Writing Cliches by Carrie Jones from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: "It happens to all of us. It stalks us until our brains and fingers are weak and then it sneaks its way onto our pages, taunting us, daring us to notice, and so often we, poor overworked writers that we are? We are oblivious." Note: the first post in a week-long series. Read a Cynsations interview with Carrie.
Preparing for The Call by Tabitha Olson at Writer Musings. Peek: "The Call, with an offer of representation. Sometimes agents will send an email ahead of time, asking to schedule a phone call, and others will just call out of the blue. I experienced both, and my planning-oriented brain much preferred the scheduled phone call. Because you just can’t get your brain oriented properly for a spontaneous phone call."
When Characters Take Over by Brian Yansky from Brian's Blog. Peek: "Maybe it is just finding the place, the altered state, which allows you to access that part of the brain that makes intuitive leaps. Or maybe you’re connecting to a higher power, any higher power." Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.
Marvelous Marketer: Kaylan Adair (Assoc. Editor at Candlewick Press) from Shelli at Market My Words. Peek: "If an author has an online presence that I feel is lacking (maybe they have a blog they only update every few months) or inappropriate (perhaps the content of their website or blog isn't appropriate for their book audience), I'll discuss ways in which they can more effectively or appropriately manage their online presence."
The Winter Blog Blast Tour continues today, with several outstanding interviews. The whole series is highly recommended! Just to highlight a few faves to date, don't miss Mary E. Pearson, Laurie Faria Stolarz, and Laini Taylor.
Because my kid needs my shoulders, or why I don't quit writing by Pam Bachorz. Peek: "This book made me a real-life superhero in my son’s eyes. A superhero whose cape he can borrow." Read a Cynsations interview with Pam. Note: one of best links of the week, handy alert!
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!: How to Heighten Suspense from Gail Carson Levine. Peek: "Separation from the problem. Suppose your main character, Lucy, has an enemy, and suppose Lucy has to go on a class wilderness week. What is the enemy doing while she's away? What’s going to greet her on her return?" Source: Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Read a Cynsations interview with Gail.
The Irrepressible Writer from Carol Grannick. Peek: "We all have to face negativity in our lives, but I love helping other writers use the time they have in the most productive ways they’re able, without feeling dragged down because of unnecessary and irrational negativity."
Congratulations to the Parent's Choice Award Winners! Special cheers to fellow VCFA faculty member Tim Wynne-Jones, author of The Uninvited (Candlewick, 2009)!
Interview with P.J. Hoover by Gretchen McNeil at The Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: "For The Forgotten Worlds trilogy, I took a spark from one of my favorite 'Star Trek' episodes, 'Who Mourns For Adonis.' This was the episode where the Enterprise found Apollo on a planet, and he tried to make them worship him." Read a Cynsations interview with P.J. and Jessica Lee Anderson.
Booklover of the Week presents...Cathy Berner & Becky Lee from Kay Cassidy. Peek: "This week, I’m delighted to welcome not one but two great indie booksellers from Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Texas!"
Young Adult Science Fiction: A Reading Guide: a bibliography from Megan Crewe at Tor.com. See also Megan's YA fantasy guide.
Take a sneak peek at the Class of 2k10. Source: Denise Jaden.
Prairie Writer's Day
Thank you to author Sara F. Shacter and everyone at SCBWI-Illinois for your hospitality at the Fifth Annual Prairie Writer's Day: "Brick by Brick: The Architecture of Our Stories"!
Fellow faculty included agent Michael Stearns of Upstart Crow Literary Agency and editors Stacy Cantor of Walker, Nick Eliopulos of Random House, Alisha Niehaus of Dial, and Yolanda LeRoy of Charlesbridge. Read a Cynsations interview with Yolanda.
Here's Stacy again! Take note, Austinites! Stacy will be joining us for the upcoming Austin SCBWI conference in January. Register now before it sells out!
Author Kimberly Pauley author of Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (Maybe)(Mirrorstone, 2008). Read a Cynsations interview with Kimberly.
Author Cynthea Liu. Read a Cynsations interview with Cynthea. Check out her website--Writing for Children and Teens!
Huge thanks to author Sara F. Shacter, who is a fabulous public speaker! Learn about Sara's book, Heading to the Wedding (Red Rock, 2006)!
Author, speaker, and writing coach Esther Hershenhorn. Read a Cynsations interview with Esther.
Over Chicago deep dish pizza at Uno's Chicago Grill, Greg chats with Michael and Alisha. Don't miss Greg's report on the conference.
Howdy to Ms. Craft's eighth graders! Thank you for your questions about Eternal (Candlewick, 2009), respectively! It was lovely corresponding with you!
Four Vampire Books Read This Weekend: Vamped by Lucienne Diver, How to Be a Vampire by Amy Gray, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey, and Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith: a recommendation/review wrap-up from The Sassy Librarian. Peek: "I was impressed by how different this book was to Tantalize - sometimes you like an author but their narrative voice is very similar between books (and that's okay) but Smith has the ability to really embody her characters and I'm appreciative."
Even More Personally
Congratulations to my alma mater, The University of Michigan Law School! According to Law Quadrangle, The William W. Cook Legal Research Library "was selected as one of the top 100 buildings, bridges, monuments, and memorials in a recent American Institute of Architects' public poll--ahead of Radio City Music Hall, Penn Station, and Fenway Park." Pictured above is the Reading Room.
In celebration of the Winter Blog Blast Tour, I'm offering a signed copy of any of my books (winner's choice) to one of the folks who thoughtfully comments at my WBBT interview and then emails me to let me know (so I have your contact information). Deadline: midnight CST Nov. 22. See: WBBT: Writing the True with Cynthia Leitich Smith: an interview by Vivian Lee Mahoney at HipWriterMama. Note: Check out my deep thoughts on my publishing background, writing across formats, Native youth literature, writing cross-culturally, girl power & Gothics, true love, and a myriad of other topics. Thanks to readergirlz for the shout out!
Enter to win a contributor-signed copy of Immortal: Love Stories with Bite, edited by P.C. Cast (BenBella, Oct. 2009)!
To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type "Immortal" in the subject line (Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are welcome to just privately message me with the name in the header; I'll contact you if you win). Deadline: midnight CST Nov. 30.
See also a PDF excerpt of Immortal which highlights my short story, "Haunted Love." The story is set in the same universe as Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) and features new characters.
Destination Publication: An Awesome Austin Conference for Writers and Illustrators is scheduled for Jan. 30 and sponsored by Austin SCBWI. Keynote speakers are Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson and Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Marla Frazee, who will also offer an illustrator breakout and portfolio reviews. Presentations and critiques will be offered by editor Cheryl Klein of Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, author-editor Lisa Graff of FSG, agent Andrea Cascardi of Transatlantic Literary, agent Mark McVeigh of The McVeigh Agency, and agent Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown, Ltd. Advanced critique break-out sessions will be led by editor Stacy Cantor of Bloomsbury. In addition, Cheryl and author Sara Lewis Holmes will speak on the editor-and-author relationship, and Marla and author Liz Garton Scanlon will speak on the illustrator-and-author relationship. Note: Sara and Liz also will be offering manuscript critiques. Illustrator Patrice Barton will offer portfolio reviews. Additional authors on the speaker-and-critique faculty include Jessica Lee Anderson, Chris Barton, Shana Burg, P.J. Hoover, Jacqueline Kelly, Philip Yates, Jennifer Ziegler. See registration form, information packet, and conference schedule (all PDF files)!
2010 Houston-SCBWI Conference is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2010, at the Merrell Center in Katy. Registration is now open. The faculty includes author Cynthia Leitich Smith, assistant editor Ruta Rimas of Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins, creative director Patrick Collins of Henry Holt, senior editor Alexandra Cooper of Simon & Schuster, senior editor Lisa Ann Sandell of Scholastic, and agent Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.