Interview: Claudia Gray from Teen Libris. Peek: "I used to live in New Orleans, so I learned a lot about the city's history then. That history inspired Patrice's character, more as who she was when she was still alive than as the vampire she became." Note: Win a copy of Immortal: Love Stories with Bite edited by P. C. Cast (BenBella, Aug. 2008)(PDF excerpt)(exclusive to Borders) from Teen Libris! Deadline: July 31.
Linda Joy Singleton Book Spotlight and Author Interview from Zensanity. Peek: "I stopped writing from about age 17 to 27, gaining experiences of love, marriage, family. Then I reclaimed my writing dreams, joined a writing group, critique group, worked very hard, and sold my first book at age 30." Read a Cynsations interview with Linda Joy Singleton.
Harry Potter fans pay £1,000 a night to stay in hotel room where JK Rowling finished series by Simon Johnson from The Telegram. Peek: "Despite living in Edinburgh, Miss Rowling, 42, checked into room 552 at the city's Balmoral Hotel to complete the series in January last year." Source: Bookshelves of Doom.
FaerieDrink.com Summer's End Contest: enter to win "a Zelda Wii Game, autographed books by Holly Black, an autographed Spiderwick poster, a 'Spiderwick' movie poster, assorted goods from other authors, Bad Girls Club by Judy Gregerson, and a Macbook Tithe Case!" Enter here. Read a Cynsations interview with Holly.
Books Lists: newly updated from Wired for Youth at the Austin Public Library. Categories include: African-American authors; fairy tales with a twist; fantasy; ghosts; GLBTQ; Hispanic Teen fiction; horror; humor; multicultural fiction; mysteries and thrillers; novels in verse; science fiction; Texas authors; vampires; werewolves and shapeshifters; biography; and much more! Note: avid readers, collection builders, and MFA students may want to bookmark.
"The primary focus of ArmadilloCon is literary science fiction, but that's not all we do -- we also pay attention to art, animation, science, media, and gaming. Every year, dozens of professional writers, artists and editors attend the convention. We invite you to attend the convention especially if you are a fan of reading, writing, meeting, sighting, feeding, knighting, and all the other things folks do at a sci-f/fantasy convention." Note: I'll be on the program (not sure of the specifics yet), and I hope to see y'all there!
Slumber Party @ Teen Fest: April Lurie (author interview), Jennifer Ziegler (author interview), and Cynthia Leitich Smith will join forces in a "lively, intimate discussion about books and writing for teen girls" at noon Aug. 2 at Carver Branch Library/Austin Public Library in Austin, Texas. The event will include a book signing, "games, snacks, beauty tips, and even a passionate reading contest. Pajamas and pillows optional!"
Warning: Only Two Non-Critique Spots Remain! Austin SCBWI's "A Day with an Editor" featuring Jill Santopolo, author and senior editor at Laura Geringer/HarperCollins, and author Cynthia Leitich Smith will be Sept. 13. Jill is interested in literary novels, quirky middle grades, and picture books. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College and is the author of Alec Flint, Super Sleuth: The Nina, The Pinta and the Vanishing Treasure (Scholastic/Orchard, 2008). Note: as of this past Wednesday (the 23th), there were only two non-critique spots left! This event will sell out before the early-bird deadline! If you're interested, the time to commit is now!
From BookPeople: author Eoin Colfer will be presenting his "hilarious one-man show" at 7 p.m. July 27 at St. Edward's University in Austin. "During the show Eoin will give the audience a rare peek at the inspiration for the teenage criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl." Tickets are $25 and include a copy of Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (Hyperion, 2008). A signing will follow. Tickets are now available at BookPeople. Note: general admission tickets will be $8 the evening of the event at St. Edward's (until sold out).
The Cynsations grand prize giveaways for July are two signed copies of Wake by Lisa McMann (Simon Pulse, 2008). To enter the giveaway, email me (scroll for address) with your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST July 31! Please also type "Wake" in the subject line. Note: one autographed copy will be awarded to a YA public librarian (please specify library with entry) and one autographed copy will be awarded to any Cynsations YA reader.
Enter to win an autographed copy of A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg (Delacorte, 2008)! To enter the giveaway, email me (scroll for address) with your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST July 28! Please also type "A Thousand Never Evers" in the subject line. Read Shana's blog and a Cynsations interview with Shana. Visit Shana at MySpace!
Note: International entries are eligible for Cynsations giveaways unless otherwise specified.
The winners of the Tantalize paperback launch giveaway were: Alana at the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Connecticut; Jessica in Minnesota; Geena in Hawaii; and Stephanie in Florida! The winner of Australia-New Zealand giveaway was Sherryl in Australia! Note: the most popular T-shirt for teachers/librarians was Cell Phones will Be Eaten. The most popular T-shirt for those who'd already read the novel was I "Heart" Baby Squirrel, and the most popular among those who hadn't read the novel yet was the Sanguini's shirt with flowers.
Didn't win? Enter one of the two ongoing Tantalize paperback (Candlewick, July 2008) giveaways! See below under "more personally"!
Attention: members of Tantalize Fans Unite! at MySpace! Enter to win a copy of Zombie Blondes by Brian James (Feiwel and Friends, 2008). Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.
Peek: "I wanted to write a horror novel that felt extremely real. So the main character Hannah isn't unlike the characters of my previous books, which would fall into the realistic fiction genre. She's a girl who moves around a lot and has trouble fitting in wherever she goes. The book deals with a lot of the normal problems of being in high school, but Hannah has the unfortunate luck to happen upon a school attended primarily by zombies who are very clever and devious when it comes to hiding themselves."
All members of the group are eligible to win. Bonus points will go to those who make a comment on the boards between now and midnight Aug. 1.
Note: Don't miss the FaerieDrink.com Summer's End contest (see above for details).
Cynthia Leitich Smith on Writing Horror/Fantasy: a Poised at the Edge Author Interview from Hello Ma'am. Peek: "What new voices in horror would you recommend to your readers?" Find out which seven of the many spectacular speculative fiction authors I highlight, (sorry I couldn't list them all!) and check out my tip for writing horror.
Thank you for the cheers on the sale of Blessed (Candlewick, TBA) and on the Tantalize paperback release! It was an honor to hear privately and in comments from so many folks, including TadMack at Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog. Note: the Tantalize paperback includes an excerpt of Eternal (Candlewick, March 2009).
On a related note, I'll be chatting live about Tantalize at The ALAN Book Chat on Wednesday, July 30th at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central.
The Book Girl Reviews: a Place for the Book Obsessed is sponsoring a giveaway of Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2007, 2008). Peek: "By midnight EST on Friday July 25th, you have to write a short summary of your favorite YA book and post it here."
Shooting Stars Mag offers Tantalize giveaway contest! Deadline: Aug. 1 at midnight EST! See also Genre of July -- Vampires at Genre of the Month.
Win a copy of Immortal: Love Stories with Bite edited by P. C. Cast (BenBella, Aug. 2008)(PDF excerpt)(exclusive to Borders) from Teen Libris! Deadline: July 31.
Even More Personally
I saw "Batman: The Dark Knight" Sunday morning at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater on South Lamar in Austin. It was reminiscent of the 1980s blockbuster scene. A line snaked out of the theater and into the Texas July heat for even the 12:20 a.m. show. Greg and I had arrived almost an hour early, and we still ended up in the last row (not that it mattered; every seat is a good one).
True to form, the Alamo Drafthouse, which is a restaurant-theater, served up a menu inspired by the film, which included: "Batwings: Fried wings in a dark and spicy sauce of reduced soy sauce, chile arbol, toasted sesame and ginger plum sauce for dippin'."
I won't offer spoilers, but I will say that Heath Ledger's performance is much more than just hype. I couldn't even "see" the actor through the role. It was simply the Joker, which was of course scary as all get out. I wasn't bothered by the "darkness," possibly because my primary reference to Batman's Gotham is through the comic books [I subscribe to all of them]. On the other hand, it did wear on me that every woman in the storyline was a victim of some kind. That aside, it's an excellent film. Don't miss "A Brief History of the Joker" from the LA Times.
We're off to "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" this weekend.
And finally, Dracula meets IKEA... Source: Vampiress.