Friday, July 30, 2010

Best YA Books For Adults

Check out the list over at GalleyCat. No real surprises there, but a good place to start if you're new to the genre.

And if you are--really, what took you so long? You're missing out on the best reading, I'm telling you...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

KidLit Con 2010

There's a new conference this fall for you KidLit fans, on October 23rd in Minneapolis. Sounds really cool, and not just because of the Minneapolis location.

Check it out.

Anyone thinking of going?

Bleeding Heart

Cute kitty, no? Happily stolen from I Can Has Cheezburger.

I'm a bit off-topic here, but it's not like that hasn't happened before, right? And those of you who follow this blog know I love cats like a nutty spinster.

If you like cats, consider adopting some of the many (many, many) left behind by their owners. This article talks about the bad economy and how shelters are packed here in Colorado, and a quick search on The Google told me it's just as bad all over the country. The Humane Society is receiving 40-50 cats A DAY--they're calling it a crisis. So if you have room (and kitties take up very little room), think of getting yourself a cat.

Cats are better entertainment than cable (see pic), and cheaper, too. I know, I'm a bleeding heart and you can't save them all, and all that prudent advice--but we can try, right?


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1972 VW Beetle + $4,000 =

Give a teenager a 1972 VW Beetle, $4,000 and what do you get? No, not a trip to Vegas and a call to AAA, but AN ELECTRIC CAR.

Amazing. American automakers should take some notes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Five Rules For Writing YA

Today over at Guide to Literary Agents, agent Regina Brooks of Serendipidity Literary gives us the five rules for writing YA. I especially like rule number five.

Good advice there, for my writer friends thinking of coming over to the cool side.

Monday, July 26, 2010

All Grown Up

I caught this video on VH1 this morning, and had to do a double-take. Hanson? Those dudes from M-Bop?

Here's the video; it's a fun remake of a famous scene from the Blues Brothers.

Hanson, all grown up. Glad to see they're still getting their pop on.

Superheroes, Vampires And Costumes

Check out the roundup on ComicCon here.

Sounds like it was fun, sigh...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Reading

Check out the results of this study done by Dominican University in several states (including CO) on the impact of summer reading. It sort of points out the obvious: summer reading improves academic scores, so libraries are important.

Still, interesting.

And a whole new reason to sit and read instead of mowing the lawn, which suits me just fine.

Friday, July 23, 2010

On Libraries and Teen Spaces

There's an interview on YPulse with Kim Bolan Cullin, author of Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover where she talks about (you may have guessed this from the title of her book) teen spaces in libraries. Really interesting stuff.

She brought up that there still are very few allocated spaces for the 9-12 year-olds--the middle graders, which I've noticed myself. My library (which is really great, btw) mixes MG books in both the kids section and the separate teen section--not ideal.

Let's hope that with more books being published for this age group, we'll see allocated spaces for the MG crowd too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chasing Geek Blessings

It's ComicCon time, and USAToday has a great article about how the fans drive this conference--movie producers and the like go there to get the geeks' blessings.

According to director Jon Favreau, "their tastes define the marketplace."

Geeks rule, in other words. Cool, no?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Boys and Reading: Part Deux

There's an interesting article in The Washington Post today, looking at ways to get boys to read. Farts, grossness and online interaction are it--at least for the MG audience.

Humor is the answer, I'm getting from this article. I like that.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dystopia R Us

The end of the world is still hot (just watch the news to see why), especially in fiction. We like to depress ourselves.

And to help you decide which dystopian novel is right for you, Flavorwire has a quiz for you.

Not so much YA, but still. It's a quiz. We love those, right?

Monday, July 19, 2010

For Writers: Your Opening Pages

A quick plug on your Monday morning of my upcoming online workshop, Polishing Your Sample Pages, over at Savvy Authors in two weeks.
It'll be fun and useful, so join if you're planning to query soon!

Alright, that's as salesy as I get.
Still, I do hope you'll check it out.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Don't Worry Be Happy

Heard this song on the radio yesterday, and it cheered up the drive home. Classic happiness, and who doesn't want more of that, right?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Why Your YA For Boys May Not Sell

Agent Mary Kole has a really good post today about boy YA readers, and why books for this audience are so hard to place. I've heard this frustration from fellow writers, and this post is smart and honest about the subject.

Refreshing as a cool glass of lemonade. You may want to spike that lemonade if you have a boy protagonist YA manuscript...

Dutchness And The Google

Want to learn more about Dutch history? You're in luck: the Dutch library system is partnering with Google Books to scan more than 160,000 books into its database, making it accessable to anyone who wants to read it. Worldwide.

Anyone who speaks Dutch, I presume, which is pretty much the Dutch. So perhaps not so worldwide.

Still, I like it. I'll translate for you if you want.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Where Writers Live

I thought this was an interesting website: Writers Houses, where A.N. Devers chronicles her visits to (you guessed it) famous writers' houses. You can find out more about her reasons on the website, where you can look up houses by author, state, etc.

Fun and interesting.

And I chose this house for me to write in when I'm rich and famous, since we're on the topic and all. I hear Tuscany is the best place to write.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Write Like...

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

It's Wednesday, and aren't we all looking for some timewastery, something to help us make it through the workday?

Check this out: I Write Like will analyze a piece of your writing and tell you which famous author's writing yours resembles. I pasted in the opening to my manuscript TIMEFIX, and it told me I write like Stephen King. Ha! Not really, but it's Wednesday. I could use the ego boost.

Fun, huh?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

For Writers: Advice On Combining Genres

For my writer pals: agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe talks about the dos and don'ts of combining genres over at Writer's Digest. It's a little bit like cooking; like Ms. Stampfel-Volpe says, "there's a base flavor, something that the rest of the ingredients are there to enhance." Really good advice, so check it out.

I'm a bit hungry now, with all this food talk...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Anne Frank Diary As A Graphic Novel

Anne Frank's diary is now a graphic novel--first in the Netherlands, and in other countries later this year.

I'll be interested to see how the book translates into a graphic novel--could be a great way to introduce Anne's story to reluctant readers.

Find out more on the Anne Frank Museum website.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mockingjay/Hunger Games Trilogy News

For you Hunger Games trilogy fans, eagerly awaiting Mockingjay (me, me! the cliffhanger at the end of Catching Fire was just plain torture): Scholastic announced print runs (for you number geeks) and a 12-month book tour for author Suzanne Collins.

More info at Publishers Weekly.

Mall Worms

I hate the mall. Really do. There's something about the whole place (and I'm not just talking about the 'food' court) that makes my stomach hurt. I guess I'm just not much of a shopper.

But I thought this was actually a smart idea: the Dallas Public Library has set up shop in a local mall, and readership has jumped. Clever, no?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Interesting Interview

Today on Crowe's Nest, Carolee interviews Simon Pulse Executive Editor Anica Rissi.

Really interesting stuff for both writers and YA fans (she talks about Pulse It, what sort of books she gravitates towards, and upcoming Pulse books), so check it out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Devine YA

There's an interesting article up at Slate, talking about the empowering message in (you'll never guess...) Christian YA. This type of fiction is unlikely to make my TBR pile, since it's just not where I roam.

But still. Looks like there's something to be learned from Christian YA, and I'm not talking religious stuff.

Who knew?

Friday, July 2, 2010


It's July, and the YA Sleuth is hitting that wall. The one you hit when you've been worrying about work, work, work too much, and even a vacation doesn't do the trick. Books burn me out because they're not snappy enough, the TV season is done, and then there's all those stupid chores that must be done before winter. Grumble.

Thankfully, there's summer TV for us July burnouts. My favorite: Leverage. It's not the most complex of shows, but man, is it ever fun. The characters are cool, the pace is perfect, the heists are fun--that show is just the perfect reason not to work.

Love it.

I think TNT is rerunning some episodes Sunday, in case you want to join in on the fun.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lessons Learned From A Saguaro

I’m back from vacation, reluctantly, but still. It’s time to get back to work, so here I am.

While I was on vacation in Arizona (where I’m pretty sure the phrase ‘hot as hell’ was born), I ate some good food, floated in the pool (a lot), and rode a mustang named Echo in the desert. That last bit, the horseback riding, was probably the coolest part of the trip: when we (me, my love and our two daughters) made it to the middle of the trail, stopped and overlooked acres and acres of desert with saguaro cacti. So peaceful.

Our guide (cool cowboy Jared with mirrored sunglasses) told us that it takes the saguaro cactus something like seventy years before it grows its first arm. And there were saguaro cacti as far as we could see. All of them waited patiently to grow their arms. A pretty impressive feat.

So I learned something on my trip. Bring plenty of water, enjoy the pool, wear sun block, and grow some patience. Easy does it, whether you’re riding Echo the mustang or waiting for your arms to grow.

Follow along with the MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL blog tour!

I'm so excited for the Aug. 25th release if MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL...!  If you want to join the fun, follow along with the bl...