Friday, July 31, 2009

Spooky News & Sideshow Giveaway

Dragon Speaker: The Last Dragon (HIP Books, September 2009) Contest from Cheryl Rainfield. Share Cheryl's "excited author" videos for chances to win signed books, more books, gift certificates to online book retailers, and more. See details. Contest open worldwide. Deadline midnight Sept. 30. Learn more about HIP Books.

What a Girl Wants #4: The girl vs the woman (when it comes to reading) from Chasing Ray. Peek: "...if YA did not exist would teens still be getting the best reading experience?" From Sara Ryan: "I think the YA authors who nail teen girls' voices credibly--and part of that is recognizing that a monolithic Teen Girl Voice does not exist--respect girls and their lives in a way that authors of adult books with teen girl characters often don't."

Striving for Contentment from Kristi Holl at Writers' First Aid. Peek: "To be honest, if you want to enjoy the writing life–if you want to enjoy the process, and not just the final product–you'll have to find a way to embrace both contentment and the urge to grow and improve." See also Restoring Balance to Your Life and A Writer's Renewal.

Choosing Your Own Path by R.L. LaFevers at Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: "So here’s the thing. There are at least a hundred different paths to success. No, I'm not kidding." Read a Cynsations interview with R.L. LaFevers.

Between a Rock and a Can of Worms: Gail Carson Levine on cliches. Peek: "When you play out a cliche without using its words you freshen it up and get to the core that made it a cliche." Read a Cynsations interview with Gail.

YA Science Fiction is Alive and Well. Really. From Janni Lee Simner at Desert Dispatches. Peek: "...most of the YA SF out there is in fact published by the YA imprints of mainstream houses. That's a function of the way the YA genre markets itself--mysteries and romances and SF and fantasy and sometimes graphic novels all hang out side by side." See also Boy Books, Girl Books, Kid Books. Read a Cynsations interview with Janni.

A Character's Controlling Belief by Mary Atkinson from Crowe's Nest. Peek: "A character’s goal is different. Goal answers the question, what does a character want? Controlling belief answers, why does she want it?"

JacketFlap: "a comprehensive resource for information on the children's book industry. Thousands of published authors, illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, and publishers visit JacketFlap every day." Includes social networking features and blog registration. A great way to increase your children's-YA blog's readership! Read a Cynsations interview with JacketFlap CEO Tracy Grand.

Nancy Werlin: National Book Award Finalist and Edgar Award Winner: official site is newly redesigned by Hit Those Keys. Atmospheric!

The book trailer below features The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver (Simon Pulse, 2007).

How 19 Jobs Prepared Me for the Writing Business by Kimberly Willis Holt at A Good Blog is Hard to Find. Peek: "I don't view my former jobs as mere pit stops along the journey. No matter how unrelated those positions might seem to the writing profession, each contributed to my earning a byline." Read a Cynsations interview with Kimberly.

Diversity Roll Call Roundup: POC in Sci-Fi & Fantasy by L.M. Baldwin from Color Online. Reading recommendations!

Secret Agent by Brian Yansky at Brian's Blog. Peek: "I am a writer. You are a writer. I am a secret agent. You are a secret agent. " Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

More Personally

Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Listening Library, 2009) is now available in audio formats. The readers are Allyson Ryan as Miranda and Jesse Bernstein as Zachary. Watch Cynsations for a giveaway announcement!

Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith from The Compulsive Reader. Peek: "[On what makes my Gothic fantasies unique] it's probably the girl-empowerment themes and the combination of multicultural, religious, and economic diversity in fantasy settings. They're also upper-level YAs that include, say, quasi-epistolary elements, unreliable narrators, alternating point of view, etc., which gears them toward more YA sophisticated readers."

Thank you to the Austin area Barnes & Noble CRMs for their hospitality at my signing last Friday afternoon at the Texas PTA conference at the Austin Convention Center.

Business Notes

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Last Call for July Giveaway

Enter to win Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical, edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2009)! Note: the collection includes my short story, "Cat Calls," which is set in the Tantalize/Eternal universe and features new characters!

Enter to win one of three copies! One copy will be reserved for a teacher, librarian and/or university professor of children's-YA literature, and the other two will go to any Cynsations readers! To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type "Sideshow" in the subject line (Facebook and MySpace readers are welcome to just message me with the title in the header). Deadline: July 31! Reminder: teachers, librarians, and professors should indicate themselves as such in their entries! Read a Cynsations interview with Deborah.

Mark Your Calendars

Destination Publication: an annual conference of Austin SCBWI will be held Jan. 30, 2010, and registration will open Sept. 1. Conference faculty will include Newbery Honor author Kriby Larson, Caldecott illustrator David Diaz, Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein, author/FSG editor Lisa Graff, agent Andrea Cascardi, agent Mark McVeigh, agent Nathan Bransford, and a to-be-announced editor; see bios. Featured authors will include Chris Barton, Shana Burg, P.J. Hoover, Jessica Lee Anderson, Liz Garton Scanlon, Jennifer Ziegler, Philip Yates, and Patrice Barton; see author bios.