Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Good Rainbow Road

The Good Rainbow Road/Rawa 'Kashtyaa'tsi Hiyaani by Simon J. Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo), illustrated by Michael Lacapa (Hopi-Tewa-White Mountain Apache)(The University of Arizona Press, 2004). This title features "a Native American Tales in Keres and English[,] followed by a translation into Spanish" by Victor Montejo (Mayan) and is published in cooperation with Oyate. The Good Rainbow Road is about two brothers who work together to save Haapaahnitse (Oak Place), their town. The "about this book" section notes that it is not a traditional story, but rather an original tale told in a stylistically Native way. Ages 4-up.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Movement at Simon & Schuster

Anne Schwartz is leaving Simon & Schuster for Random House, where she'll have her own imprint. Suzanne Harper, S&S's senior VP and hardcover publisher, also resigned. Harper joined S&S last July (she had been formerly with Disney Adventures Magazine). In addition, Emma Dryden has been promoted to S&S VP and the associate publisher of Atheneum Books.

Tech Notes: I've been mostly offline for the past couple of days because my computer was loaded down with spyware and adware. Awful stuff. Greg was able to clear off most of it using Ad-Aware, but then I couldn't connect to the Internet. So I called Computer Nerdz. The sent Craig over, and he installed Spybot (and some other stuff, including the Microsoft patch to their anti-spyware thing). He suggested I run the programs weekly and that I switch to Mozilla-Firefox as my browser, which I did.

Sammy & Juliana In Hollywood

Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Cinco Puntos Press, 2004). Set in a rough New Mexico barrio in the latter 1960s, this story embraces a first true love and its loss, racism, homophobia, war, street violence, family, others words "life." The prose is at times breathtaking in its poetry and at others jarring in its truths. Sammy's voice lingers long after the book closes and leaves the reader more thoughtful than before. An absolute triumph! (Ages 14-up). HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.

More on Sammy & Juliana In Hollywood

I don't remember the last time I found myself so affected by a novel. I cheered, ached, hoped, and cried as I sank into its pages, its world, and read it in one sitting--staying up well past three a.m. to finish. Just holding it in my lap, trying to find the words to explain, is a challenge. This novel sings specificially (unapologetically depicting a community without the common translation trappings) and universally (exploring, no, elevating the human condition). You must read it. You must.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Author April Lurie; Walking The Choctaw Trail by Tim Tingle

I had the pleasure of lunching today with April Lurie, author of a wonderful debut 'tweener novel, Dancing In The Streets of Brooklyn (Delacorte, 2002). (See a review from Story Circle). April lives in nearby Round Rock, Texas, which is a suburb of Austin. She's terrific company, whip-smart, and has the most beautiful smile.

Speaking of the Austin area, Ballet Austin and Pollyanna Theatre Company are putting on "Trail Of Tears: Walking The Choctaw Road," based on the YA book Walking The Choctaw Road: Stories From Red People Memory by Tim Tingle. (Lovely man, highly recommended as a speaker). "This production combines dance with dialogue to explore the stories of the Choctaw Indians during the Indian Removals of 1830." The event (for young audiences, defined as ages 8+) will be held at the Texas School for the Death, 1102 South Congress Avenue at 3 p.m. Jan. 22. For tickets, call 512.476.2163 or visit the Ballet Austin box office at 501 W. 3rd St. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Thanks to April who told me all about this at lunch!

More personally, Tracy (my best friend from high school) has joined her real estate practice with her her husband's. If you're in the Denver area and need a house, check out team Russell and tell them "Cyn" sent you!

The Driver's Seat

I bought a new purse at the Emerald's New Year sale (best shoes in Austin), which prompted me to clean out my fraying day-to-day purse and switch my stuff over. In the process, I found a fortune from Suzi's: "Your place in the path of life is in the driver's seat."

This is an important message for writers. Sometimes we exert so much energy fretting what we cannot control (library budgets, the market, trends, success) that we forget how much power we do have (our vote, purchasing decisions, word-of-mouth, passion and strategy).

Today, think about your super-powers. Then decide what to do with them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Secrets Of Success

Author Ellen Jackson debuts a new monthly online column, "Secrets of Success," featuring interviews with children's/YA writers who are "breaking new ground" and willing to tell the rest of us how it's done.

This month's interview is with author Tanya Lee Stone, whose works include more than 75 non-fiction books and whose recent sales include a middle grade biography to DK, a picture book to Henry Holt, and a YA novel to Wendy Lamb Books (all in this past year!).

Ellen's great site also features "My Most Amazing Contact With An Author" (from an editor's point of view); winner of the "My Favorite Rejection Letter Contest" (from--who else?--an author's point of view); quotes; Ellen's blog; and more!

What's Buzzing?

Some big name and promising new writers have upcoming books with a new house on the scene, Darby Creek Publishing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Greg Leitich Smith on Writing Comedy and Multiple Viewpoint Novels

My very cute husband, author Greg Leitich Smith, has updated his Web site. Of particular interest is his Q&A on writing. He talks about writing comedy, multiple viewpoint novels, characters, and plot.

Greg is the author of Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo (Little Brown, 2003) and Tofu And T.Rex (Little Brown, July 2005)(check out the new Tofu cover art!).

Teach Me

If you've been reading my blog these past few days, you'll know that I'm flagging some titles and authors to watch. Here's one more.

Check out the cover art of Teach Me by R.A. Nelson (Razorbill/Peguin Putnam, fall 2005), graciously hosted at Lisa Kopelke's Web site.

The text around the apple reads:

"I don't want to think about anything that takes me away from thinking about him.

"it overwhelms me that I overwhelm him.

"this is what is real, the times we spend together and nothing else."

When asked about it, the author replied with this excerpt from the text:

"There is not a name for what I’m feeling. There is no description for it.
"To call it yearning would be like calling the ocean water.
"Whatever this thing is, it shoves you inside itself and you can’t measure its boundaries because they go too far and you don’t have enough time. Or you move toward the boundaries and they move away.
"There has been an earthquake in my life."

Intrigued? I am. Let's keep an eye out for this one.

Lisa's books include Tissue, Please! (Simon & Schuster, 2004) and Excuse Me! (Simon & Schuster, 2003).

Monday, January 10, 2005

Does Your School Ban Books In Secret?

In response to a teen reader post in her guest book, author Alex Flinn has posted a short article, "Does Your School Ban Books In Secret?"

Alex is the author of: Breathing Underwater; Breaking Point; Nothing To Lose; and Fade To Black.

Author Lynn E. Hazen

Surf over to author Lynn E. Hazen. Lynn has two new books, one recent and one forthcoming. Mermaid Mary Margaret (Bloomsbury, June 2004) is a middle grade novel, and Buzz Bumble To The Rescue (Bloomsbury, May 2005) is a picture book. Click for a hint of where Mary Margaret might go next!

Lynn completed her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College.

What else? Read some quotes by writers and other smart people from author Mary E. Pearson. Mary is the author of David V. God (Harcourt, 2000) and Scribbler of Dreams (Harcourt, 2001). Her next release will be A Room on Lorelei Street (Henry Holt, 2005).

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Authors Garfinkle, Butler

Meet D.L. Garfinkle, author of Storky (G.P. Putnam's Sons, April 2005): "with its hilarious musings on life, love and other disasters, Storky-- the complete journal of Michael 'Storky' Pomerantz's freshman year of high school-- is a riotous jouney into the mind of your average teenager. In no time, you'll be rooting for Michael to lose the nickname and win the girl." Totally cute, fun site from (awk!) another fellow recovering-lawyer-turned-writer. Includes useful information like "How Do I Get Published?" and a listing of her favorite serious and funny young adult books.

Then surf over to Amy Butler, author of Virginia Bound (Clarion, 2003): it "tells the story of a boy who is kidnapped from London in 1627 and sent to the Jamestown colony as an indentured servant. Suspenseful and fast-paced, it's a book about trust, friendship, and survival in early America." Read The Story Behind The Story from Amy Butler.
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