Friday, July 09, 2010

Spooky News

The Pals in Peril Tourists' Guide to Deepest, Darkest Delaware from M.T. Anderson. A fantasy tour guide of the state of Delaware--complete with sing-alongs and an interactive fantasy map on parchment. Read a Cynsations interview with Tobin.

So, Names... by Amaris from The Enchanted Inkpot. Fourteen authors chime in on their thought process in choosing character names.

Publishing Isn't Perfect by Mary Kole from I've retitled this post, which is part of a series in which Mary discusses self-publishing. Peek: "...the old days of the recluse genius sitting in some attic, who only writes and doesn’t do a lick of outreach or publicity, are gone." Read a Cynsations interview with Mary.

Necessary Agent by by Jofie Ferrari-Adler from Poets & Writers. Peek: "An agent who understands that at a time when there is an industry-wide blockbuster mentality that makes it harder than it’s ever been for editors to find the institutional support it takes to publish serious work well, it is more important than ever for agents to be fearless, savvy, and relentless advocates for their clients after their books are under contract." Source: Elizabeth Scott.

The Inner Editor Versus the Inner Critic and How to Ignore Them by Malinda Lo. Peek: "You have to face these fears head-on. I suggest writing them down in black and white. Write them down by hand, so that they come out of a pen held by your own fingers. Look at them there on the page."

Interview with Simon Pulse Executive Editor Anica Rissi by Carolee Dean from Crowe's Nest. Peek: "The Internet isn't a place to market to readers, it’s a place to connect with readers, and like with successful face-to-face human interactions, those connections don’t happen through monologues."

Making Up Stuff for a Living: newly redesigned official site of author Saundra Mitchell. Saundra's debut novel, Shadowed Summer (Delacorte, 2010), is now available in paperback. Read a Cynsations interview with Saundra.

A Tip About Doing Author Events by Cynthia Lord. Peek: "It's not unusual for me to find that what's been promised is slightly different than what the event asked me to do." Read a Cynsations interview with Cynthia.

Darth Vader is My Daddy by Cecil Castellucci from Red Room. Peek: "I was born the day I saw Star Wars, and Darth Vader made me. Sure, he's a jerk. And an emotional nightmare. And he's made some really unhealthy choices in his life. But he's my muse. And I do want to own his helmet." Read a Cynsations interview with Cecil.

Put Clothes on Him. But Not Too Many. by Lois Lowry from Lowry Updates. Peek: "It's important, I think, for a reader to be able to visualize a fictional character or scene. But each reader will see something—or someone—differently, and that's as it should be, because it's what makes reading such a personal and individual act."

Sex Education Through "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" by Laura Sibson from Serendipity. Peek: "Later, we walked up to 29th Street for ice cream at Sundae Best and Tom asked the boys if they felt uncomfortable watching the episode. Our younger son (age 10) said he felt uncomfortable only because we were uncomfortable. 'I mean,' he said, 'there’s no point in watching if you’re going to fast-forward through every scene.'"

Congratulations to fellow Austinite Sean Petrie for signing with agent Marcy Posner of Folio Literary Management, and congratulations to Marcy for signing Sean!

Death By Ham: Playing the Odds of Getting Published by Maggie Stiefvater from Words on Words. Peek: "I didn't get published before I wrote Lament (Flux, 2008), though I wrote 30 other novels from the time I was in my teens (why no, I had no social life apart from bagpiping, why do you ask?) And this is why: those novels weren't ready." Read a Cynsations interview with Maggie.

Congratulations to Anna Staniszewski on the sale of her debut book, My Un-Fairy Tale Life, to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Note: Anna's agent is Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency; don't miss Anna's LJ.

New Film on Children's Book Authors and Illustrators by Judith Rosen from Publishers Weekly. See the trailer for "Library of the Early Mind: A Documentary Film Exploring Children's Literature." Source: Julie Larios.

Evolution of the Strange Case of Origami Yoda Book Cover by Chad W. Beckerman from Mishaps and Adventures: Dedicated to the Process and Exploration of Children's and Young Adult Book Design. Peek: "How do you treat the text? Now that we settled on a chalkboard for the backdrop the font and how the text would be rendered must blend into the environment seamlessly." Read a guest post by author Tom Angleberger on The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Amulet, 2010).

Cynsational Screening Room

Check out the book trailer for Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Scott Magoon (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, Aug. 31, 2010).

Marketing: an Inteview with Bree Despain by Cherylynne from The View from Above and Beyond. Peek: "...the nail polish. It has been a great give-away because, unlike a book mark or a business card, it is something that people will keep and use. And I've found its an incredible talking piece. People constantly ask me about where I got the great color, giving me a chance to talk about The Dark Divine (Egmont, 2009)." Check out the book trailer for The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (Egmont, 2009).

More Personally

Normally, Cynsations would be going on hiatus right now as I'd be off to teach at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. However, I'm taking a leave of absence instead to focus on my own writing, specifically the Eternal graphic novel and the fourth prose novel in my Gothic fantasy series.

I'm already missing my colleagues, students, and the VCFA community at large. My thoughts are especially with the incoming first semester class, the outgoing graduates, and the new visiting faculty members. To any of y'all reading this, have a wonderful summer residency!

What else? Greg and I celebrated the 4th of July with Chicago-style hot dogs...

and a visit to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, where--among other things--I was wowed by Ann Richard's boots. The late governor's motorcycle also was on display. Notes: (1) some of you may remember Governor Richards from her Democratic National Convention Keynote Address in 1988 in Atlanta; (2) I love cowboy boots!

Get your geek on! Join anthologists Holly Black @hollyblack and Cecil Castellucci @cecilseaskull, along with authors Libba Bray @LIBBABRAY, Cassandra Clare @cassieclare, Barry Lyga, Tracy Lynn @TracyLynntastic, Wendy Mass, and Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith @CynLeitichSmith for a #GEEKTASTIC tweet chat in celebration of the paperback release of Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (Little, Brown, 2009, 2010). The chat is scheduled for 5 p.m. PST, 6 p.m. MST, 7 p.m. CST, and 8 p.m. EST on July 12.

Increasing Website Traffic: an interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith by Darcy Pattison from PR Notes at Fiction Notes. Peek: "My top recommendation is to keep one’s site updated. I’m forever going to author sites, looking to link to information about new releases, and that content is nowhere to be found."

Cynsational Events

The launch party for Brains for Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! by K.A. Holt, illustrated by Gahan Wilson (Roaring Brook, Aug. 2010) will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 at BookPeople in Austin.