Friday, September 26, 2008

Spooky News & Giveaways

Welcome back, (much of) Houston!

It's my understanding that many of y'all had your power returned this week, and we're glad to have you online again!

That said, I also just read that 430,000 remain without power. It's been 13 days, and that has to be awful. My thoughts remain with you and those even more adversely affected.

On a related note, the Austin SCBWI Day with an Editor (Jill Santopolo) has been rescheduled for Dec. 6. Thanks to Jill, Debbie Gonzales, and RA Tim Crow for of your efforts! Thanks too to Gene Brenek, who had originally volunteered his home as a venue!

For me, this week has been a productive one. Greg and I reviewed pass pages for our joint short story to appear in Geektastic: Stories of the Awesomely Uncool, edited by Cecil Castellucci and Holly Black (Little Brown, 2009), and I sent a revised draft of my graphic novel, Tantalize: Kieren's Story (Candewick, TBA) to my editor.

Beyond that, I'm working hard to update my own writer's guide to my Gothic fantasy universe and on Blessed (Candlewick, TBA), which will crossover the casts of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and Eternal (Candlewick, March 2009), picking up at the end of the first novel.

I also had the honor of reading/critiquing two manuscripts for local writer pals, one a picture book and the other a young adult novel. Austin area writers are amazing!

My pop-culture highlight was the season three premier of "Heroes."

More personally, thank you to Sarah for creating her gorgeous Tantalize fan page at MySpace!

Thanks also to author David Lubar for his blog cheers on the ten-year anniversary of! I'm honored!

REMINDER: In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of, I'm offering one rather eclectic giveaway package, which will include paperback copies of the following books: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1958); Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1977); Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause (1997); and Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (2008)(signed).

To enter, email me (scroll and click on the envelope) with a question to for me answer (about writing, my books, etc.) as well as your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST Sept. 30! OR, if you're on MySpace or Facebook, you can message me on that network by 10 p.m. CST Sept. 30! But DON'T send in your contact information on MySpace or Facebook. I'll contact you for it if you win. Please also type "anniversary giveaway" in the subject line. All Cynsational readers are eligible!

More News & Giveaways

Enter to win an autographed copy of Dead Girl Walking by Linda Joy Singleton (Flux, 2008). Peek: " about 17-year-old Amber who has a bad sense of direction--so bad that when she has a near-death experience, she makes a wrong turn and wakes up in the gorgeous, rich, popular body of a girl who's attempted suicide. Then it's a race for time to find her real body to switch back before her organs are donated and Amber is trapped forever in the wrong body. " Deadline: Sept. 29. See details.

The Book Transfusion by Devyn Burton - YA Author. Devyn is coordinating a "book raising" event for hospitals in lower east Michigan. Peek: "Being in the hospital so much I noticed a trend, teens in the hospital had two options--A) color and do crafts meant for a six year old or option B) 'suck it up' like an adult watch TV all day. That is unacceptable, we need something to occupy our minds as well—and even if you did partake in options A & B, you can only color and watch TV so much! A book is a wonderful tool for anyone in the hospital." Note: YA authors, publishers, businesses, readers, there are ways that all of you can help! Just blogging the link will help!

The Big Questions: Science Fiction and Young Adult Fiction Share Themes and, Hopefully, Readers by Adrienne Martini from Baltimore City Paper. Peek: "The Potter bubble has passed, yet those readers--and their younger siblings--are still buying books by the bucketful." Source: Gwenda Bond.

For the Fantasy Writers Out There from Buried in the Slush Pile. Peek: "I thought we'd start with the trickiest fantasy to write -- first person high fantasy."

DC Cancels Minx Imprint by Matt Brady from Peek: "At the time of the line's launch, it was noted that DC would team with Alloy Marketing + Media to promote Minx in the coming months, and had a budget of $250,000, making it 'the largest thing we've done in at least three decades,' according to DC president and publisher Paul Levitz. The titles in the line received their share of positive press and reviews, but never really caught on in the numbers that justified their continued existence, apparently." Note: I'm saddened by the cancellation of the line but grateful for the quality books that Minx did release. See Cecil Castellucci's thoughts.

The Fine Art of Writing Blurbs by Saundra Mitchell from Crowe's Nest: An Agent and Her List Discuss Children's Books, Publishing and Beyond. Peek: "I'm not advising you to write your blurb in rhyming couplets, but the basic rules of poetics should apply to your advertising. The sounds of words, the assonance, the consonance, the rhythm of the words- these are important in any writing, but especially important here." Note: Crowe's Nest is now syndicated to LJ.

Online Events

Reminder: I'll be appearing twice to discuss Tantalize and related forthcoming books in October on the Eye4You Alliance Island at Second Life. From School Library Journal: "There will be two appearances, the first on the main grid of Second Life (for those 18 and over) on Oct. 14, and again on Oct. 28 on the teen grid of Teen Second." See more information.

More Events

To all those heading to Portland this weekend, please know you're in my thoughts! Have a wonderful time. I wish I could be there!

ALA Banned Books Week is Sept. 27 to Oct. 4. See video below. Source: ALA Library. See also Children's book on male penguins raising chick tops ALA's 2007 list of most challenged books and a Cynsations interview with Lauren Myracle.

Plan to celebrate the release of Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Flux, 2008) with debut author Maggie Stiefvater. The physical launch will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 EST at Creatures & Crooks Bookshoppe in Richmond, Virginia. The virtual launch will be in the Enchanting Reviews chat room at 8 p.m. EST Oct. 1. See details.

The Youth Literature Festival, sponsored by the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be Oct. 4. All events are free and open to the public and will be held at various locations across the Urbana-Champaign community. I hope to see you there!

The first annual Hill Country Book Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Georgetown Public Library (Georgetown, Texas). Participating authors/illustrators include Liz Garton Scanlon, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, Don Tate, P. J. Hoover, and Deborah Frontiera. The Biscuit Brothers also will be performing! See schedule.

R. L. Stein's Halloween Party will begin at 3 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Austin Children's Museum (201 Colorado St.). R. L. Stein will read and tell a communal (audience-participation) ghost story at 3:30 p.m. and sign books from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The event is free, but space is limited to 350. Costumes welcome. Note: Barnes & Noble will be selling books; sponsored by the Texas Book Festival in cooperation with the museum.

"Connections & Craft: Writing for Children and Young Adults:" hosted by Brazos Valley (Texas) SCBWI Nov. 15 at A & M United Methodist Church in College Station, Texas. "Editor Joy Neaves, agent Emily Van Beek, and author Cynthia Leitich Smith comprise our faculty for this day-long event. Published BV-SCBWI authors will also conduct a hands-on Writers' Workshop." Download the brochure. Read a Cynsations interview with Emily.