Friday, December 04, 2009

Spooky News & Watersmeet Giveaway

Enter to win one of three signed copies of Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott (Marshall Cavendish, 2009)! From the promotional copy:

From her birth, Abisina has been an outcast-for the color of her eyes and skin, and for her lack of a father. Only her mother’s status as the village healer has kept her safe.

But when a mythic leader arrives, Abisina’s life is ripped apart. She escapes alone to try to find the father and the home she has never known.

In a world of extremes, from the deepest prejudice to the greatest bonds of duty and loyalty, Abisina must find her own way and decide where her true hope lies.

Read a Cynsations interview with Ellen about Watersmeet.

To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type "Watersmeet" 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 write you for contact information, if you win). Note: one copy will be reserved for a teacher, librarian, or university professor of youth literature; those eligible should indicate their affiliations in the body of their entry messages. The other two will go to any Cynsations readers!

Deadline: midnight CST Dec. 31.

Cynsational Winner

The winner of a contributor-signed copy of Immortal: Love Stories with Bite, edited by P.C. Cast (BenBella, Oct. 2009) was Glenda in Kentucky. Note: the anthology includes my short story, "Haunted Love."

Note: international entries are always welcome and sometimes win, though the majority of entries still come from the U.S. (followed by Canada).

More News

"Writing Advice: Money" by Barry Lyga. Peek: "I get asked about money a lot -- how much do authors make? What percentage of the book's price comes back to the author? How do royalties work? Well, I'm going to try to de-mystify this voodoo a little bit." Read a Cynsations interview with Barry.

IndieBound Gear Store: "Rally around the celebration and wear your indie with pride! Independent bookstores are destinations of growth, choice, and surprise. Show your indiethusiasm with scribble logo and spirit line clothing!"

Finding the Right Balance In Critique Groups by Kelly Bingham from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: "I have had to sort out for myself how to participate in a critique group, and how to get the most from my peers. And I'm guessing you are too. For me, I want to mix writing and socializing. And cookies. Lots of cookies." Read a Cynsations interview with Kelly.

Enter to Win a Copy of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic, 2010) from KarinLibrarian at Karin's Book Nook. Deadline: Dec. 20. Read a Cynsations interview with Maggie.

2010 Debut Author Challenge by KarinLibrarian from Karen's Book Nook. Peek: "The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year [2010].* I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels! I'm hoping to read at least 30!"

The Literacy Site Shop: "When you shop at The Literacy Site store, each item you buy also helps fund books for children--at no extra cost to you!" Features a number of book-themed items, among others.

What does a map in a fantasy novel do for you?: an Inkpot Poll by Ellen Booraem at Freelance Ne'er-do-well. Peek: "In a couple of weeks, I'll be hosting a discussion at The Enchanted Inkpot about maps in fantasy novels. To help get the discussion started, I'd love it if you'd take the poll below...and then check in at the Inkpot on Dec. 14, to contribute your two cents!"

The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children by Keith McGowan, illustrated by Yoko Tanaka (Henry Holt, 2009): a recommendation by Greg Leitich Smith from GregLSBlog. Peek: "...a fun new take on "Hansel and Gretel," with 21st Century protagonists and all the Old World charm, err, creepiness, of Bavaria's Black Forest."

Seeing Your Mistakes
by Brian Yansky from Brian's Blog: Writer Talk. Peek: "Writers can’t see their own work clearly sometimes. Even the great ones. Sometimes a writer won’t see how good her work is. Other times writers can’t see where they’re failing. Sometimes writers get stuck making the same mistakes over and over because of this." See Using Your Life in Your Writing, also by Brian. Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

"Genre Prejudice" by Mary Lindsey from Peek: "'Hating' a genre doesn't equate donning a white hood, but it is unwarranted and often unfounded, with the person degrading the genre and its authors sometimes having never even read a book in the genre (or at least not knowing he/she has read one. *wink*). A little tolerance and respect for other readers and writers goes a long way, especially when you're trying to build a potential fan base."

Class of 2k10: "a group of the hottest debut authors of middle grade and young adult fiction." Note: be sure to bookmark for future reference. Don't miss the Grad Party Giveaway in celebration of the Class of 2k9, and comment by midnight Saturday for a chance to win a book!

Finish Everything by Scott Westerfeld. Peek: "There will always be a part of your brain that wants to give up when characters aren’t behaving, when you don’t know where to go next, when the inspiration has faded. Don’t give the start-something-else part of your brain any extra leverage, or it will win every time." Source: Elizabeth Scott. Read a Cynsations interview with Scott.

Sea of the Dead by Julia Durango (Simon & Schuster, 2009): a recommendation by Greg Leitich Smith from GregLSBlog. Peek: "Training to become a warrior himself, and trying to live up to his family's expectations, Kehl is kidnapped from barracks by the minions of the Fallen King." Ages 8-up. Read chapter one.

The 6th Annual Novel Writing Retreat at Vermont College of the Fine Arts in Montpelier will be March 19-2. Faculty include author Uma Krishnaswami, author E. Lockhart, and Nancy Mercado, editor at Roaring Brook Press. For more information, email Sarah Aronson at Source: Through the Tollbooth. Read Cynsations interviews with Uma, E., Nancy, and Sarah.

First Annual Inkies Giveaway Extravaganza from Ellen Oh at The Enchanted Inkpot. Enter to win one of three overflowing themed baskets of awesome books. Categories are "fairy tales and folklore," "adventure and witchcraft," and "ancient curses, modern ghosts, post-apocalyptic." Deadline: Dec. 9.

How to Respond to a Manuscript Critique/Editorial Letter by Nathan Bransford from Curtis Brown. Peek: "An editorial letter is kind of like a radioactive substance that you need to become gradually acclimated to over the course of several days. It needs to be absorbed in small doses and kept at arm's length and quarantined when necessary until you are able to overcome the dangerous side effects: anger, paranoia, excessive pride, delusions of grandeur, and/or homicidal tendencies." Note: when I get an editorial letter, I set a heavy object on it, back away for three days, and then rewrite it, sprinkling in more praise like: "Wow, that parallel construct--brilliantly executed!" or "Gee, your hair looks nice today!" Read a Cynsations interview with Nathan.

Marvelous Marketer: Hayey Gonnason (Publicist at Tricycle Press) from Shelli at Market My Words. Peek: "We recently had a book launch party, and there was a miscommunication and books were never ordered for the event. When I found out, I had to drop everything to make sure the books were there in time for the event. In the end the launch went off without (as far as people attending knew) a hitch but little things like that come up all the time."

YALSA announces Morris Shortlist by Stephanie Kuenn from YALSA. Peek: "The William C. Morris Award honors a book written for teens by a previously unpublished author." Read a Cynsations interview with Malinda Lo.

Interview with Bookseller Caitlin Doggart of Where the Sidewalk Ends by Marissa Doyle form The Enchanted Inkpot. Peek: "The real value of the indies lies in the unique physical charm that each offers as their own personality. Offering a physical space to look at and touch books is the driving force behind independent bookstores." Read a Cynsations interview with Marissa.

Congratulations to readergirlz, recipient of the National Book Foundation's first Innovations in Reading Prize! "From over 150 entries, readergirlz was chosen as a program that innovatively sustains a love of reading for life."

Multiple Journals by Kristi Holl from Writer's First Aid. Peek: "I gathered my stack of mostly empty journals and read through them, deciding what 'theme' each one represented, and decided to entitle them as such. Then, depending on my need and mood, I will get out the appropriate journal."

Reminder: Bridget Zinn Kicks Cancer! Auction

Bridget Zinn Kicks Cancer Auction! Bid to Win Art, Signed Books, Editor/Agent/Author Critiques & More! Peek: "Bridget is a 32-year-old YA author and librarian who is currently being treated for stage 4 colon cancer – and her "healthy young person between jobs" health insurance does not cover many of her expenses. Read Bridget's blog for more information." See more information.

Don't miss bidding on "A Foot in the Door Critique Package" from Through the Tollbooth. Peek: "Raise your entire middle grade or YA novel to a new level with the help of the nine published writers at Through The Tollbooth. We'll provide a detailed, professional editorial letter on your entire novel- structure, characters, voice, everything! We'll include detailed suggestions on how to conquer your weak spots, and we'll go over your query letter and synopsis with a fine tooth comb. Everything you need to prepare for submission to editors or agents and get your foot in the publishing door. Tollboothers: Carrie Jones, Tami Lewis Brown, Stephanie Greene, Sarah Aronson, Liz Gallagher, Kelly Bingham, Sarah Sullivan, Zu Vincent and Helen Hemphill help get your novel noticed."

Note: new items include A Chapter Critique of Your Middle Grade Novel by author Jennifer Cervantes and One Critique of a Query, Plus the First 10 Pages of Your Middle Grade Novel by agent Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Learn more about Jennifer Cervantes and Jennifer Laughran.

Auction I.D.: bridget Password: rules Auction closes Dec. 11.

More Personally

Congratulations to everyone who successfully finished (or took a hearty stab at) NaNoWriMo! Teen writers are encouraged to celebrate with Kay Cassidy!

Would you like a signed copy of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) or Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) for the holidays? You can find them at BookPeople in Austin, Texas. Note: the store can ship at an extra cost.

You are also welcome to email me to request a personalized bookplate for any of my books--be sure to include (a) which book (b) recipient (c) your snail mail address. Thanks!

Cynsational Submissions

If you're an author/illustrator who would like to be featured on Cynsations, take a look at the sort of folks/books I feature (traditionally published literary trade single titles and series), decide if you're a fit, and then send your books and bio information. Please do not write or call to pitch the book, write to confirm receipt, write to nudge, or otherwise contact me. Please note that I don't participate in typical online book tours; I schedule features on my own timeline. Note: This information likewise applies to publicists. See How to Get Your Book Reviewed on a Blog by Anastasia Suen at Blog Central.

Seeking a Blurb: requests should be sent via email by the author's editor or agent, as early as possible before the quote is needed. I am not interested in hearing from authors directly.

Texas Children's & YA Authors & Illustrators: if you're traditionally published, contact me about a website listing.