Where Are the Heroes of Color in Fantasy & Sci Fi Lit?” from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15 at YALSA’s YA Literature Symposium in Austin.