Austin Writer Jacqueline Kelly Revisits the 'Willows' by Jeff Salamon from The New York Times. Peek: "As Ms. Kelly began writing 'Return to the Willows,' she found one of the characters taking over the story — specifically, the one who represents the sort of disregard for convention that Grahame feared but schoolchildren adore."
Interview with Editor Heather Alexander of Dial by Jenny Martin from Crowe's Nest. Peek: "A lot of times, there is an instant gut reaction when reading submissions. But once I know I like something or don’t, I focus in on the concrete reasons why."
Are You a Marathon Writer? by Kristi Holl from Writer's First Aid. Peek: "I am saddened by the talented writers who quit easily. I am even more often encouraged by the medium-talented writers who hang in there and get published."
Jillian Medoff: From Flattened to Fabulous by Sarah Pinneo from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: "'And it flopped,' Medoff told me. 'It had great reviews... and lousy sales.'"
The Mortal Review: Cassandra Clare on Diversity from RaceBending.com. Peek: "When I did a signing in Mexico City, dozens of girls came up and asked me whether I would include a Hispanic female character soon and I was happy to be able to say that yes, as my next series is set in Los Angeles one of the major female protagonists is Mexican, and they were so happy — it made me feel sad to see how starved they were for representation in the fantasy adventure books they love."
PaperTigers 10th Anniversary: Uma Krishnaswami's Top 10 and a Quick Chat from PaperTigers Blog. Peek: "I started out by thinking of the face-off we see so often between human sprawl and green, growing things."
Three Steps for Using Prompts to Write Better and Get Published from Jane Friedman. Peek: "Through a simple three-step process, I built up my writing stamina and got tangible results just by doing writing exercises, and you can do it too."
A (Revised) Plot Checklist by editor Cheryl Klein from Brooklyn Arden.
Always Write Terrible First Drafts by Carolyn Kaufman from QueryTracker.netBlog. Peek: "...if you always consider your first draft terrible, you’re not going to be offended when others point out weak areas."
Guessing and Misunderstandings in Plot by Mary Kole from Kidlit.com. Peek: "Plots that have a guess or a misconception at the heart of them are very difficult to pull off because there is not a lot for your reader to hook into and believe in."
Books of Wonder (a children's bookstore) in NYC Needs to Raise $100,000 to Survive by Maryann Yin from GalleyCat. Peek: "As of this writing, they have received more than $20,000 in contributions. The campaign will last for 30 more days." Donate and help spread the word.
|Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith|
Mary's Magic: video interviews with author-illustrator Mary Sullivan about her upcoming picture book, Ball (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013), by Mark G. Mitchell from How to Be a Children's Book Illustrator. Peek: "Based on the ball-chasing dog Mary never had, Ball uses only one word, repeatedly to tell of a dog who dreams of chasing a certain red ball."
Katherine Catmull on the Writer and the Storyteller from Adventures in YA and Children's Publishing. Peek: "...some of us face drafting like a small child faces a doctor with a syringe. Nothing worse could happen. I will do dishes, I will exercise, I will fall asleep at my desk, even, before I will draft."
Being a Writer Means Being a Child Forever by Sue LaNeve from Quirk and Quill. Peek: "Without consciously trying, ideas began to emerge about the era in which I’d set my lovely story. Did this setting detail exist in that year? Was that song released before or after this story event?"
Looking for more publishing links? Try QueryTracker.netBlog.
- New! Signed hardcover copy of Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey (Dial Books, 2012) and a bookmark (YA)
- Five signed copies of Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith (MG/Tween)
- Attention, teachers, librarians, and reading group coordinators! Enter to win a Sinister Sweetness Book Club Kit (10 copies, plus bookmarks and swag, plus a 30-minute Skype visit with Nikki)(MG)
Winners for last week's giveaways have been contacted. If you won but haven't responded, please do so this weekend.
This Week at Cynsations
- Beck McDowell on The Blinking Cursor
- Career Builder: Janet Lee Carey
- Karen Leggett Abouraya on Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books
- New Voice: Colleen Clayton on What Happens Next
- Book Trailer: Timeless by Alexandra Monir
- Book Trailer: This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Tweens Read Book Festival
I accompanied Greg Leitich Smith to Tweens Read Book Festival in Pasadena, Texas last Saturday. Greg was a featured author speaker. Kudos to the Blue Willow Bookshop booksellers and the whole (teacher-librarian packed) volunteer team for an amazing event! See Greg's coverage.
|Trent Reedy & Greg Leitich Smith|
|Chronal Engine cupcake|
|Editor Virginia Duncan & Stefan Bachmann|
|Authors assemble on stage|
|Greg Leitich Smith on a panel|
|Shana Burg, Claire Legrand, Diana Lopez & Lisa Schroeder|
|Augusta Scattergood, Deron R. Hicks, Lynne Kelly & W.H. Beck|
|Shannon Messenger & Lisa Schroeder|
|Keynoter Heather Brewer|
|Greg with me at Tweens Read; photo by Shana Burg.|
This week's highlights included the launch party for Return to the Willows by Jacqueline Kelly, illustrated by Clint G. Young (Henry Holt, 2012)(see cover above).
|Jackie & Clint spoke to a standing-room-only crowd.|
|Lovely live music at the opening reception.|
Even More Personally
|I'm also excited about the spooky season!|
- Indian Country Reacts to Russell Means Passing
- Author Insight: Sequel Stand-In
- Carlyle House Cauldron Tea & Tour
- To Anyone Who Has Ever Blogged About YA Cover Design
- Need a YA-themed Halloween Costume? (For Divergent fans)
From Greg Leitich Smith
Greg Leitich Smith at the Texas Book Festival Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 at the state capitol building in Austin. See also Texas Book Festival 2012 Youth Literature Programming.
Congratulations to Melanie Chrismer on the release of Chachalaca Chiquita, illustrated by David Harrington (Pelican, 2012)! Houston readers, look for her from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 at River Oaks Bookstore, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 3 at Barnes & Noble -- River Oaks Center, and from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 10 at Barnes & Noble Town & County.
The Writing Barn (Austin) Presents 2013 Advanced Writing Workshops, featuring editor Alexandra Penfolds (January), YA author Sara Zarr (April), and Francisco X. Stork (November). See details.