Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cynsational News & Giveaways

Stick Man and Christmas Book Picks by Esme Raji Codell from The Planet Esme Plan. Peek: "if I could have one Christmahanukwanzaakah wish, it would be that children's books wouldn't go out of print quite so quickly, and publishers would back artists instead of titles." Read a Cynsations interview with Esme.

Agent Lauren Macleod Strothman Agency by Kathleen Temean. Peek: "Looking for: Contemporary YA & MG, narrative nonfiction for young adults, graphic novels, YA Dystopian with strong world-building..."

An Interview with Rabbi Jacobs from Jewish Books for Children with Author Barbara Bietz. Peek: "The Two Kings book series actually evolved from a play we performed for many years in front of tens of thousands of youth in Israel."

An Interview with Marilyn Singer from Children's Author David L. Harrison's Blog. Peek: "Poems to me are about capturing moments in time, answering questions I ask myself, exploring emotions I feel, or, if I’m writing narrative poems, capturing the essence of characters. They're also about playing with language in ways that are impossible to attempt in prose." See also Marilyn on What Makes a Good Young Picture Book? and What Makes a Good Poem? and What Is a Short Story?

Children's Books: Alarmingly Bright Futures by Rich Cohen from the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Peek: "The book, which explains the whys and hows of Day-Glo and is illustrated with tremendous Pop Art verve, began with [Chris] Barton's perusal of The New York Times’s obituary page, proving that the dead really do tell the best tales." Read a Cynsations interview with author Chris Barton.

17 Reasons Book Manuscripts are Rejected by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen from Quips and Tips for Successful Writers. Peek: "These 17 reasons book manuscripts are rejected are from a panel of editors, literary agents, and publishers at the Surrey International Writers' Conference in British Columbia, Canada."

Holiday Survival Guide for Introverts by R.L. LaFevers from Shrinking Violet Promotions. Peek: "If your time is too frazzled to actually make progress on your manuscript, consider personal journaling or maybe even character journaling."

Steal These Books by Margo Rabb from the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Peek: "At BookPeople in Austin, titles displayed with staff recommendation cards are a darling among thieves. 'It's so bad lately that I feel like our staff recommendation cards should read: 'BookPeople Bookseller recommends that you steal ________.' Apparently the criminal element in Austin shares our literary tastes, or are very prone to suggestion," Elizabeth Jordan, the head book buyer, wrote in an e-mail message." Read a Cynsations interview with Margo.

Attention Shoppers

Books Make Great Gifts from IndieBound. Find Austin Children's-YA Authors & Illustrators at IndieBound. See also my IndieBound page.



Shades of the Season by Kelly Starling Lyons from the Brown Bookshelf. Peek: "...what if you're looking for a tale that celebrates the season and African-American culture? Here are 10 picture books to consider adding to your holiday book list that salute Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's Day." See a video below, celebrating Shante Keys and the New Year's Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport, illustrated by Marion Eldridge (Albert Whitman, 2007).



Check out this book trailer for Fallen by Lauren Kate (Delacorte, 2009), suggested to fans of Eternal (Candlewick, 2009). Note: more on Fallen in 2010.



More Personally

Look for the paperback edition of Eternal (Feb. 2010) in the spring-summer 2010 Candlewick Press catalog! See page 108.

A Gift for Readers and Writers by JoAnn Early Macken from Teaching Authors: Six Children's Authors Who Also Teach Writing. Note: JoAnn kindly recommends my main website. Peek: "The massive Children’s & YA Literature Resources section includes interviews, bibliographies, and links to additional valuable resources: information about censorship, diversity, children’s book experts, guides for readers and teachers, state and national awards, recommended books, and writing for children and teenagers."

Look for the illustrated reader's theater, "A Real-Live Blond Cherokee," adapted by Christy Damio, on pages 4 to 9 in the Nov. 9 to Nov. 23, 2009 issue of Scholastic Action Magazine.

The reader's theater is an adaptation of my YA short story "A Real-Live Blond Cherokee and His Equally Annoyed Soul Mate," which appeared in Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today, edited by Lori Marie Carlson (HarperCollins, 2005).

Thanks to Christy for asking great questions and thoughtfully applying my answers. It's a treat, too, to see these YA short story characters brought to life in the illustrations. I'm especially loving the Wonder Woman boots and cowboy boots up front in the first one.


I've been busy revising Blessed (Candlewick, Feb. 2011), trying to get as much done as possible before leaving for the Vermont College of Fine Arts winter residency. Sometimes I move around the house to get a new perspective. Here's my set up earlier this week in the guest room, with Mercury (gray kitty) and Blizzard (white kitty).

Meanwhile, Greg was working on a novel of his own down in the kitchen. Aren't those bangs hilarious in this picture?

But just because we're busy doesn't mean that there's no seasonal cheer to be found. Cynsations will be taking a brief holiday hiatus and resume posting on Dec. 28.

But first, here's a peek inside my house. Below is one of my newest ornaments, created by children's book illustrator Joy Fisher Hein--an angel kitty reading a book (does she know me or what?). The rest are self-explanatory. Enjoy and happy holidays!



Giveaway Reminder

Enter to win one of three signed copies of Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott (Marshall Cavendish, 2009), one of three copies of The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein by Libby Schmais (Delacorte, 2009), and/or one of three signed copies of Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo by Greg Leitich Smith (Little, Brown, 2005)!

To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type "Watersmeet" and/or "The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein" and/or "Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo" in the subject line (Facebook, JacketFlap, MySpace, and Twitter readers are welcome to just privately message me with the name in the header; I'll write you for contact information, if you win). Note: one copy of each book will be reserved for a teacher, librarian, or university professor of youth literature; those eligible in these categories should indicate their affiliations in the body of their entry messages. The other two will go to any Cynsations readers!

Deadline: midnight CST Dec. 31.

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