Friday, August 01, 2008

Spooky News & Giveaways

Enter to win a copy of Monsterology: The Complete Book of Monstrous Creatures by Dr. Ernest Drake, illustrated by Douglas Carrell, Nicholas Lenn, and Helen Ward, edited by Dugald A. Steer (Candlewick, 2008)(inside spread)!

From the promotional copy: "Do krakens really lurk below the ocean waves? Do griffins command the air above? In a fascinating new discovery sure to rival the ground-breaking Dragonology, the intrepid Dr. Ernest Drake turns his inquisitive gaze from dragons to other so-called mythical creatures.

"Included are:

* a removable letter from Dr. Drake;
* multiple foldouts, flaps, and pull-outs;
* textured "samples," including sea serpent skin and a feather from a winged horse;
* sundry booklets -- including riddles to tell a sphinx;
* a cabinet of curiosities containing yeti fur, a hippogriff feather, and more.

"For anyone who has ever wondered whether legendary beasts still wander among us, this lush look at an astounding array of creatures offers everything a true believer would want to know.

"A second major volume by the esteemed Dr. Drake--a lavish exploration of fantastical beasts, from yetis to unicorns."

To enter the giveaway, email me (scroll and click on the envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address by midnight CST Aug. 11! Then you may either: (a) name your favorite monster and briefly explain why; or (b) share your favorite line from Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008)(note: include the page number and whether you're quoting from the hardcover or paperback; a member of Tantalize Fans Unite! is collecting favorite quotes, so this should help). Please also type "Monsterology" in the subject line.

Additional giveaways are ongoing. See below for more information.

Note: international entries are eligible. If you have won a giveaway in the past, you also are still eligible to enter.

This Weekend

Slumber Party @ Teen Fest: YA authors 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!"

More News & Links

Award Winning Writer Libba Bray: author of A Great and Terrible Beauty by Laura L. Johnson from Peek: "Bray attended [The] University of Texas, Austin, graduating in 1988 with a degree in theatre and high hopes of a playwriting career." Read a Cynsations interview with Libba. a publisher site for news and discussion of science fiction, fantasy, and all the things that interest science fiction and fantasy readers.

Cory Doctorow: Nature's Daredevils: Writing for Young Audiences from Locus Magazine. Peek: "There's a consequentiality to writing for young people that makes it immensely satisfying. You see it when you run into them in person and find out that there are kids who read your book, Googled every aspect of it, figured out how to replicate the best bits, and have turned your story into a hobby." Source: April Henry.

Booklists: Young Adult Speculative Fiction (Fantasy and Science Fiction) from Library Booklists. See more YA Fiction Booklists and Children's Fiction Booklists. Note: of use for building collections, studying craft, and identifying something to read.

After the end of the world: a bibliography of post-apocalypse-themed titles from YA author Janni Lee Simner at Desert Dispatches.

Reader Questions about Writing, etc. from Words on Words by debut YA author Maggie Stiefvater. Note: questions about craft, business, and Maggie, future Queen of American and debut author of Lament: the Faerie Queen's Deception (Flux, 2008). Peek: "I really like It lets you find agents that represent your genre, take e-subs, and are members of AAR."

Interview: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes by Little Willow at Bildungsroman. Peek: "Writing to me is a form of discovery; I uncover the plot and the characters as I go along. Naturally, this often results in a very messy first draft, since I sometimes don't know where I'm going until half-way in, but that's what editing is for. I write to find out the story. Once I have a completed draft, then I outline."

YA authors Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Henry Holt, 2008)(author interview)) and Nancy Werlin (Impossible (author interview)) talk to each other about their new books. Source: Ed Spicer at Ed Spicer's Teen Book Reviews. See more of his author videos.

Upcoming Events

"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." You can find me at:

"Vampire Friends": a panel Aug. 16 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Phoenix North. Description: "The vampire mythos seems to resonate with something deep in human nature--sexuality, for one thing. Why is it so powerful, and how can the sub-genre stay fresh?"

"Challenges of Writing Genre for Younger Readers": panel Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Description: "How does writing for young adults differ from writing for adult readers? Our panelists discuss whether it's harder, easier, or pretty much the same, but with a different label." Note: I'll be signing books that same day from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dealer's Room.

More Giveaways

Shooting Stars Mag offers Tantalize giveaway contest! Deadline: Aug. 1 at midnight EST! See also Genre of July -- Vampires at Genre of the Month. Note: hurry! Last day to enter!

Attention: members of Tantalize Fans Unite! at MySpace! I'm giving away a copy of Zombie Blondes by Brian James (Feiwel and Friends, 2008). Read a Cynsations interview with Brian. All members of the group are eligible to win. Bonus points will go to those who make a comment on the forum by midnight today!

The winners of the Cynsations grand prize giveaways for July--two signed copies of Wake by Lisa McMann (Simon Pulse, 2008)--were Lenore in Kansas and Aimee, a teacher in Texas.

More Personally

Thanks to all who joined me at Wednesday night's ALAN chat and/or blogged about it! Most appreciated! Couldn't make the chat? Log-in troubles? Read the transcript! Thanks again to David, ALAN, and all who participated!

Thanks to Jama Rattigan and Cornelius at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup for their report from the Virginia Barnes and Noble! It was a treat to see Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and many of my favorite titles on the shelves.

It's come to my attention that one of the world's great women (Carrie Jones) wrote "'Xanadu' is one of the WORST musicals ever. Seriously." As someone who has cured many a writer's block dancing in the dark to the "Xanadu" soundtrack, I respectfully disagree. I'm telling you: dancing, darkness, "Xanadu." Works every time. Read a Cynsations interview with Carrie.

As long as I'm spilling secrets: if a cat sits on a manuscript of its own free will, the book will sell. Note: this is not why I have four cats.

Even More Personally

Welcome to my newborn niece, Olivia, and congratulations to her proud parents, Jamilya and Keith! Olivia is the daughter of my brother-in-law and his wife. I'm honored to be her auntie.