Enter to win one of three autographed copies of The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small (Atheneum, 2008)(excerpt). From the promotional copy:
"There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road.
"A calico cat, about to have kittens, hears the lonely howl of a chained-up hound deep in the backwaters of the bayou. She dares to find him in the forest, and the hound dares to befriend this cat, this feline, this creature he is supposed to hate. They are an unlikely pair, about to become an unlikely family. Ranger urges the cat to hide underneath the porch, to raise her kittens there because Gar-Face, the man living inside the house, will surely use them as alligator bait should he find them. But they are safe in the Underneath...as long as they stay in the Underneath.
"Kittens, however, are notoriously curious creatures. And one kitten's one moment of curiosity sets off a chain of events that is astonishing, remarkable, and enormous in its meaning. ...Kathi Appelt spins a harrowing yet keenly sweet tale about the power of love--and its opposite, hate--the fragility of happiness and the importance of making good on your promises."
To enter the giveaway, email me (scroll and click on the envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST Oct. 27! OR, if you're on MySpace or Facebook, you can message me on that network by 10 p.m. CST Oct. 27! But DON'T send in your contact information on MySpace or Facebook. I'll contact you for it if you win.
One copy will go to a teacher, librarian, or university professor of youth literature (please indicate), and the other two will go to any Cynsational readers. Please also type "Underneath" in the subject line. Read a Cynsations interview with Kathi.
Enter to win one of three autographed copies of The Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2008). To enter the giveaway, email me (scroll and click on the envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address by 10 p.m. CST Oct. 21! OR, if you're on MySpace or Facebook, you can message me on that network by 10 p.m. CST Oct. 21! But DON'T send in your contact information on MySpace or Facebook. I'll contact you for it if you win.
One copy will go to a teacher, librarian, or university professor of youth literature (please indicate), and the other two will go to any Cynsational readers. Please also type "Kerfol" in the subject line. Read a Cynsations interview with Deborah.
More News & Giveaways
"The Big Acceptance" by Evelyn Christensen from The Institute of Children's Literature. Peek: "Not all of us can be J.K. Rowling and write Harry Potter books, but we can all find joy in our writing."
Building Your Own Press Kit by Saundra Mitchell at Crowe's Nest. Peek: "A press kit provides basic biographical information and information about your work, in an easily accessible kit for reviewers and journalists."
Take a sneak peek at the first four chapters of Sleepless by Terri Clark (HarperCollins, 2008)! From the promotional copy: "I can't go to sleep! And not because of the cute boy lying next to me. There's a killer stalking me in my dreams. And if it's up to him . . . I'll never wake up. I have to find a way to get him, before he gets me."
Interview with Jody Feldman by Debbi Michiko Florence. Peek: "I credit my journalism/advertising background with my ability to crank things out very quickly. I once wrote a 35,000-word book in two weeks. That said, quality takes much longer." Read Cynsations interviews with Jody and Debbi.
To celebrate the release of Something Wicked by Alan Gratz (Oct. 2008), Dial Books is offering a special promotion: they're letting you read the first Horatio Wilkes mystery, Something Rotten (2007), for free! You don't have to register, you don't have to give your e-mail address, you don't have to buy something else to read it. All you have to do is click here. Read a Cynsations interview with Alan.
Question of the Week Thursday: Sarah Mlynowski from Laura Friedman's JerseyFresh Tude. Robin asks: "What's it like to write for both teens and adults?" Read a Cynsations interview with Robin.
On Inspiration by Cassandra Clare. Peek: "I don't know any writers who talk about how inspiration comes to them in a silvery shower, but they would probably get punched the head by other writers if they did." Read a Cynsations interview with Cassandra.
Marking Observation: the back of the jacket for Melissa Marr's Ink Exchange (HarperCollins, 2008) features a reduced-size image of her previous cover for Wicked Lovely (HarperCollins, 2007). Great idea; very helpful to readers looking for the first book! Read a Cynsations interview with Melissa.
Check out the trailer for Bliss by Lauren Myracle (Amulet, 2008)! Peek: "New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle offers a spine-tingling, unforgettable story of friendship gone very, very wrong." Source: Poised at the Edge at MySpace. Read a Cynsations interview with Lauren.
Jackson Pearce, author of As You Wish (HarperCollins, 2009), vlogs about outlines. Note: inspirational and bonus points for adorableness of the author.
Monster of the Month Giveaway: Zombies from Brooke Taylor. Peek: "To enter, leave a comment with the answer to the following question: If you became a Zombie tomorrow, whose brain would you most want to eat and why? Deadline: midnight CST Oct 23. See details.
Flood Relief Anthology
Cornstalk Gypsies: The Iowa Flood Relief Anthology, edited by J.K. Richard, is available for purchase at Lulu Marketplace. 100% of the proceeds from this anthology will go towards relief of individuals, businesses, cities, and schools affected by the 2008 summer floods in Iowa. Contributors include: Sarah Prineas (author interview), Michael Jasper, Carrie Jones (author interview), Dr. Catherine Schaff-Stump, Joya Mannan, Ann M. Nguyen, Tyson Chaney and Shalanna Collins. Note: "Cornstalk Gypsies is a 230 page science-fiction/fantasy anthology. It is available through lulu.com in perfect bound A5 format ($13.00 USD + Shipping) or digital download, .pdf format (4.95 USD)."
13 Questions with Cynthia Leitich Smith from the YA Authors Cafe. Peek:
"7) Bela Lugosi or Gary Oldman?
"George Hamilton." Bahahaha!
Note: members of Tantalize Fans Unite! at MySpace are encourage to comment on the interview post to be eligible for October giveaways and should see the latest group bulletin for more information!
Thank you to Saundra at Crowe's Nest for giving Cynsations an I Heart Your Blog Award! Saundra says, "Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations. It is an institution in the online YA community. She's the New York Times, People and Time all rolled into one!" Check out the other honorees at the nest! Yowza, I'm blushing. I've also won this one before, so I'll just refer back to my previously highlighted list. Learn more about Saundra Mitchell!
I love this: Shocking Photo of Austin Authors Reading Banned Books! at BookPeople in Austin from Jennifer Ziegler. Read Cynsations interviews with Jennifer, April Lurie, Shana Burg, and Varian Johnson (an interview with Margo Rabb is coming soon!).
Thanks to Kelly, Donovan, and Abby for their hospitality at Tuesday night's event at the ALA Island!
Thanks too to everyone who attend, and special cheers to author A.S. King, whose support was especially appreciated! Note: absolutely check out A.S.'s author site--it's really unusual and amazing!
Reminder: I'll be appearing to discuss Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and related forthcoming books Oct. 28 on the teen grid of Teen Second at Second Life. See more information.
John and Hank Green are appearing in cities across the U.S. Check out the schedule and the playlist for John's new release Paper Towns (Dutton, Oct. 2008). From the promotional copy: "When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q." Read a Cynsations interview with John.
"A Study of Voice as Demonstrated in The Genre of the Sports Novel" with Debbie Gonzales from Austin SCBWI at 11 a.m. Oct. 18 at the Barnes & Noble Westlake (Texas). Peek: "Think that sports novels are cheesy, clichéd, metaphoric boxed of stake Cracker Jacks? Well, think again. This lecture focuses on a brief overview of the various voices of the sports novel, three distinct writing styles, and a focus on the historical development of the female athletic protagonist. Also, step up to the plate and compete in the hottest new sport to hit the literary scene – Snicker Trivia." Debbie is a recent graduate of the Vermont College MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.
Rick Guzman (Austin) will speak at the Oct. 18 meeting of the CenTex Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers in Round Rock, Texas. "Book Publishing Contracts: What You Need to Know" will discuss what to look for, what to avoid, and what it all means. "Guzman's law practice includes publishing interests, and he writes biographies of famous Latinos, most recently George Lopez: Latino King of Comedy (Enslow, 2008)." Source: Writers' League of Texas. Note: this event was rescheduled due to Hurricane Ike.
Celebrate the release of The Forgotten Worlds Book 1: The Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover (Blooming Tree, 2008) at 4 p.m. Oct. 26 at BookPeople in Austin, Texas! From the promotional copy: "Benjamin and his best friend Andy are different from normal. They love being able to read each other's minds and use telekinesis to play tricks on other kids. In fact, they are getting all set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin's mirror starts talking. Suddenly, Benjamin's looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace which can only be reached by a teleporter inside the ugly picture in his hallway. And that's the most normal thing he does all summer."
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.
Texas Book Festival will be Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 in Austin. UPDATE: authors to be featured at the 2008 festival include: Kathi Appelt; Shana Burg; Melissa de la Cruz; Heather Vogel Frederick; Shannon Hale; Varian Johnson; Laurie Keller; Christopher S. Jennings; Marisa Montes; Yuyi Morales; Lauren Myracle; Margo Rabb; Tanya Lee Stone; Philip Yates; Paula Yoo; and Jennifer Ziegler. See the complete list.
"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, editor Kim T. Griswell of Highlights, 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.
Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) Workshop in San Antonio Nov. 24 to Nov. 25. An event I utterly adore for the depth of discussions, sophistication and dedication of the attendees-leadership, and wonderful company of fellow YA authors. Note: NCTE stands for "National Council of Teachers of English," which has a preceding conference. Details on my signing and speaking schedule to come.