Friday, December 12, 2008

Spooky News & Giveaways

Enter to win a copy of Through the Wardrobe: Your Favorite Authors on C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia edited by Herbie Brennan (BenBella, 2008)(PDF excerpt)! Read an interview with Herbie.

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 Dec. 15!

OR, if you're on MySpace or Facebook, you can message me on that network by 10 p.m. CST Dec. 15! But DON'T send in your contact information on MySpace or Facebook. I'll contact you for it if you win. Please also type "Wardrobe" in the subject line.

The winners of autographed copies of
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury (Atheneum, 2008) were Sally, a teacher in Michigan, and Lucile, a Cynsational reader from Florida! Read a Cynsations inteview with Jennifer.

More News

"Secret Vampire, the first book of nine in L. J. Smith's Night World series, can be freely downloaded until Dec. 21." Source: School Library Journal by way of Janni Lee Simmer.

Congratulations to Deborah Noyes on the release of Encyclopedia of the End: Mysterious Death in Fact, Fancy, Folklore, and More (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)! From the promotional copy: "How much do we truly know and understand about our own mortality? Enter Encyclopedia of the End, a compulsively readable and beautifully illustrated compendium that explores this most taboo of topics. Entries present a kaleidoscopic mix of topics from afterlife to assassination, forensic science to funeral foods, rigor mortis to reincarnation and more. With an appreciation for the profound and profane, Deborah Noyes helps lift the shroud of secrecy surrounding one of the most fascinating and ordinary phenomena of life. After all, who says that a book about death can't be lively?" Read a Cynsations interview with Deborah.

Melissa Marr Interview from The YA YA YAs. Peek: "When I started, I wrote a short story. About a year later, those characters and that story evolved into a novel. As soon as I finished it, I began writing another novel (parts of which eventually became the second and third books, Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity respectively). Currently, I'm planning a total of five books in this world. The fourth of those is the one I’m currently writing." Read a Cynsations interview with Melissa.

Writers You'll Be Hearing a Lot About by Sarah Aronson from Through the Tollbooth. A celebration of pre-published talent. See interviews with: Gene Brenek (who, incidentally, designed the Sanguini's T-shirts); Elly Swartz; Kellye Carter Crocker (one of my former VCFA students--go, Kellye!); Sean Petrie (of the Austin community).

Keep Writing! by Jill Cocoran Books. Reflections on the financial status of publishing from a variety of voices.

Reminder: Firebrand Literary is taking a Query Holiday: see detailed information on how to submit your first chapter between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15. Note: due not submit without reading guidelines.

Book Party Tips from Marianne Mancusi from Pub Rants. Peek: "Gift Bags! Take a page from red carpet events and make up gift bags for each guest. You can solicit companies to donate products—it's much easier than you might think!"

AuthorsNow!: "The Internet's Largest Collection of Debut Authors and Illustrators." Peek: "New talent is in town! Learn about what's hitting the shelves in children’s and teen literature today from our debut authors and illustrators. Not only will you find information about our books, but we’ll also point you to other popular groups, web sites, blogs, and communities who love children’s books as much as we do!" See also the application to become an AuthorsNow! member.

Attention Authors, Illustrators, Web Promotion Pros: remember to include the publisher, publication date, and ISBN for each book on your websites. Please also be aware that reviews are copyrighted. You may not reproduce them in the whole without permission. Stick with a short quote and a link back to the review source.

Kids ♥ Authors Day: "Bookstores, authors, and illustrators are teaming up to make V-Day 2009 an unforgettable one for New England families." New England authors, illustrators, booksellers, and media can find out how to participate here. Source: Cynthia Lord.

More Personally

Thanks to all who cheered the cover of Eternal (Candlewick, Feb. 2009)! The book now has its own page on my official website, and the readers' guide (warning: spoilers) is up too. If you'd like a smaller version of the countdown widget, you can find it on either of those pages. More Web features are in the works and will roll out over the next couple of months.

On a related note...

Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith -- Review from Karin's Book Nook. Peek: "Reading Tantalize first isn't necessary, so in February when Eternal hits the shelves run to the bookstore and get your copy."

Last weekend I had the pleasure of co-leading Austin SCBWI's Day with an Editor with Jill Santopolo of HarperCollins. Thanks so much to RA Tim Crow, workshop hostess Debbie Gonzales, her dedicated team of volunteers, and all who participated! Read a Cynsations interview with Jill. See also author Kristi Holl's thoughts on the day from The Gift of Time at Writer's First Aid. Here's a pic of Jill herself...

Another of Jill, this one with VCFA student and Sanguini's T-shirt illustrator Gene Brenek.

Author Lindsey Lane.

VCFA student Jennifer Taylor.

An array of talented participants (on break).

And refreshments provided by Caribbean Cart Catering.

In other news, author-illustrator Annette Simon sends in this shot of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) from a Wal-Mart in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Thanks, Annette! Note: a non-writer pal asked me this week why folks were sending in photos of my book in stores across the country, and my answer was: "Because it's never happened before, and these are people who know that for someone who's been writing and loving books so long, it's a small miracle." Thanks again to all for the enthusiasm, support, and cheers.


Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will be speaking on "First Drafts" at the February monthly meeting of the Writers' League of Texas at 7:30 Feb. 19 at the League office in Austin (611 S. Congress Avenue).

Due to a technical difficulty, Cynthia Leitich Smith's discussion of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008), Eternal (Candlewick, 2009), and related forthcoming books on the teen grid of Teen Second at Second Life has been rescheduled for 3 p.m. Feb. 24. See more information.


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.

Novel Secrets: A Novel Retreat in 3 Acts: "Have you always wanted to write a young adult or middle grade novel for children, but have not carved out the time to get it done? Do you have a draft of a novel written, but are looking for ideas and strategies to revise and strengthen it? Would you like the chance to meet with an editor or an agent to pitch your novel and gain critical feedback about this novel in particular and the fiction market, in general? All of this is possible if you attend..." Features authors Elaine Marie Alphin, Darcy Pattison, editor Jill Santopolo, and agent Stephen Barbara. See more information.


Here's a little peek at home life--say howdy to Leo in his house.