Friday, November 14, 2008

Spooky News

Check out this trailer for Margaret Peterson Haddix's new middle grade series, The Missing (Simon & Shuster (author interview):

Fifth Annual Novel Writing Retreat at Vermont College of Fine Arts will be March 27 to March 29, 2009. Featuring: author Kathi Appelt; author Elise Broach; and editor Cheryl Klein of Scholastic. Includes: lectures; organized workshops; writing exercises; one-on-one critiques with one of the guest authors; one-on-one critique with guest editor (extra fee); open mike; discussions; room and board. Cost: $450. Registration begins Dec. 1. For more information, contact Sarah Aronson.

Graphic Tales from Colleen Mondor at Bookslut. Peek: "It's a dark slightly subversive delight that never ceased to amaze me. Mostly it's just very, very cool and I do hope that it doesn’t get overlooked in the masses of YA fiction for teen girls."

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Brian Lies at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Peek: "I show drawings from books I’m working on and talk about the seemingly endless revisions I do in both words and pictures, but also show one of my second-grade drawings, to prove that it's more a question of hard work and time commitment than it is about being born talented."

And My Skin is Getting Thicker by Allison Winn Scotch from Ask Allison. Peek: "Here's the thing. I can't defend myself. I can't write this reviewer a letter and say, 'Hey, I'm sorry about that. It wasn't carelessness, it was something I truly wasn't aware of. Oh, and by the way, if you're going to critique me for a mistake, can you get the details of the book right in your review too?'"

Here's a book trailer for the much-buzzed YA, Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Harcourt, 2008)(Source: Sarah Miller):

Blurbs I: Getting from Lauren Lise Baratz-Logsted at Red Room. Peek: "A blurb is not the back-jacket description of a book; it's not the inside-flap description of a book. It is a quote from an established author, the purpose of which is to help promote the book at hand." Note: mileage varies, but I expect blurb requests to come from editors or agents, not authors.

Strange Machines: Website of Authors: "Dallas Reed and Thomas Pendleton (They're the same guy... Shhh, don't tell anyone!):" official site of a new Austin-based YA author. Check out his LJ and MySpace page. Read a Cynsations interview with Thomas. Note: SLJ says of his latest, "Horror fans will be thrilled by Mason's story."

Contract Limbo! Next Stop, the Lake of Fire from Editorial Anonymous. Peek: "An unagented author should be a wee bit more pointed (but still pleasant and professional--try to express polite concern rather than escalating frustration and panic. Frustration and panic are common qualities in authors (and yes, I know sometimes it's the editor's own fault), but they're unattractive qualities)." See also: The Personal 'No-Comment': In Which We Need Some Better Terms for Rejections. Note: don't miss the comments.

How Much Money Does a Writer Make from Laurie Purdie Salas. Peek: "...most children's writers I know who actually make a living off of writing do it by cobbling together an income from many different sources."

Texas Book Festival Photos
from Margo Rabb. A first-rate photo report on the event!

Who's on Your Team? by Allison Winn Scotch from Ask Allison. Peek: " many ways, I really believe that your success as a writer is largely due to whom you choose to surround yourself with."

Agent Jennifer Rofe of Andrea Brown Literary Agency from Kidlit Central News. Peek: "At ABLA, we're hearing encouraging news from publishers about the state of the industry, and I recently read that juvenile sales are up. However, in terms of selling manuscripts, we are seeing the economy affect advances, and we're seeing more hesitation on the part of editors to take books that are not in stellar shape to acquisitions."

Another Austin Treasure: Children's Book Authors by Lindsey Lane from Good Life Magazine (PDF). Peek: "Austin hosts one of the most vibrant children's book writing communities in the country..." See also Alison Dellenbaugh's additions to the recommendations. Read a Cynsations interview with Lindsey, and learn more about Texas Children's and YA Authors and Illustrators.

read this b4 u publish :) by Max Leone from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "I am of that population segment that is constantly derided as 'not reading anymore,' and is therefore treated by publishing companies as a vast, mysterious demographic that's seemingly impossible to please. Kind of like the way teenage boys think of girls. The reason we read so little in our free time is partially because of the literary choices available to teenagers these days." Note: emphasis here seems to be more on tween than upper YA, and the bottom line here seems to be to "stop parenting and write something fun."

An Interview with Candlewick Editor Jen Yoon by Brian Yansky from Crowe's Nest. Peek: "The one quality that draws me into a manuscript is voice. That trumps everything else for me."

Meet Kimberly Pauley from Through the Looking Glass Book Review. Peek: "I definitely didn't write it to be a 'message book' but I wanted some good messages to be in there, if you want to find them. There are a few, to me…like being true to yourself and not doing things just because people expect you to…standing up for yourself and your friends and for what you feel is important…that things are better when you communicate…that family and friends matter…and that girls can be strong individuals with minds of their own." Read a Cynsations interview with Kimberly.

Michelle Moran on How to Promote Your Book from Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent. Peek: "Like galley covers, not all galley print-runs are equal. A lead title might have anywhere from a thousand to ten thousand galleys printed up for every type of reviewer imaginable, while most other novels will have between a hundred and two hundred." Don't miss part two.

More Personally

Thank you to Julie Moody at KUT 90.5 FM for interviewing P. J. Hoover and me about the Austin SCBWI holiday party! Thank you to the whole youth books crew at BookPeople for their hospitality and to RA Tim Crow and his volunteers for all of their hard work! And an extra special thanks to all the members of the community--especially teachers and librarians--who turned out for the celebration! Look for pictures next week!

Candlewick Press has updated its site to include new author bios! Here's mine.

Seeking Spooky Author Blogs: my spookycyn blog has been getting spiffed up for the release of Eternal (Candlewick, Feb. 2009). I've broken some windows and added some cobwebs, and along the way, I've also added a blogroll featuring YA authors who write spooky cool fic of any stripe. Please surf over to confirm that your own blog and/or that of your favorite scary writer is listed. If not, just email me (scroll and click on the envelope) with the author name and blog URL. Thanks!

Due to extraordinary busy-ness, Cynsations will not post tomorrow; however, I'll be back online Monday. Don't miss my NCTE/ALAN conference schedule below!


Acclaimed author and National Book Award recipient, M. T. Anderson will be at BookPeople in Austin, Texas; at 7 p.m. Nov. 21. He discuss his books, sign copies of his work, and answer questions from the audience. There is limited space for this event. If you would like to attend, you must RSVP to to reserve a spot. Reminder: Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld will be appearing at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at BookPeople!

NCTE and 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. Please stop by the Candlewick booth at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, where I'll be signing ARCs of Eternal (Candlewick, 2009), and look for me at the ALAN Panel - "Gods, Foods, and Tatoos: The Mixed Mythos of Fantasy" on Monday at 2 p.m. ish at the Marriot Rivercenter (Salon E, Third Floor Room). I'll be speaking with Melissa Marr (author interview) and Rick Riordan (author interview).