Friday, June 05, 2009

Spooky News & Bones of Faerie Giveaway

Janni Lee Simner Super Giveaway

Enter to win Bones of Faerie (Random House, 2009) and autographed copies of both Secret of the Three Treasures (Holiday House, 2006)(hard copy) and Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales, edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2006)(paperback).

Note: Gothic includes Janni's short story "Stone Tower."

To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type "Janni Lee Simner" in the subject line. Deadline: June 30!

Read a Cynsations interview with Janni.

Signed Eternal Bookmarks Giveaway

Attention YA Public Librarians: enter to win one of two sets of 10 autographed Eternal bookmarks to use for summer reading giveaways! To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type "Eternal bookmarks" in the subject line. Deadline: June 8!

Cynthia Leitich Smith Contest

Do you live in Carbon County, Pennsylvania or the surrounding area? If so, you are eligible for the Cynthia Leitich Smith contest from Reading Escapes!

"Enter to win your favorite book by Cynthia! Email us to tell us what your favorite book by Cynthia is and why in less than 50 words by June 30 to enter to win a copy of it or another book of your choice by her. If you haven't read any of her books yet, just let us know which book you would like to read and why you think you would like it." See contact and more information.

More News

Stepping Up Your Game from Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent. Peek: "Publishers right now want the surest of sure things that are so sure it beats surety over its sure head. And agents have to adjust what they take on accordingly." Read a Cynsations interview with Nathan.

Attention Teachers & Librarians: nominate a book for YALSA's Best Books for Young Adults list.

Writing Tips: Who Wants to be a Children's Author? from Verla Kay's Blog. Peek: "I never set out to be an author. I never wanted to write. Actually, I hated writing as a child and never dreamed I would grow up to be a writer. As a teenager, I wrote many poems and stories and tucked them away in a folder, to be shown only to my very best of friends." Read a Cynsations interview with Verla Kay.

Polish Those Nuggets until They Shine! More on Writing Fiction Inspired by Reality by JoAnn Early Macken from Teaching Authors. Peek: "How do we unearth an event from real life and shape it into a story? Here are some possibilities."

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers Contest: "The prize of a book contract (on the publisher’s standard form) covering world rights for a hardcover and a paperback edition, including an advance and royalties, will be awarded annually to encourage the writing of contemporary young adult fiction. The award consists of $1,500 in cash and a $7,500 advance against royalties." Source: BronzeWord Latino Authors.

Author Interview & Constest with Marlene Perez from Amberkatze's Book Blog. Peek: "The first line of Dead Is The New Black popped into my mind, fully formed. "Being dead became fashionable approximately forty-five minutes after Samantha 'the Divine' Devereaux came back from summer break." Enter to win one of three copies of Dead Is So Last Year. Deadline: 4 p.m. CET June 7. Note: the series is published by Harcourt. Read a Cynsations interview with Marlene.

Roundtable Discussion: Working With An Editor: a conversation with authors Linda Joy Singleton, Jo Whittemore, and P.J. Hoover from The Spectacle. See the continuing discussion with Joni Sensel, Parker Peevyhouse, and Greg Fishbone. Read Cynsations interviews with Linda Joy, Jo, P.J., and Greg.

Trusting My Gut from Kimberly Willis Holt at A Good Blog is Hard to Find. Peek: "In my gut, I knew it wasn't ready. Something about the story didn't feel right, but I was impatient and slipped the envelopes in the mail anyway." Read a Cynsations interview with Kimberly.

Purple Prose People Eaters by Tabitha Olson at Writer Musings. Peek: "Purple prose is a choice of words that aren’t there for the sake of the story, they’re there for the sake of themselves. The words go beyond packing a punch and leave bruises on the reader."

Win an 8GB iPod Touch and Signed Audiobooks! from Listening Library/Random House. Peek: "f you could go on a fantasy road trip with a character (or characters!) from your favorite series, where would you go? What would you do along the way? How would you travel? Create a video and show us! Best selling authors Libba Bray, Tamora Pierce and Rick Riordan will judge the videos and choose three grand prize winners!" Note: "The contest will open for entries June 1 to Aug. 17." See more information. Source: Libba Bray. Read Cynsations interviews with Libba and Rick.

Teens Read Too is giving away several great books this month, including 20 copies of the ARC for The Chronicles of Vladamir Tod: Tenth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer (Dutton), which is highly recommended. See more information. See book trailers for the series.

Eerie Books: a horror specialty shop at 205 N. Ballard Street in Wylie, Texas. Also features horror art, movies & DVDs, a book club, storytime, and much more!

Five Stages of Procrastination from Kristi Holl at Writer's First Aid. Peek: "This brings the deadline closer and creates more pressure. You delay starting so long that you can't really be tested on your actual writing ability (what you are capable of if you’d started sooner)."

Visualizing Composite Characters, Whether Or Not They're Modeled on "Real" People by Carmela Martino from Teaching Authors. Peek: "When I wrote the short story's first draft, the main character was me--I used my own name and the real names of all the other people involved."

Mindful or Multitasker by Kristi Holl from Writer's First Aid. Peek: "Is there honestly an alternative to the chicken-with-her-head-cut-off chickenfrenzied multi-tasking that many of us use to get through our days?" See also Kristi on Unblock: Two Techniques.

Enter to Win a Copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic, 2009) from The Shady Glade. Deadline: June 15. Note: Maggie is one of my favorite new voices, and this is one of the most highly anticipated YA Gothics of the year. See details. Read a Cynsations interview with Maggie.

What's On Your Summer Reading List? Children's and Young Adult Authors and Illustrators Tell All by Daryl Grabarek, Curriculum Connections, from School Library Journal. Get the scoop from Susan Patron, Mo Willems, Kate DiCamillo, Adam Rapp, Elise Broach, Melissa Marr, Deborah Hopkinson, Megan McDonald, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Marilyn Singer, Avi, Brian James, Richard Peck, Laurie Halse Anderson, E. Lockhart, Jerry Spinelli, Juanita Havill, Sara Zarr, Ridley Pearson, Dave Barry, Ann M. Martin, James Preller, Joyce Sweeney, and Paul Janeczko. See also A Need to Read: What Parents Can Do to Encourage Summer Reading by Nancy Twigg from Knox news. Source: Teri Lesesne. Read Cynsations interviews with Elise, Melissa, Deborah, Brian, E., and Sara.

An Agent Talks Trends in MG/YA Publishing from Mitali Perkins at Mitali's Fire Escape. Peek: "At our Boston Bookish Tweetup on Sunday, literary agent Lauren MacLeod of the Strothman Agency reflected on the current and future state of Middle Grade (MG) and Young Adult (YA) books." Read a Cynsations interview with Mitali.

Living the Dream by Sarah Prineas. Peek: "One of the first things I learned is that being an author is not the same as being a writer. The writer part is pretty much the same as it always was. Authoring is the add-on to that. Being an author means doing school visits, traveling, giving presentations, being 'on' and friendly, spending time and energy on being the human representative of a book. It also means doing interviews, answering questions from foreign translators, dealing with taxes, etc." Read a Cynsations interview with Sarah.

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (McElderry 2009): a recommendation by Greg Leitich Smith. Peek: "a terrific read, rich in atmosphere and wit. Best of all, the relationships between and among the pairs of siblings are thoughtfully constructed (to explore what it means to be family), without stinting on either horror, action, or suspense."

Blogging Dos and Don'ts - Advice for Writers from author-agent Lucienne Diver. Peek: "Remember your mother telling you 'If you don’t have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all'?" Learn more about Lucienne's new release Vamped (Llewellyn, 2009).

Revising your manuscript from Samantha Clark at Day by Day Writer. Peek: "Think those award-winning books or bestsellers were brilliant the day their authors typed The End? Think again. Most writers go through revision after revision after revision."

Ten Writing Tips by Verla Kay - Part 1. Peek: "Believe that what you are writing is worthy of being read. Believe that you can do this, that you can write and finish a story so compelling, so entertaining, so special, that editors and kids will love it and 'have' to read it." Read a Cynsations interview with Verla Kay.

What Are Your Author Goals? from Tracy Marchini at My VerboCity. Peek: "What are your goals as a writer, one, five and ten years from now?" Read a Cynsations interview with Tracy.

More Personally

Highlights of the week included receiving contributor copies of Geektastic: Stories of the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown, 2009). The story Greg and I wrote is "The Wrath of Dawn." Full contributor list: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr. With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley. Read Cynsations interviews with Holly, Cecil, M.T., Libba, Cassandra, David, Barry, Scott, Lisa, and Sara. Note: do you see that vampire avatar in the top row with the black dress and the red cowboy books and the sunglasses? That's me!


Thank you to the Cedar Park (TX) Public Library for your hospitality last weekend! Through a grant program, the library sponsors a YA book club to bring in local authors and purchase copies of their latest book for participants. Other recently featured Austin area authors include April Lurie and Jennifer Ziegler.

Author Laurie Faria Stolarz sends a couple of picks of my Gothic fantasy books in New York City. Here they are in the YA Dept at the Barnes & Noble on 5th Ave. (She also set a shot from the New York Public Library (Grand Central Branch), but I can't seem to get the image twisted around yet--soon, I hope!). Thanks, Laurie! Read a Cynsations interview with Laurie.