Friday, June 26, 2009

Spooky News & Giveaways

You Know You're a Debut Author When... by Joy Prebel at Class of 2K9: Debut Middle Grade and Young Adult Authors: Serving up Fresh Fiction. Peek: "You get so good at the Google-stalking thing that you feel a little frightened." A very cute post from a new voice I'm especially excited about. Joy is originally from Chicago and now makes her home in Texas. Learn more about Joy Prebel. Note: for what it's worth, my recommendation is always to focus on writing your next book. A remarkable amount of "noise" out there doesn't matter.

10 Ways Twitter Can Help Writers by Debbie Ridpath Ohi from MiG Writers. Peek: "One of the reasons I decided to take Twitter seriously was because I kept hearing about various editors and publishers who were Twittering. And they weren’t just posting promo items; they were also reading posts by other Twitterers and sometimes replying to them."

Post-Conference Follow-Up from Kristi Holl at Writer's First Aid. Peek: "How do you make good use of the notes and information gleaned at a writer’s workshop or conference?"

Why Write? by Carrie Jones at Through the Tollbooth. Peek: "Yet, I think one of the tools at becoming a better writer is understanding the why of why we write. It's not always a simple reason or easy to discover. It's not a set of reasons that applies to everyone." Note: first post in a week-long series. Read a Cynsations interview with Carrie.

Does Listening to an Audio Book Count as Reading? Vote at Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent. Read a Cynsations interview with Nathan.

Congratulations to Heather Brewer on the launch of Tenth Grade Bleeds (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 3)(Dutton, 2009)! Peek: "High school can be so draining when you're half-human, half-vampire It's another sucky year at Bathory High for Vladimir Tod. The evil vampire D'Ablo is hunting for the ritual that could steal Vlad's powers. His best friend Henry doesn't want to be his drudge anymore. And as if all that weren't enough, it's getting harder for Vlad to resist feeding on the people around him. When months go by with no word from Uncle Otis and D'Ablo shows up demanding Vlad's father's journal, Vlad realizes that having a normal high school year is the least of his concerns. Vlad needs to act fast, and even his status as the Pravus won't save him this time..."

Projects, Patterns, and Personalities by editor Cheryl Klein at Brooklyn Arden. Peek: "I was looking over the list of my past and upcoming projects, and I realized that a very good chunk of them fit into at least one and sometimes more of these subject categories..." Source: Sara Lewis Holmes at Read, Write, Believe.

Marvelous Marketer: Tracy Marchini (Literary Assistant, Curtis Brown) from Shelli at Market My Words: Rantings and ravings on how authors can better market their books to kids. Peek: "Networking online is the same as networking in person, so whether you're online or offline, it's important to be a gracious host and an appreciative guest." Read a Cynsations interview with Tracy.

Promotional Emails: Do's & Don'ts by Elizabeth Bluemle from Shelftalker: A Children's Bookseller's Blog. Peek: "Do not compare your own book to Harry Potter, The Wind in the Willows, Charlotte's Web, or any other published title, for that matter — especially to claim that it's that book's equal or better."

My Editor and Revision by Brian Yansky at Brian's Blog. Peek: "Even experienced writers, after they have rewritten and rewritten and rewritten a manuscript, will have an editor who makes, often, very good points about how to improve the manuscript. This makes me happy." See also My Fiction Is Stranger Than Truth. Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

Writing in the Woods: A Retreat for Writers of Children's and Young Adult Literature. Phyllis Root, Marsha Wilson Chall, and Jane Resh Thomas will be teaching a workshop from Oct. 19 to Oct. 25 at Good Earth Village in Spring Valley, Minnesota. Enrollment limited to 10. Application deadline: Aug. 19. See more information. Read a Cynsations interview with Phyllis.

Why New Novelists Are Kinda Old, or, Hey, Publishing is Slow by John Scalzi from Whatever: Someday Your Tears Will Turn to Diamonds. Peek: "Whenever I hear about a 'new' novelist, they turn out to be in their 30s. Why is that? It seems like you hear about new musicians and actors and other creative people in when they are in their 20s." Source: Children's Book Biz News. Note: The article is centered on the adult market but is still of interest. It used to be that children's-YA authors generally debuted in middle age, but younger writers are now regularly breaking in.

The Time Gobbler by Kristi Holl at Writer's First Aid. Peek: "'A good rule of thumb is to spend one hour of Net time for every two hours spent writing. After all, you can't call yourself a writer if you don't write,'" quoting Some Writers Deserve To Starve! by Elaura Niles (Writer's Digest, 2005). See also The Downside of Goal-Setting.

You, Represented By You from Editorial Anonymous. Peek: " can submit the work your agent isn't interested in on your own."

What Backstory Can Do for Your Story by Jessica Morrell from Writer's Digest. Peek: "When deciding when and where to use backstory in your work, it can help to think about what you're trying to accomplish within a given scene. To do this, however, you need to understand the many functions of backstory." Source: Children's Book Biz News.

Book Launch: The Gifted Series by Marilyn Kaye from Janet S. Fox at Through the Wardrobe. Peek: "Almost all my characters are based on an aspect of people I've known, and sometimes on aspects of myself. Then, I let them evolve in my imagination--they take on characteristics that just seem to emerge naturally from their personalities and situations." Read a Cynsations interview with Janet.

Writing Links from my main website. An extensive listing of links to interviews, articles, and other information about agents, book design & art direction, editors & publishers, education, illustration, promotion, publishing, and writing.

Highlight of the Week

I've already blogged about last Saturday's Austin SCBWI meeting with BookPeople events coordinators Mandy Brooks (in the BP T-shirt) and Alison Nihlean (in glasses). Here's just another peek at our speakers with RA Tim Crow. Note: you can find books--many autographed--by local Austin authors at the store. Look in the BookKids department, behind and to the side of the information desk. Or you can call toll-free 800.853.9757; autographed copies of my own Gothic fantasies are available.

More Personally

Fellow Austin author Shana Burg highlights Tantalize (Candlewick) at Walmart in Greenville, Mississippi. Check out part one and two of Shana's report on her recent trip to the Mississippi Delta, the setting for A Thousand Never Evers (Delacorte, 2008). Read a Cynsations interview with Shana.

Congratulations to Horn Book editor Roger Sutton on the birth of his grandson, Miles Henkels Asch, and congratulations to Blooming Tree editor and children's author Madeline Smoot on the birth of her son, also named Miles! Read a Cynsations interview with Roger.

Everything I Know I Learned From Dungeons & Dragons by Brent Hartinger from Peek: "Dungeons & Dragons isn't a dangerous, evil force in the world, nor is it just harmless fun; it's actually one of the most worthwhile activities ever created, and there is literally nothing better for turning a kid into a thoughtful, creative, passionate, open-minded adult." Note: I've never been a D&D player, but I've spent a lot of quality time in comic book shops with people who are. Read a Cynsations interview with Brent.

Giveaway Updates

Enter to win a bookplate-autographed copy of the new release, Bones of Faerie (Random House, 2009), and traditionally 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) from Cynsations. 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.

Enter to win your choice of an Eternal T-shirt, hat, or mug from Cynsations! Note: various designs and colors are available. See all of the choices!

You may also win an ARC of one of three YA paranormal books: Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Hyperion, 2008); Wake by Lisa McMann (Simon Pulse, 2008); or Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (HarperCollins, 2008)!

Here's how to enter:

(1) visit this link: Eternal Book Trailer by Naomi Bates at YA Books and More. Watch the trailer!

(2) (a) Email me (scroll to click envelope); (b) Type "Eternal trailer giveaway" in the subject line; (c) Offer your cheers about the trailer! What do you love about it? What questions does it raise in your mind? (d) Indicate your preferred T-shirt style, size, and color; (e) Rank the ARCs in the order of preference. Note: if you already have one or more of the books, you can mention that too. You are also encouraged to share your cheers in a comment at this post on Naomi's blog, though this is not required to enter. It's just friendly.

Deadline: midnight central time June 30!