Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Super Cyn

Save for some useless facts about my agent, I didn't write much about the Austin SCBWI Conference. However, The Wonderful Cynthia Leitich Smith has listed a bunch of reports on her blogger site. See the listings here.

And while you're there, take a look at her entire site. It's a wealth of information for those interested in children's literature. I recently picked up a copy of her and Greg's new picture book, Santa Knows, for my niece. I also I picked up The Hidden Feast, illustrated by Austin's own Don Tate (I love the promotional movie on the August House website).

I'm especially excited about Cynthia's new YA book, Tantalize. Read what some other authors and booksellers are saying about the book here.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Damn Yankees

My uber-agent, Sara Crowe, was in town for our annual SCBWI conference this year. Here's what I found out about her:

1) She's tall. Really tall. And when she wears boots, she's really, really, really tall.

2) When she laughs, she reminds me of Alyson Hannigan (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and American Pie fame).

3) She strongly suggests stainless-steel cookware over non-stick.

4) She has freckles on her arms.

5) She prefers margaritas over wine.

6) She likes Coke (This coke, not that coke.)

7) She's a NY Mets fan.

8) A car once drove into her apartment, while she was in the apartment.

9) She has a bad habit of mistaking non-pregnant woman as actually being pregnant.

10) She loves all types of chocolate, although bribing her with chocolate when sending her a query letter won't increase your chances of her taking you on as a client. (She would still probably eat the chocolate, however.)

Sara is a great agent, but more importantly, she's the right agent for me. I think the whole "author-agent vibe" sometimes gets overlooked when authors start looking for representation, but it's a really important part of the whole relationship. I would imagine, just as I wouldn't be comfortable working with a lot of other agents, a lot of other agents wouldn't be comfortable working with me. You have to get your agent, and she has to get you.

Sara gets me. She gets my work. (Of course, it doesn't hurt that she also did a good job of selling my work, but that's beside the point.) I'm glad that I got the chance to meet her face-to-face this weekend. I would say that Brian Yansky could give a more in-depth version of the weekend events, but HE DOESN'T HAVE A WEBSITE YET. (Is that a subtle enough hint?)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pump Up the Volume

A number of people have come up to me and said, "I've been meaning to read your book, but I just can't seem to find the time." Well, thanks to the good folks at Recorded Books, you can now listen to the novel on the way to work.

I'm pleased to announce that A Red Polka Dot In A World Full of Plaid is now available on CD and cassette. And if you're looking at the price, don't have a heat attack - the audiobook is slated to be marketed to libraries, not end consumers. I'll be sure to announce if and when the novel will be available to end consumers for purchase or for rental (1). Or better yet, go to your local library and see if they'll order the audiobook. Of course, you can also purchase the audiobook yourself. But being that my own mother won't shell out the bones for the audiobook, it's probably a little much to ask you guys to do the same.

And as always, thanks to all the readers, writers, friends, family, and fans for all of the support. I wouldn't have gotten half as far as I have without you guys.

1: Update on 10-11-06 - It looks like you can rent the audiobook from Recorded Books.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fugging John Green

John Green is a fugging1,2,3 genius.

Just like with Markus Zusak, I am insanely jealous of John Green. Looking For Alaska, his Printz-winning debut novel, is easily one of my favorite books off all time (JG is a master of dialogue). And now, JG had gone and written another brilliant book, An Abundance of Katherines.

I got a copy of the ARC from Brian Yansky, whom I think got a copy from Super Cool Editor Guy4. I devoured the book. In fact, I liked it so much, I spend all afternoon last week driving around fugging Austin just to get my hands on a fugging copy from fugging Borders5.

An Abundance of Katherines combines break-ups and math. Unfortunately, like the main character, Colin, I'm well versed in both subjects. JG wrote this one in third person, but after reading the novel, I totally get why he did so (it would have been pretty tough to subject the reader to all that time in Colin's head). This novel isn't as heavy as Alaska, but it's just as fun, and the chase scene between Colin, Hassan, and the khanzeer6 could rival the chase scene in Alaska, with Pudge and the mother-fugging fox7. Now that I think about it, I think JG must have a thing for chase scenes involving animals. At least this time, the mc didn't get bit on the ass by a swan.

I could spend a bunch of time telling you about the novel, but JG talks all about it on his website. In addition, he's doing this whole blog tour thing, which is a brilliant idea. He was just on Sara Zarr's8 site last week.

Rhombus, the novel that I just sold to Flux, is about a math tutor, so it was refreshing to see JG's take on a novel where math is so prominent. Rhonda, my mc, isn't quite the prodigy that Colin is, but she is pretty damn smart, and is very logical. One of my main revision tasks is to make sure that her math background shines through in the novel.

But, I can always talk about my books later. Go buy An Abundance of Katherines. It's good. Really good.

1: Yes, there is a good reason that I used the word fugging.
2: Yes, this is supposed to be a footnote.
3: Yes, I know that the number for footnotes is supposed to be at the top of the word, but blogger won't let me fugging format the text like I want to.
4: In the words of fellow Fluxonian/Fluxinite/Bad Mother Fluxer,
Carrie Jones.
5: Incidentally, I believe that this Borders is the only bookstore in Austin still carrying
Red Polka Dot, so I had to buy the book at that point.
6: Arabic for pig. Again, there's a reason that I used Arabic.

7: Takumi.
8: Sara's book, Story of a Girl, is on my must-read list for 2007.