Friday, August 27, 2010

Spooky News & Giveaways

R.A. Nelson: redesigned site from the author of Teach Me (Razorbill, 2007), Breathe My Name (Razorbill, 2008), Days of Little Texas (Knopf, 2010), and Throat (Knopf, 2011). Read a Cynsations interview with R.A.

New Agent Alert: Jason Pinter of Waxman Literary Agency by Chuck Sambuchino from Guide to Literary Agents. Note: Jason is seeking middle grade and YA fiction. Peek: "I'm a sucker for stories about ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations, and normal people who must overcome seemingly insurmountable odds."

Life on the Road: Tips for Authors on Tour by Richelle Mead from Blue Succubus. Peek: "Because most signings are at 6 or 7 p.m., I often get picked up at 5 or 6 p.m., meaning I don't get to eat at dinnertime. Get food when you arrive, or you may not eat at all."

6 1/2 Ways to Impress an Agent by Tina Wexler from Donna Gephart at Wild About Words. Peek: "Demonstrate knowledge of their list. This doesn’t mean you have to read every book they’ve ever sold--I leave that job to my mom--but by showing them you know a bit about who they represent, you’re telling agents you’ve done your research on who to query."

Congratulations to Vermont College of Fine Arts, which is ranked first among low-residency MFA programs, according to Poets and Writers!

The Package of Services That Publishers Provide Authors and How This Is Changing by Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent. Peek: "Here are the basic services traditional publishers provide for an author, why these services matter, and how this is (and isn't) changing...." Read a Cynsations interview with Nathan.

Guest Post: Agent Michelle Andelman on Dystopian Fiction from The Spectacle. Peek: "I dived in feeling self-important, feeling like my mom trusted my opinion, feeling like I was revisiting a place I’d just left. Cracking the spine, I felt adult for the first time. And, then I fell in love."

Agent Interview: Mary Kole from Alice Pope's SCBWI Children's Market Blog. Peek: "I'm still very much looking for talent, but I feel like I can take my time now and be really picky. I'd say I can sum up my goals in agenting and in life with, 'Read and learn more and more every day.'" See also Mary on Mature Voice for the YA Market from

Inevitable Envy by Eric from Pimp My Novel. Peek: "If you feel it—or rather, when you feel it—first of all, take comfort that you’re in the very best of company." Source: Elizabeth Scott.

How Many Projects Do You Have to Write Before the Big One? from Jennifer Hubbard. Peek: "I think the typical answer is around four (I vaguely recall someone compiling statistics on this, but it's also my experience anecdotally, from talking to other writers). I do know writers who have sold the very first book they ever wrote, but they are the exception."

Writing in the Woods: authors Marsha Wilson Chall, Phyllis Root and Jane Resh Thomas are offering a writing workshop from Oct. 9 to Oct. 15 in Spring Valley, Minnesota. Application deadline: Sept. 1. Note: "Two graduate credits will be available through Hamline University." Peek: "As teachers, readers, and creators of children’s literature, we invite you to live and write with us for a week in the woods. We provide a safe, supportive writing environment and promise to nurture you and treat your art kindly." Read a Cynsations interview with Phyllis.

Congratulations, David Macinnis Gill

Congratulations to David Macinnis Gill on the release of Black Hole Sun (Greenwillow, 2010). From the promotional copy:

Durango will take on any mission—as long as it is dangerous, impossible, and hopeless, and as long as it pays enough for him and his crew to get by.

Fortunately for Durango, he also has Mimi, a symbiotic nano-implant, to keep him on the straight and narrow, as well as a crew of loyal soldiers. Because he’s going to need everything he’s got for his latest mission—defending a rag-tag clan of helpless miners from a ravenous horde of feral cannibals and their enigmatic but brutal leader, who is hellbent on taking out the miners, and Durango along with them.

Read a Cynsations interview with David about his previous book, Soul Enchilada (Greenwillow, 2009)

Spooky Screening Room

Mocking Jay (Scholastic), the third and final book in the Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy is now available. Check out Editor Spotlight: Jennifer Rees by Sherrie Peterson from Write About Now. Peek: "It wasn’t until she delivered the manuscript for The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008), however, that we truly realized just how big and wide-reaching a project this was. We literally walked around with goosebumps for days."

More Personally

I'm honored to be among the 2010 Festival Authors scheduled to appear at the 15th annual Texas Book Festival Oct. 16 and Oct. 17 at the State Capitol Building in Austin.

The line-up also includes M.T. Anderson, T.A. Barron, Chris Barton, Holly Black, Heather Brewer, Cinda Williams Chima, Andrea Cremer, Tony DiTerlizzi, Keith Graves, Justine Larbalestier, April Lurie, Deborah Noyes, Scott Westerfeld, and Brian Yansky.

My fave amusing links of the week are (a) Erm. This Hope This Doesn't Ever Become a Fashion Trend by Leila Roy from Bookshelves of Doom, highlighting hats made out of books (check out the photos!); and (b) Inside the Science Fiction Book Contract by Greg R. Fishbone from The Spectacle (I particularly liked the "Cloned Author Clause.")

Spooky Giveaways

Reminder: Surf over to Mundie Moms to read the latest interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith, and enter to win bookplate-signed copies of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007, 2008) and Eternal (Candlewick, 2009, 2010)! With Blessed (Candlewick, 2011) coming soon; now is a great time to get caught up on the series, if you haven't already. Or enter to win a book to give to your local high school or public library. All you have to do is fill out a short form. Deadline: Sept. 15; U.S. entries only.

Enter to win Vampire High: Sophomore Year by Douglas Reese (Delacorte, 2010)(author interview). To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) and type "Vampire High: Sophomore Year" in the subject line (Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are welcome to just privately message or comment me with the name in the header/post). I'll write you for contact information, if you win. Deadline: Aug. 31. Publisher review copy; U.S. entries only.

More Spooky Events

Join author Mari Mancusi at 11 a.m. Aug. 28 for a discussion of Boys that Bite (Berkley, 2006) at Cedar Park Public Library in Cedar Park, Texas. The Teen Book Club is open to all teens ages 10-17 and meets in the Teen Zone. Teens can come by the library and pick up their free copy of the book in advance. Read a Cynsations guest post by Mari on Kids Don't Read Like They Used To, and That's a Good Thing.

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