Friday, September 25, 2009

Spooky News & Giveaways (Signed Copy of Eternal and I HEART My Guardian Angel T-shirt)

Enter to win the Reading is Fundamental/Super Contest sponsored by Lee A Verday at Lee A. Verday's Book/Writing Blog. Winner-take-all prize package includes:

- a signed copy of The Hollow by Jessica Verday (Simon Pulse, September 2009);

- a "R.U.H2?" T-shirt (R-U-H-Squared?)(Stands for aRe yoU Haunted by the Hollow?);

- Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris (Point, 2009);

- The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central, 2009);

- The Palace of Strange Girls by Sallie Day (Grand Central, 2009);

- Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2009); and

- an "I HEART My Guardian Angel" T-shirt (which ties into Eternal).

New followers of Lee's blog can also enter to win a signed ARC of Darklight by Lesley Livingston (HarperCollins, December 2009). Deadline: midnight PST Oct. 12. See more information.

More News

In the video below, Melissa de la Cruz talks about The Van Alen Legacy (Hyperion, 2009), the latest in her Blue Bloods series. Source: The Compulsive Reader. Read a Cynsations interview with Melissa.

Blogfest 2009: 40 Authors, 14 Questions, 2 Weeks, 1 Blog from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4 from Simon & Schuster. Peek: "Featuring Holly Black, Lisa McMann, L.J. Smith, Scott Westerfeld and more!" See also Lisa Schroeder, Jessica Verday, and the whole list!

Showing vs. Telling from Nathan Bransford--Literary Agent. Peek: "My interpretation is this. With the understanding that 'if it works it works,' and there are always exceptions, in general: universal emotions should not be 'told.' Instead, we should be shown how the character is reacting to their feelings." Note: think about exceptions when you hit your protagonist's epiphany. Read a Cynsations interview with Nathan.

The Wedding of Anastasia Jessica Packwood and Lucius Valeriu Vladescu: a fiction extension of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (Harcourt, 2009) at Beth's website.

Seven Ways to Write a Book Faster by Evan Marshall at The Cuckleburr Times. Peek: "When I’m writing a novel, I don’t allow myself to print out a hard copy until the first draft is completely finished. Printing out--for me, at least--leads to all kinds of distractions that slow writing down." Source: April Henry.

The Turning Point by Jo Whittemore at Jo's Journal. Peek: "...the turning point is not always a happy one, but it does allow us to see how your character has grown. Sometimes, it happens just before the final conflict, and sometimes it happens a wee bit earlier." Read a Cynsations interview with Jo.

How to Get Your Book Reviewed on a Blog by Anastasia Suen at Blog Central. Peek: "Read, read, read blogs, so you don't waste your time and money chasing folks who don't even read what you write!" Read a Cynsations interview with Anastasia.

Perspiration: Professional Critiques from Cynthia Leitich Smith Children's Literature Resources. Listing of paid children's-YA manuscript critiquers/coaches. Note: industry pros may want to point beginners to this page.

List of YA Authors by State from YALSA's wiki. Peek: "This page will collect the names of YA authors and list them by state, for the purpose of helping librarians, library workers and educators to plan author visits and other such programs. If you know of a YA author who resides in your state (or if you are one!), please add the name of the author and his or her web site information below under the appropriate state." Source: Paula Chase Hyman.

Agent Spotlight: Joe Monti from Literary Rambles: Being a blog of desultory thoughts on writing and life. Peek: "I'll be focusing on children's and young adult, or teen, literature as well as some adult genre fiction. I'm also interested in working with folks who are writer-artists of graphic works, from graphic novels to picture books. Specifically I love work that breaks new ground, a work that is subversive or enlightening by utilizing a different approach." Source: Children's Book Biz News.

Writing in the Zone by Brian Yansky at Brian's Blog: Writer Talk: Random thoughts on the art and craft of fiction writing. Peek: "...there’s that one very magical part to writing (like with Taekwondo); everything has to work together without the writer consciously forcing it to do so (of course when rewriting the writer will be very conscious about his choices). The writer has to find that unconscious place where he becomes the story." Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

Interview With Joni Sensel by Janet S. Fox from Through the Wardrobe. Peek: "The great thing about young protagonists is that they're still being formed and shaped by events and their own actions." Read a Cynsations interview with Janet.

2010 Houston-SCBWI Conference will be held on Feb. 20, 2010 at the Merrell Center in Katy. Registration is now open. Faculty includes Cynthia Leitich Smith, award-winning author and Vermont College of Fine Arts faculty member; Ruta Rimas, assistant editor at Balzar & Bray/HarperCollins; Patrick Collins, creative director at Henry Holt; Alexandra Cooper, senior editor at Simon & Schuster; Lisa Ann Sandell, senior editor at Scholastic; and Sara Crowe, agent at Harvey Klinger. Note: "All the speakers will be doing critiques. Critique spots are limited." See registration and information. Read a Cynsations interview with Sara.

Children's & YA Writers' Reading List: Links
from Cynthia Leitich Smith Children's-YA Literature Resources. Mega round-up of information on agents, book design and art direction, editors and publishers, education, illustration, promotion, publishing, and writing.

Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey (Book 2 of A Resurrection of Magic)(Atheneum, 2009): a recommendation from Greg Leitich Smith at GregLSBlog. Peek: " intense and fascinating story of obsession and evil." Read a Cynsations interview with Kathleen about Skin Hunger (Book 1 of the Resurrection of Magic)(Atheneum, 2007).

Why Was My Manuscript Rejected? 3 Literary Agents, 3 Opinions: Andrea Cascardi of Transatlantic Literary Agency, Anna Olswanger of Liza Dawson Associates, and Ann Tobias of A Literary Agency for Children's Books will be hosting a manuscript workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 15 at Shelburne Hotel (303 Lexington Avenue (at 37th Street)) in New York. "The workshop promises to be lively with three, possibly different, opinions about the strength and weaknesses of each manuscript. We will also discuss marketplace considerations, writing tips, and hold a general Q&A session. Register early for the special rate of $195. After Oct. 25, the rate goes up to $225. Group size is strictly limited to allow a full discussion of each participant's manuscript, which the agents will read in advance of the workshop." Note: "Our first workshop, in April 2009, was a sell-out." Read a Cynsations interview with Anna.

Drains In Disguise by Kristi Holl at Writer's First Aid. Peek: "Taking care of the unfinished business that nags at your mind–and keeps you from feeling like you can settle down to write–may be necessary before you can tackle your writing assignment."

More Personally

Last weekend I signed onto Twitter @CynLeitichSmith! Please find me! Note: check out Twitter Chats for Writers by Debbie Ridpath Ohi at Daily Diversions for Writers.

I also added an IndieBound widget to the sidebar of Cynsations at Blogger (haven't figured out how to do that at LiveJournal), and I'll ask my genius webmaster, Lisa Firke of Hit Those Keys, to add it to the main site on the next monthly update. Note: I recommend that authors/illustrators check out this easy-to-use feature and consider adding it to their own sites/blogs.

In other news, my JacketFlap and YA YNot? pages also have been updated.

Book Bag: Sink your teeth into these by Lani Stack from The Advocate Weekly Online. A full-article review recommending Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and Eternal (Candlewick, 2009). She writes: "Tantalize offers a substantial plot and a charismatic lead character. The first-person narration captures both the self-questioning angst and brash confidence of a headstrong teenager. Add devilish supporting characters and complex, clever and well-paced plot, and Tantalize is a darkly delicious read for older teens."

Giveaway Reminders

Enter to win a contributor-signed copy of Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown, 2009)! My short story, "The Wrath of Dawn," co-authored by Greg Leitich Smith, is included in the collection, and we are happy to sign and personalize the book, if the winner so desires. To enter this giveaway, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type "Geektastic" in the subject line (Facebook, JacketFlap, and MySpace readers are welcome to just message me with the name in the header). Deadline: Sept. 30.

Cynsational Events

Jessica Lee Anderson (Border Crossings (Milkweed, 2009)) and P.J. Hoover (The Forgotten Worlds Book 2: The Navel of the World (CBAY, 2009)) will have a joint book release party at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 at BookPeople. Read Cynsations interviews with Jessica and P.J.

The Texas Book Festival take place Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Austin. Featured children's-YA authors include: Kristin Cast, P.C. Cast, Rosemary Clement-Moore, K.A. Holt, and Cynthia Leitich Smith. See the whole list!

SCBWI-Illinois' Fifth Annual Prairie Writer's Day: Brick by Brick: The Architecture of Our Stories will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. Speakers include: Stacy Cantor, associate editor at Walker; Nick Eliopulos, associate editor at Random House; T.S. Ferguson, assistant editor at Little, Brown; Yolanda LeRoy, editorial director at Charlesbridge; Cynthia Leitich Smith, award-winning author and Vermont College of Fine Arts faculty member; and Michael Stearns, agent and co-founder of Upstart Crow Literary. Read Cynsations interviews with Yolanda and Michael. Note: Michael has recently changed literary agencies.