Thursday, January 07, 2010

Spooky News & Giveaways

For those holiday vacationers who may have missed it, last week I posted my Cynsational Books of 2009. I'd like to highlight just a couple more: The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (Flux, 2009) as well as The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series by Heather Brewer (Dutton, ongoing). Read a Cynsations interview with A.S.

Here's the book trailer for The Dust of 100 Dogs:

Here's the book trailer for Tenth Grade Bleeds (Dutton, 2009). Note: Heather is also highly recommended as a speaker. I had the pleasure of being on a panel with her in Westlake, Texas, last fall and was absolutely wowed by her savvy, smarts, and ability to connect with tweens.

This just in! Here's the new book trailer for Eleventh Grade Burns (Dutton, Feb. 2010).

New Releases

Here's a book trailer for Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder (Simon Pulse, 2010). Read a new interview with Lisa by Tabitha Olsen from Writer Musings. Peek: "Because I started with picture books, where you need to be succinct as possible, I do think it helped me with the verse. I seem to do well in getting to the heart of a scene and figuring out how to get the emotional truth with just the right choice of words."

Here's a book trailer for Captivate by Carrie Jones (Bloomsbury, 2010). Read a new interview with Carrie from Fantastic Book Review. Enter to win a copy of Captivate.

Welcome YA Rebels

Vloggers YA Rebels describe themselves as "seven young adult authors giving you the behind the scenes drama!" Notes: now posting regularly; video includes cameo by John Green.

More News & Giveaways

10 Things I've Learned about the Writing Biz by Charlene Teglia from Genreality. Peek: "Don’t discount your business abilities and leave that up to other people because you’re 'just a writer'. You're also an independent business person and uniquely gifted with the ability to come up with solid ideas." Source: Elizabeth Scott.

Win an ARC of Everlasting by Angie Frazier (Scholastic, 2010) from Angie Frazier: Adventures of a YA Novelist. Deadline: midnight EST Jan. 8. Learn more about Everlasting.

How I Got My Agent by Anna Staniszewski. Peek: "Sometimes you have to be willing to put one project aside, as I did, and realize that it might not be the one that's going to get you an agent/get you published/etc. That's why you should never stop writing, because you never know which manuscript will grab someone's attention."

Manuscript Blindness by Brian Yansky from Brian's Blog: Writer Talk. Peek: "You have to look at the worth of your scenes in terms of the whole. Do they all belong? If they do belong, have you devoted the right amount of emphasis to each?" Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

Top Ten Questions Dutton Editors Ask Themselves When Looking At A Manuscript from Kathy Temean at Writing and Illustrating: Sharing Information About Writing and Illustrating for Children. Peek: "Does the action of the story move at a good pace and hold our interest? Does tension build as the story moves forward?" Source: Janet Reid, Literary Agent.

Melanie Kroupa to Join Marshall Cavendish by Lynn Andriani from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "Kroupa will be joining Marshall Cavendish Children's Books as an editor-at-large on Jan. 1, reporting to publisher Margery Cuyler. Kroupa will work for the publisher, which is located in Tarrytown, N.Y., from her office in Dedham, Mass."

Mary Cole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency on Urban Fantasy by Parker Peevyhouse from The Spectacle. Peek: "Believe it or not, some of the most successful urban fantasy stories are also some of the funniest, and that has everything to do with voice. Without humor, personality and wit, 'dark' and 'gritty' will soon become 'bleak' and 'grating.'"

Congratulations to David Lubar on the release of Dead Guy Spy (Starscape, 2010), the second book in his Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie series! Peek: "Nathan Abercrombie is getting used to his rotten life as a half-dead zombie. The good thing is he doesn't feel any pain. The bad thing is his body can't heal, so he has to be really careful not to break anything. But that's hard to do when his wrestling-obsessed gym teacher, Mr. Lomux, matches him up with Rodney the bully, who's looking for any excuse to break his bones. Then one day, Nathan is approached by the secret organization B.U.M.—aka the Bureau of Useful Misadventures—which offers him a cure in exchange for his help. Nathan jumps at the chance to become the world's first zombie spy, but soon discovers that B.U.M. isn’t quite what it seems. Can Nathan trust them?" Read a Cynsations interview with David.

Marvelous Marketer: Nathan Bransford (Literary Agent) by Shelli at Market My Words. Peek: "Traditionally it wasn't really the agent's job to promote books, but I think that may be changing somewhat with the times."
MG/YA SFF Virtual Conference by Tiffany Trent from Eudaimonium: Finding the Gold. Peek: "So, I want to try an experiment. I'm planning on holding a one-day virtual conference sometime in late March or April. I want this to be a truly useful conference to writers and aficionados of MG/YA SFF. Many of us see the same panels over and over again at conferences, making us feel like we've wasted time and money. How might we do it differently? What panels would you like to see that you haven't seen?"

Revision by Brian Yansky from Brian's Blog: Writer Talk. Peek: "...there's a time during revision where you have to be more analytical. The story is in place and the characters are real, and your manuscript feels like all the elements are fitting together. To get to this evolutionary moment in the manuscript, you had to depend on your creative side: instinct and imagination and inspiration. But now you need the analytical side that evaluates." Note: Brian shares a scene-by-scene list of questions to consider for revision. Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

Comment Challenge 2010 from MotherReader. Peek: "Since it is said that it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit, we’re going to run the Comment Challenge for the next three weeks — starting Friday, Jan. 8, and running through Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010. The goal is to comment on at least five kidlitosphere blogs a day."

Author Interview: Natalie Standiford on How To Say Goodbye in Robot (Scholastic, 2009) from Peek: "Once a real story starts to gel, I write a loose plot outline. Some books have complicated plots and require a more detailed outline. I always end up changing things as I write anyway. But I like to know what's going to happen so I can keep the story focused and sharpen every detail into an arrow that points toward the end."

Is Your 'But' Too Big? by John Gibbs from An Englishman in New Jersey. Peek: "Be wary of such people. Many of them carry a virus, Excusitis, a mental affliction which can kill writing dreams by causing the person suffering from it to doubt themselves and their ability. Symptoms include excessive use of the phrases like 'I wanted to be a writer, but...', 'I’ve always thought I had a book in me, but...', 'I love writing, but...'"

Writing Links from Cynthia Leitich Smith Children's-YA Literature Resources features lots to know about agents, book design & art direction, editors & publishers, education, illustration, promotion, publishing, and writing. See also Inspiration in Writing Children's & YA Books and Perspiration: Self Study.

R.J. Anderson talks about Rebel, the sequel to Knife (Orchard UK)(titled Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter in the U.S. from HarperCollins). Source: The Enchanted Inkpot. Read a Cynsations interview with R.J.

Kidlitosphere Diversity Discussion

PaperTigers Reading the World Challenge 2010. Peek: "Choose one book from/about/by or illustrated by someone from each of the seven continents – that’s: Africa; Antarctica; Asia; Australasia; Europe; North America; South America. Have the books read aloud to you or read them yourself; share them as part of a book-group or in class. Combine your choices with other reading challenges. The books can be picture-books, poetry, fiction, non-fiction...the choice is yours."

Kids of Color in Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy--a look back at the 98 books nominated for the Cybils from Charlotte's Library: Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Children and Teenagers. Peek: "Here are the kids of color I found, the ones who got enough page-time to be memorable."

More Personally

My holiday highlights included reading Nightshade by debut author Andrea Cremer (Philomel, Oct. 2010). It was my great pleasure to send in a blurb for the novel, which you can read here.