The Texas Library Association has announced its 2007-2008 Tayshas list. Titles include: Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz (Hyperion, 2006); What Happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles (Little Brown, 2006)(author interview); and Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (Razorbill, 2005)(author interview). See the whole list (PDF).
Attention Austinites: Mark your calendars for April 28th when Austin SCBWI authors and illustrators will be featured in a MEET THE AUTHOR autograph party from 11a.m. to 1 p.m at Barnes and Noble Westlake. At last count, twelve authors and two illustrators were planning to be on hand to sign books. Note: Greg and I will not be at the event; however signed copies of our books will be available.
Interview with Heather Brewer, author of Eighth Grade Bites (Dutton, August 2007), by Little Willow at Slayground.
KLIATT says of my new release Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007): "For those who enjoy the horror of the original Dracula or the heart-wrenching sorrow of Romeo and Juliet, Smith's book will be seen as a fresh, updated version of these timeless classics."
School Library Journal raves: "Readers will be tantalized by this dark, romantic, and disturbing fantasy of vampires, werewolves, and a strong no-nonsense heroine. Fans of Stephenie Meyer and Annette Curtis Klause will eat it up."
In related news, Tantalize has been nominated for the TLA 2008-2009 Tayshas list! Nominees also include: Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, 2007); St. Iggy by K.L. Going (Harcourt, 2006)(author interview); Dark Water Rising by Marian Hale (Holt, 2006)(author interview); Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (HarperCollins, 2006)(author interview); 21 Proms, edited by David Levithan (Scholastic, 2007)(author interview); The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)(author interview); Wait for Me by An Na (Putnam, 2006)(recommendation); Notes from a Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic, 2006)(author interview); Blind Faith by Ellen Wittlinger (Simon & Schuster, 2006); Rubber Houses by Ellen Yeomans (Little Brown, 2007); and Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (Little Brown, 2007)(author interview). See all the nominees (xls file)!
Even More Personally
Like many (all?) authors, I'm utterly "skinless." The Doubt-O-Nator* stalks me. It is much like the folk, unkept.
So, when I first began writing, I decided that I wouldn't read reviews of my books, obsess over sales ranks, or otherwise fret--good or bad--whatever might emerge in reply from the universe.
I quickly found out that this was counter-productive. Such references are important to keeping up one's bio, promotion, targeting markets, updating teaching applications, etc.
Yet authors are often left out of the news cycle. Publishers may pass on reviews or articles or announcements of awards/nominations...or they may not. Often, we bring the information to them. Why? No one else is affected more, and no one else cares as much. It's up to us to "Google" ourselves and our titles.
Still, I have been doing that too much lately.
Tantalize followed very shortly after Santa Knows (Dutton, fall 2006). The new novel has largely completed its pro review cycle, and overall, the reception has been lovely. We're in the fifth printing. And I'm honored to play a small role in the YA literature community I've so long admired.
At the same time, I've been living in the famed "season of nausea" since ARCs went out at the last BEA. I've spent more than one sleepless night fretting 102 ellipses, waited out a cover art revision, and second-guessed myself for initially not trying to sell more than one of the books in my intended, overarching story.**
Consequently, I need to just say nada to Google and Technorati and their Web-scanning pals. Regroup, focus, write.
My point being: if there is something you'd like me to see, please just write me personally. Don't assume I'll know otherwise.
Meanwhile, I'll be tapping away at my keyboard, sporting my PJs uniform, drinking iced tea with Splenda, assisted by my writer cats. Studying and celebrating books by other folks. Living footloose and nausea free. Thanks!
*Nancy Werlin calls hers "Fearnando," which is (a) my inspiration (b) more charming.
**I'd felt convinced that I had to first prove readers would accept my doing non-Indian-themed work. Others seemed to think so, too. Given early signs, though, I feel comfortable saying that I've always envisioned Tantalize as the beginning of a larger story, and I wrote it that way. If the universe is willing, I have hopes for more to come.