Cover Stories: Forgive My Fins by Tara Lyn Childs from Melissa Walker. Peek: "I sent it immediately to my friends at Blue Willow Bookshop for their bookseller perspective and then sent on their suggestions with mine. The art department at Harper absolutely took those suggestions to heart. They were extremely committed to making the cover as perfect as possible and worked on every little detail."
Dealing with Flash Point, Difficult Topics by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. A discussion of how to approach hot-button topics, using The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (Henry Holt, 2008) as a case study.
Austin Avant-Grande Mentoring Program: "a network of successful kid-lit artists and writers offering support, providing guidance, and sharing expertise in a highly professional manner. AAMP amplifies a sense of community through a concentrated focus on craft."
Attention Gothic fantasy, horror, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy authors! Please swing by spookycyn and my related bibliography to make sure your blog/author site links are included. If not, please contact me with the URLs and where they should go.
PR Notes: Book Publicity by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: "For some time, I’ve been very interested in the ins and outs of marketing, public relations, social media, etc. I’ve thought about doing a separate website; instead, I’ve decided to write a PR Notes column on Wednesdays. I’d love to include your PR story in a guest post or I’d be glad to send you a Q&A."
Margaret Bechard: new official author site. Learn about Margaret and her books, read her journal, and find out about her teaching. Peek: "Writing is hard and frustrating and sometimes I just want to be a barista at Starbucks. But then there are those moments where everything comes together, when my fingers are typing just a little bit faster than my brain is working, and then I know why I always wanted to do this."
Selling Yourself by Parker Peevyhouse from The Spectacle. Peek: "Is all this talk about post-its and Halloween drowning out the carefully crafted noise of a well-written story?" See also What It Means to Say "Brand Me" by Colleen Mondor from Chasing Ray, which springs from Maureen Johnson's Anti-branding Manifesto.
Critiques: Guidelines and Tips by Donna Bowman Bratton from Simply Donna. Peek: "As a critique group member, you will at times be a partner, a therapist, a sounding board, an impartial reader, an editor, and a cheerleader."
Dystopian and the Apocalypse: What's the Difference? by Kaitlin Ward from YA Highway. Peek: "These terms sometimes have that same confusion factor (for me, at least) as 'urban fantasy' vs. 'paranormal romance.' So much potential for overlap, but really, they are their own unique snowflakes." Note: includes model books for reference.
Excerpts of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Children's Book Publishing (3rd and latest edition) are being tweeted by author Harold Underdown (@HUnderdown), beginning June 8. See hash tag: #cigpcb
The Elephant in the Room by Elizabeth Bluemle from PW Shelf Talker. Peek: "What I’d like to do is open the conversation by offering some positive, creative steps we can all take to make the world of children’s books—behind the scenes, in addition to between the covers—catch up to the amazing, diverse, infinitely rich world those books are meant to reflect and celebrate." Note: features original, tie-in art by Kevan Atteberry, Addie Boswell, Jerry Craft, Katie Davis, Nancy Devard, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Laura Freeman, Erin Eitter Kono, Grace Lin, Nicole Tadgell, and Sharon Vargo. See also Is My Character Black Enough? from Stacy Whitman's Grimoire.
The Thrill of Harry Potter Rides On by Neil Genzlinger from The New York Times. Peek: "...rides aren’t really the point; workmanship is. This attraction was made for the kind of people who have more or less memorized Ms. Rowling’s books, and it shows in all sorts of details. The weathering of the stone to make it look indefinably old. The way the snow sits on the rooftops, just on the verge of melting." Note: don't miss the video.
Reminder: the deadline for the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing is June 30. Peek: "One overall first place winner receives $1,000 and publication! Three runners-up receive $100 each." This year's judge is Holly Black.
Cynsational Screening Room
Check out the book trailer for Susan Beth Pfeffer's post-apocalypse trilogy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
Celebrating Ming Doyle
Rumor has it that the delightful folks at Candlewick are starting to talk about the spring 2011 list, which is a big list for me because it'll include both Blessed and Tantalize: Kieren's Story, a graphic novel, illustrated by Ming Doyle. This strikes me as another call to celebrate the awesomeness of Ming, so here's a Lois & Clark video snapshot from her LJ.
On a related note, Ming now has a journal of her art available for purchase. Note: this would be a lovely gift to give one's wife for her anniversary. This is a hint to my husband.
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci is being released in paperback this month by Little, Brown. The anthology includes "The Wrath of Dawn" by Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith.
Thanks to Shveta for hosting my latest interview--Dancing and jingling and tantalizing: Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith--at A desi faerie spins stories of stars, jasmine in her hair.... I talk about the inspirations for Tantalize, Eternal, and even Cynsations as well as what I've learned from teaching, a few recommended multicultural novels, what I'd like to see more of in children's-YA books, my upcoming releases, and fictional role models.
Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith: Author of Eternal by J.E. from Fresh Dawgs' Book Blog. Peek: "My reading tastes have expanded over the years. When I was in high school, I enjoyed spooky stories, and I still do. But I also love great creative nonfiction, historical novels, novels in verse, and many more genres and formats. Writing has made me appreciate more what I can learn from embracing a wide variety of books."
Reminder: any ARC/book blurb queries should be emailed to me by editors/agents, not from authors directly. Please also note that I have been swamped of late with such requests, so it's not an ideal time. Thanks!
Austin Area Events
"The Metaphor: So Much More Than a Simple Comparison," a lecture by Varian Johnson at 11 a.m. June 12 at BookPeople.