Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spooky News

Movie Trailer for "Where The Wild Things Are" (Oct. 16, 2009).

Print Run Set for New DiCamillo Novel by Judith Rosen from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "This week Candlewick revealed the cover art and announced a hefty first printing of 500,000 copies for the 208-page fable, in which a boy who learns from a fortuneteller that not only is his sister alive but an elephant will take him to her."

Introducing the cover of Ash: an interview with designer Alison Impey from author Malinda Lo. Peek: "When I first read a manuscript, I’m immediately looking for imagery and moods that are specific and unique to the book. I try to focus on the themes that carry through the story. I usually read the manuscript once for the overall feeling of the book and a second time..."

Free Book Stimulus Plan: Increase Your Karmic Footprint: " Wanda Jewell, Executive Director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance for nearly 20 years, is overrun with books. All kind of books, galleys, advance reading copies, advance reader editions, paperbound and hardbound, slip-covered and not, limited editions, signed and unsigned, personalized and not; and finds herself overrun with books. Books here, books there, books, books, everywhere...and when contemplating the management of her extensive personal library, had her aha moment. How to weed her collection and support her southern indie bookstores at the same time? Thus was born the Free Book Stimulus Plan." Source: David Macinnis Gill.

Mixing Writing & Adult Children from Kristi Holl at Writers First Aid. Peek: "Just when your days (or evenings and weekends) are blissfully free to write, your college-age children are home for the summer. They turn your precise schedule upside down. They also provide such a temptation to sit and chat and go shopping, etc. Or maybe your adult child moves back home, perhaps with small children." See also Kristi on Staying Afloat in Hard Times. Peek: "The slump eventually ended, as it will again for writers struggling in the current recession. After five years of selling no books, I sold four of my middle-grade novels in one year. If I had quit writing my fiction during that recession, I would have had nothing to sell when publishers started buying again."

From Damsel in Distress to Warrior Princess by Tim O'Leary from The Torch: Exploring All Things Fantasy. Peek: "...it is in their influence on female characters in contemporary fantasy that one can see how the legacies of Buffy and Xena truly endure. And that influence is vast." Source: Brent Hartinger.

The King's Rose by Alisa Libby: an author interview from Melissa Wyatt at The YA Authors Cafe. Peek: "My agent advised me—rightly so—to cut the first 190 pages and have the story begin when Catherine arrives at court. Still, I was stuck for a while: should I start the story when she first arrives at court, or when she suddenly is noticed by King Henry? Or should it start later, when she is already the king’s favorite?"

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry: an author interview by Emily from Homespun Light. Peek: "I don't write when the kids are awake and needing attention. I write when they're asleep, or elsewhere. I need to focus in order to write, and that's hard to do when they're here."

Event Planning by Kelly Bingham at Through the Tollbooth. Peek: "We have noble intentions through our visits, and it is true that many authors do them for free. But most authors get paid, and to be frank, many authors earn up to half their annual income from school visits. So that is something to consider as well." See also Creating Your Presentation(s). Read a Cynsations interview with Kelly.

More Personally

Hello, spring! I hope to see some of you at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 2 at the Candlewick Press booth at the Texas Library Association conference. On a related note, I was so incredibly jazzed and honored to see the cover art for Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) included in Professor Nana AKA Teri Lesesne's slide show "Best New YA Books TLA 09." See the low-down on other Austin authors at TLA from Varian Johnson.

The next day, Friday, April 3, I'll be speaking at 4 p.m. at the Barbara Bush Branch Library in Spring, Texas. The event will include an informal talk, reading, and Q&A session.

The latest recommendation of Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) comes from Garden in my Pocket: "Once again, Smith has managed to grab hold of the vampire genre, spin it around her head and pitch it over a mountain." Read the whole review.

What is Cynthia Leitich Smith reading? from Campaign for the American Reader: The official blog of the Campaign for the American Reader, an independent initiative to encourage more readers to read more books. What else? Writers Read: Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Highlights of the past week included a celebratory lunch (in honor of Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) with the Delacorte Dames and Dude--April Lurie, Varian Johnson, Shana Burg, Jennifer Ziegler, and Margo Rabb--at Suzi's China Kitchen in South Austin. Thanks, DDDs!

Sadly, I was feeling under the weather on Saturday and missed two sparkling social/book events. Greg was able to go, though, and he took this picture of Laurie Halse Anderson's reception at BookPeople. Here, Laurie is talking to Alison Dellenbaugh, April Lurie, Varian Johnson, and Carmen Oliver. You can also see Lindsey Lane and Mark G. Mitchell chatting in the background.

Here's a closer look at Mark and Lindsey with Donna Bowman Bratton, April Lurie, and Jennifer Taylor in the background.

Later that night, author-illustrator Erik K hosted a book-signing party in celebration of A Dog a Day! Don't miss the documentary.

And in other news, Greg and I received these nifty promotional items for Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown, summer 2009). (Yes, that is a pocket protector and little box of candy). Our story in the anthology is "The Wrath of Dawn."

Remember my interview with publicist Julie Schoerke of JSKCommunications? As a thank you she sent a set of six "antique book coasters" from Expressions. Aren't they nifty? Perfect for a bookish hostess like myself. Note: catalog image used with permission.

The winner of Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt (Front Street, 2006) is Pamela in California! Watch for more giveaways in the future!

And that's it for me this week!