Friday, February 06, 2009

Spooky News & Giveaways

Winners of the Cynsations Giveway of signed Eternal ARCs are: Olivia in Connecticut; Michelle in New York; Jocelyn in North Carolina; and Jennifer, a YA librarian in Wyoming! Congratulations to all of the winners! Your copies will go out on my next trip to the post office. Note: didn't win? See an opportunity immediately below to win a final copy from Young Adult (& Kids) Book Central and look for my next post (later today) on the Eternal Grand Prize Giveaway from Cynsations!

Enter to Win One of Five Copies of Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) from Young Adult (& Kids) Book Central. Here's the giveaway question: "If you had a guardian angel (and maybe you do!), what would his or her name be, and what would they be like?" Contest begins Feb. 1 and ends Feb. 28. See additional details. Note: Thanks to Candlewick Press and Young Adult (& Kids) Book Central!

February giveaways at Young Adult (& Kids) Book Central also include ten copies of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (Harcourt, 2009 ).

Read a Cynsations interview with author Kimberly Pauley of Young Adult & Kids Book Central about her own fang-ful novel, Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (Maybe)(Mirrorstone, 2008).

More News & Giveaways

KidLitosphere Central: The Society of Bloggers in Children's and Young Adult Literature. Note: "KidLitosphere Central strives to provide a passage to the wonderful variety of resources available from the society of bloggers in children's and young adult literature." Special thanks to the board: Pamela W. Coughlan, Director, of MotherReader; Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy; Kelly Herold of Big A, little a; Anne Boles Levy of Cybils; Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page.

Something Very Smart Writers Do by Janet Reid, Literary Agent. Peek: One of my favorite editors dropped me a quick email today to ask for more info about the author of a book of mine he's considering. I had a couple lines on file from the query letter, but nothing really zippy and exciting. What to do?"

Celebrating the Debut of Shadowed Summer: enter to win one of three awesome prize packages in celebration of Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell (Delacorte, 2009). Grand prize is the Extremely Haunted Gift Bag! It contains: A signed copy of Shadowed Summer, with a limited edition matte jacket; a vial of Haunted perfume oil from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab!; a leather-bound, hand-stitched journal; a blackpaper spell book & gel pen; a playable Ouija board keychain; an engraved river stone; a Shadowed Summer bookmark; a Shadowed Summer T-shirt; a Fresh Films T-shirt; a Fresh Films DVD; a bottle of Tabasco Red Hots; and Tabasco Spicy Chocolates! Deadline: Feb. 9. See details here. See also an interview with Saundra from Jessica Burkhart's Blog. Peek: "I love the going-away time, when I actually leave my desk and slip into the world I'm writing. It feels like a physical leaving- but it also leads to my least favorite part, which is ending the book."

Writers Together: Where Your Voice Will Be Heard: a new author promotional site from C. L. Freire. Peek: "C. L., an author herself, knows full-well the importance of marketing oneself, and how difficult it can be at times. A strong advocate of "Letting your voice be heard," she wanted to give writers a place to come, meet, discover new authors, and be introduced to the work of authors of different genres." Learn more about the launch. Note: See my author spotlight!

Inkheart the movie by Claire E. Gross from The Horn Book. Peek: "...the movie embraces the book's own pace and tone; and the result feels if not exactly fresh then at least individual."

Author Jennifer Ziegler (part two): by Madeline from BookKids Recommends. Peek: "Today, I'm going to focus on Jennifer’s lesser known works – her teen mass market publications." Don't miss part one. Note: it's so awesome that BookKids celebrates and supports local talent!

self-doubt - see, doubt of self by Sara Zarr at Teen Fiction Cafe. Peek: "Try to show yourself at least the decency and compassion and wisdom that you'd show a friend. This may involve a lot of talking to yourself, but that's okay." Read a Cynsations interview with Sara.

The Necessity of Thinking Time
by Justine Larbalestier. Peek: "I’m more and more convinced that many of the people who can’t get started because they only have an idea but no plot or characters, or a plot but no setting or characters etc, are simply not ready to write that particular story yet." Read a Cynsations interview with Justine.

Typealyzer: a quick personality analysis for your blog. Source: Tara Lazar.

Interview with Neil Gaiman: a podcast from Just One Book. Peek: "His book Coraline will be released as a movie on February 6th of this year, and yesterday, he won the 2009 Newbery award for The Graveyard Book. On this edition of Just One More Book!!, author Neil Gaiman talks about blogging, giving his books away for free on the Internet and keeping his fans up to date using Twitter."

Adding Dimension to the Storytelling by John Clark from The New York Times. Peek: "During the title sequence of [the film] 'Coraline,' Henry Selick's latest stop-action animated movie, two hands disembowel a doll and then reassemble it with needle and thread." Note: see movie trailer below.

2008 Nominees: The Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. Juvenile category nominees include The Postcard by Tony Abbott (Little, Brown) and YA nominees include Paper Towns by John Green (Dutton). Read Cynsations interviews with Tony about his nominated book and with John about his previous title, An Abundance of Katherines (Dutton, 2006).

The Spectacle: authors talk about writing speculative fiction for teens and pre-teens. Members are Parker Peevyhouse, P. J. Hoover, Jo Whittemore, Greg R. Fishbone, and Linda Joy Singleton. Read Cynsations interviews with P. J., Jo, Greg, and Linda Joy.

Welcome back, Buried in the Slushpile! Cheers to you and your young reader (in progress)!

Marvelous Marketer - Jay Asher (Author of Th1rteen R3asons Why) from Shelli at Market My Words: Marketing Advice for Authors/Illustrators from a Marketing Consultant & Aspiring Children's Book Author. Peek: "The book clubs are a great way to get a number of students talking about your book when you can’t travel to their schools."

Can You Query if You're an Unpublished Novelist and Your Novel Isn't Finished? from Nathan Bransford at Curtis Brown. Note: probably the shortest post I've ever highlighted, but it actually makes an important point that seems lost on a lot of folks. Read a Cynsations interview with Nathan.

Contest: Win a role in my latest short story from author Libba Bray. Peek: "I am having a lot of fun writing my little rock-n-roll vampire story. But I have a problem: I can't seem to come up with a name for my main character or any of the characters really. Nothing that's sticking. Nothing that feels right. Quel tragique! So why not offer you guys the chance to be characters in my story?" Deadline: Feb. 7. Read a Cynsations interview with Libba.

Recommended Reading List from Locus Online: great picks for YA speculative fiction fans.

Thanks to Gottawrite Girl for a great run, and good luck with your writing!

Cover Art for The Less-Dead (Delacorte) by April Lurie from April Afloat. Note: take a sneak peek! Read a Cynsations interview with April.

Congratulations to Kathi Appelt, whose Newbery Honor Book, The Underneath (Atheneum, 2008), marked her debut on The New York Times Bestseller List this week, coming in at #9 in the "Chapter Books" category! Read a Cynsations interview with Kathi.

Art for Cats: Top illustrators and New Yorker cartoonists have contributed original art and limited edition prints to save cats and kittens from certain death. Starting bids for most pieces are set at $100 or less — well below their actual value. Featured artists include Cynthia von Buhler, author-illustrator of The Cat Who Wouldn't Come Inside (Houghton Mifflin, 2008).

The Hollow by Jessica Verdy (Simon Pulse, 2009) is coming soon! Note: I love snail mail.

Cyn-Related News, Reviews & Interviews

YA Wednesday: Eternal from Omnivoracious: Hungry for the next good book. Peek: "Eternal plays skillfully with questions of life and death, fall and redemption, and what it means to save and be saved."

Author Interview: Cynthia Leitich Smith from Kimberly J. Smith at Cool Kids Read. Peek: "Eternal is set in Austin, Dallas and Chicago, as well as a fictional North Shore Suburb of the Windy City."

Author Uma Krishnaswami asks: "What made you go from picture books to culturally grounded middle grade and tween books, to urban vampire fantasy? Just how many Cyns are there in your head?" Read a Cynsations interview with Uma.

Special Edition: The Cynsational Cynthia Leitich Smith from Shelli at Market My Words: Marketing Advice for Authors/Illustrators from a Marketing Consultant & Aspiring Children's Book Author. Peek: "Consistency is more important than an all-out blitz. Sure, you'll probably want to shout it from the rooftops when you finally hold that new novel in your hands. But in the long run, it's more important to look for regular ways to highlight it as long as it's in print."

Author Name Pronunciation Guide: Cynthia Leitich Smith from Note: in case you want to hear my voice and find out more about my name or other authors' names!

Enter to Win one of 10 Copies of Immortal: Love Stories with Bite, edited by P. C. Cast (BenBella, 2008) from Teen Libris. Peek: "...we're giving away ten copies to bring some heat to the middle of your winter. (Not body heat, obviously, because-- vampires!)." Immortal features my short story, "Haunted Love." Deadline: Feb. 10.

Highlights of the week included receiving an ARC for Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical, edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2009), which features my short story, "Cat Calls."

It was a treat to see Eternal featured in the February issue of "My Borders Monthly!" It's listed under "dark and thrilling reads" among awesome new releases including pal Lisa McMann's Fade (Simon & Schuster) and pal Janni Lee Simner's Bones of Faerie (Random House). Talk about great company!

Thanks to Betty Jo Tucker's Blog for recognizing Cynsations as a Brilliante Weblog! Thanks also to Kimberly J. Smith at Cool Kids Read for Counting Down the Days Until Eternal and announcing last week's ARC giveaway! Speaking of thanks, cheers also to Gwenda Bond!

If you want me to see a post related to Eternal (or anything else), please email me with the link. (I do not do Google Alerts as I've observed that they lead to insanity). Thank you!

Here, Kitty Kitty!: my amazing web designer, Lisa Firke of Hit Those Keys, has given my cats an online presence that's actually worthy of them. As these are the two most preferred pages by elementary readers, I'm especially thrilled. Check out the Official Writer Cat Bios, Kit Lit: Cat-Themed Picture Books, and suggest more books for Mercury and Sebastian to review. Read a Cynsations interview with Lisa.

So, do you think I can find anyone who wants to go with me to see this? Note: of course it was a hint!

Cyn's Events

Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith will be on a panel about "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). Peek: "Sometimes getting that first draft down is the biggest hurdle to bringing a great idea to literary life. Find out how several authors approach the first draft." Note: "Before the program, join us at Doc's Motorworks Bar & Grill, 1123 S. Congress (two blocks south of the WLT office for a 'Mixand Mingle Happy Hour.'"

Due to a technical difficulty, Cynthia'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.

Cynthia will be speaking on "Writing and Illustrating Native American Children's Literature" (with S. D. Nelson) and "Monsters and Magic: Writing Gothic Fantasy Novels for Teenagers" on March 15 at the Tucson Festival of Books.

Cynthia will sign Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) and Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) at 3 p.m. April 2 at Candlewick Booth at the annual conference of the Texas Library Association in Houston.

Cynthia and Greg will visit the Barbara Bush Branch Library in Spring, Texas; at 4 p.m. April 3. Note: Spring is outside of Houston.

Cynthia will visit the YA book club at the Cedar Park (Texas) Public Library at 11 a.m. May 30. Note: Cedar Park is outside of Austin.