Enter to win a signed copy of Throat by R.A. Nelson (Knopf, 2011). From the promotional copy:
She's superhuman. There's just one catch.
Seventeen-year-old Emma Cooper has always been a risk taker at heart, smart and adventurous. But ever since her first grand mal seizure at the age of 13, her epilepsy has felt like a curse, wrecking her social life, derailing her dreams, even driving her boyfriend away.
Her doctors think they know best. Her mom worries her to distraction.
Tired of being held back, Emma fantasizes about running away, but she can't even legally drive. At least she can channel her frustrations into soccer, where she’s a star — the most aggressive player in the league — until a violent collision ends her playing days.
Heartbroken, Emma steals a car and races into the night, no idea where she is going. Losing control on a steep mountain road, she crashes into a ditch beside a sinister forest. An old cabin beckons through the trees. Emma goes to look for help — and her life is changed forever.
R. A. Nelson takes us on a supernatural thrill ride, a modern-day vampire story set on a NASA base and filled with romance and space-and-science intrigue.
To enter the giveaway, comment here or email me (scroll and click envelope) and type "Throat" in the subject line.
Deadline: midnight CST April 1. Note: Author sponsored; U.S. entries only.
Anneographies: children's author Anne Bustard on her favorite picture book biographies and a few collected biographies, too, birthday by birthday.
Child Development & Picture Books: An Interview with Joanne Rocklin by Michelle Markel from The Cat and the Fiddle. Peek: "Piaget and others have shown, and parents intuitively know, that children endow inanimate objects and animals with feelings and opinions (animism), that they believe the whole world thinks and feels as they do (egocentrism) and that they believe in magic."
Q & A with Agent Elena Mechlin of Pippin Properties from the Writers' League of Texas. Peek: "I’ve been supremely lucky to be working directly with the incredible list of clients that Holly McGhee has amassed over the years, but in terms of my very own client, I haven’t signed anybody yet, but getting close with a couple of prospects!"
Why We Should Include GLBTQ Characters and Themes in our Writing and Illustrating by Lee Wind from I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? Peek: "You certainly don’t need to be GLBTQ to write a GLBTQ character – any more than you need to be male to write about boy characters."
Written in Stone: Editing OP Books for Reissue in E-books by Laura Ruby from e is for book. Peek: "There is one secondary ghost character...that died at his/her own hand. At the time I wrote the book, I felt it suited the story. But after looking at it again, I wondered about it."
Ashley Perez on How Her Students Inspired What Can't Wait from Diversity in YA Fiction. Peek: "To include a glossary would have been to say, 'Actually, this book is meant as a barrio tour for gringos. See? It comes with a travel guide…'"
The Associates of the Boston Public Library is currently accepting applications from emerging picture book writers/illustrators for the 2011-2012 Writer-in-Residence Program. The fellowship provides a children’s writer/ illustrator with the support needed to complete one literary work, including a $20,000 stipend and office space for nine-months within the Boston Public Library’s Central Branch. Applications are due April 1. Learn more about the program guidelines and the application process (PDF). Learn more about the organization and prior fellowship winners. No calls please.
Franny Billingsley: a newly redesigned author site. Site design by Lisa Firke of Hit Those Keys, who is also the webmaster for The Official Author Site of Cynthia Leitich Smith and Home of Children's & YA Literature Resources. Note: Franny's latest release is Chime (Dial, 2011)(excerpt), which has received six starred reviews. See also A Conversation with Chime Author Franny Billingsley by Lena Coakley from The Enchanted Inkpot.
A Glimpse of the E-Future of Not by Joni from The Spectacle. Note: sharing insights from Kristen McLean, CEO of Bookigee and former executive director of the Association of Booksellers for Children (which recently merged into ABA). Peek: "...teens at least say they’re more influenced to make a purchase based on the jacket blurb than either the cover or the title (though those are moderately important, too). But the single greatest factor is if it’s an author or series they know."
Congratulations to Rae Ann Parker for signing with Erzsi Deak of the new literary agency Hen & Ink, and congratulations to Erzsi on signing Rae Ann.
Breaking into the Christian Market with Kathleen Muldoon from the Institute of Children's Literature. Peek: "In fiction, you should construct your plot such that your protagonist overcomes the story conflict by applying Christian morals, values, beliefs."
Before and After Being a Published Author by Denise Jaden. A look back on expectations and realities in her first six months of publication. Peek: "Sales is pretty much my biggest concern when it comes to Losing Faith (Simon Pulse, 2010). Will I sell enough to make my agent and editor and publisher and favorite bookstores happy?"
Conference Expectations by Kim Baker from Crowe's Nest. Peek: "So, what is your primary reason for shelling out the registration fee and signing up for a conference? Is it a book deal? Save your scratch and stay home. If it’s inspiration, community, or honing your craft that you are after, you are on the right track."
A New Independent Bookstore
The Book Spot, a new family-owned independent bookstore, has opened in Round Rock, Texas (1205 Round Rock Ave. #119 78681), just outside Austin. Mark your calendars for the official grand opening celebration April 8 and April 9.
Looking for a little more indie bookstore love? Virtually join Don Tate, hanging out at BookPeople in downtown Austin.
Hunger Mountain: the VCFA Journal of the Arts
Kudos to Bethany Hegedus and Kekla Magoon on another excellent edition of the children's-YA literature section of Hunger Mountain.
Passion for the Picture Book by Bethany;
Unlocking the Past by Zetta Elliott;
Life on Mars by Kate Milford;
How I Found Myself as a Writer and Why It Took So Long by Brian Yansky;
The Anatomy of a Teacher Guide by Debbie Gonzales;
Where the Censor Hides by Charlotte Agell.
I'm a traveling author-speaker-teacher of late, leaving again tomorrow (this time for a Wisconsin SCBWI novel workshop). I've got one more PowerPoint presentation to prepare, so I'll have to update you on all that in more detail in a future post.
Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith by Michelle Delisle from Whatcha Reading Now? Peek: "New Schwarzwald (home of the Wolf pack in Blessed (Candlewick, 2010)) is inspired by small German towns in Michigan, where I went to law school, and here in central Texas. It's not the first time I've set a story in a historically German town; there's also Hannesburg, Kansas, the setting in my debut tween novel Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001)."
You can download a free copy of "Cat Calls"--one of my short stories set in the Tantalize series universe (Candlewick Press) from Library Bin. Then shop the site! "When you purchase eBooks & digital audiobooks, the funds are credited to the participating public library of your choice!" Nifty, eh?
Steven R. McEvoy at Book Reviews and More says of "Cat Calls," "If you have not read any of her books, get the free download and sample her writings; if you have, you will love this new short story."
Links of the Week: Kidlit for Japan, Librarian Helps Students, Author Create Book Trailers.
Erin Murphy Literary Agency Wine Social will be at 3 p.m. April 16 at BookPeople in Austin. Peek: "Come meet Erin Murphy as well as some of the authors she represents."
YA A to Z Conference, sponsored by the Writers' League of Texas, will be April 15 and April 16 at the Hyatt Regency Austin (208 Barton Springs Road). Cost: $279 WLT Members, $349 Nonmembers (through March 15). See more information. Note: conference faculty includes Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith. The early bird registration deadline is today!
Jo Whittemore will be signing Odd Girl In (Aladdin, 2011) at 2 p.m. April 10 at BookPeople in Austin. Note: Odd Girl In is now available! Congratulations, Jo!
Liz Garton Scanlon will be signing Noodle & Lou, illustrated by Arthur Howard (Beach Lane, 2011) at noon April 23 at BookPeople in Austin. See curriculum guide.
Chris Barton will be signing Can I See Your ID? True Stories of False Identities, illustrated by Paul Hoppe (Dial, 2011) at 7 p.m. May 14 at BookPeople in Austin. See discussion guide.
Diversity in YA Fiction: Austin Tour Stop 7:30 p.m. May 9 at BookPeople. Featuring authors With authors Bethany Hegedus, Malinda Lo, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Cindy Pon, Dia Reeves, and Jo Whittemore, and moderated by Varian Johnson. See Jo Whittemore: Against Tokenism.