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Viewing Blog: Barry Goldblatt Literary Blog, Most Recent at Top
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President (ha, that sounds important, doesn't it?) of Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC, representing brilliant and talented authors and illustrators of books for kids, teens and "adults" who know that just because it is published as a children's book doesn't mean it's just for children.
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1. The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones


The Uninvited, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

I've known Tim a long time, and in fact when I first started the agency, I asked then if he was interested in representation. He wasn't, but we stayed in touch, and last year he changed his mind and signed up. And what an amazing book he gave me to sell! Creepy, sophisticated, with a serious left hook of a twist. But really, don't take my word for it; take theirs!

"A nervy, triple-knotted pretzel of a plot that reads partly like a sexy paeon to creativity and partly like a choral scream."

--Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked


"The Uninvited" is a terrific book. Tim Wynne-Jones has always been one of the most perceptive and truth-telling writers about families and their painful complexities; here the whole story is overlaid with a tension and mystery that makes it compelling to follow and impossible to put down. I loved it."

--Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials

"Atmospheric, seductive and scary, The Uninvited has a powerful undercurrent that will keep you in its grips until the very end."

--Kenneth Oppel, author of Airborn and Silverwing

"Against a backlit, finely detailed landscape with scraps of myth floating in the trees and above the water, Tim Wynne-Jones's young people gawk and blunder and swear around, laughing things off, trying to work things out, proceeding towards, OMG, how is this all going to end? You think you know what's happening to them, but you don't, not yet - no, not now, either. Keep reading. Go right to the end with them."

--Margo Lanagan, author of Tender Morsels

Get out to an indie bookstore near you, or a chain if you must, but get it. You'll thank me later.

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2. Peace Love & Baby Ducks


Peace Love & Baby Ducks, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

What a week for Ms. Myracle! (By the way, it's pronounced M EYE racle, not like the divine magic trick, and don't let Lauren tell you otherwise.) First she gets to visit the offices of one of her publishers, Dutton Children's Books (along with all their smart, funny, and exceedingly female staff). Then she wins the Children's Choice Book Award for Thirteen. And now, today, her newest YA novel is released! Oh, and Friday is her birthday, so really, it's just the best week ever!

"Myracle’s spot-on portrayal of a teen stuck in the throes of defining herself based on what she is not rather than what she is allows plenty of room for Carly to muse, grow and change." -- Kirkus Reviews

Go and get it today at your favorite indie bookstore; it's as adorable as that cover, I promise!

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3. The Princess and the Bear


Princess and the Bear, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

I'm a day late, but I'm so thrilled to announce that Mette Ivie Harrison's new book is now on sale! This is the sequel to The Princess and the Hound (which is also now available in paperback). And a third book, The Princess and the Snowbird, will be out next year.

"Although this follows directly from The Princess and the Hound (2007), both stories are complete in themselves and can be read independently. This beautifully understated tale is of magic and "unmagic," human and animal, forest and town. A bear and a hound circle each other, warily. He was once a king; she was once a princess. The bear does not know his magic yet; the hound is uneasy with hers. When they see unmagic (think antimatter) sucking the life out of their world, they both return to the past, to King Richon's devastated kingdom, to save it. Richon the bear and Chala the hound move between animal and human existence; the relationships between animal and human, and the magic in being both, are exquisitely delineated, and the love story between the two strong protagonists is all the more powerful for being intensely restrained. There's a fair amount of bloodshed and violence, but that, too, is understated. Not for every reader, but an absorbing tale for the right one. (Fantasy. 12 & up) " (Kirkus Reviews (pointer)

Hurry to a bookstore near you (preferably an independent) and pick up a copy!

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4. How to Be Bad -- in paperback!


How to Be Bad pbk, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

I've been a bit remiss with my book birthday blogging. This fabulous collaborative novel by Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, and E. Lockhart is now out in paperback, with a fun new cover.

These whackadoodle authors had a lot of fun working on this book, and then touring in support of it. Don't believe me? Check out this video of them in their goofball (and in E.' s case, very pregnant!) glory.


Also, I'm very excited to announce that the rather brilliant [info]theoblack and his team at The Black Arts, especially Chris Zecco, have been doing a major update to the agency website, and while the client portion of it is still under construction, the rest is live and looking darn good. Please go check it out and let me know what you think!

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5. CC1 Trouble Magnet


CC1 Trouble Magnet, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

I didn't get to put this up while I was in Bologna, but better a bit late than never. Award-winning author Graham Salisbury has something new: a chapter book series for readers age 7-10. This is the first book, and the second, The Zippy Fix, will be on sale in September, with more to come next year.

"Salisbury (Night of the Howling Dogs) brings the Hawaiian locale and boy-centric vibe of his novels to a younger audience in this kicky start to a middle-grade series. For four years, Cal has been “the man of the house,” standing in for his absentee dad, the famous crooner Little Johnny Coconut (who saddled the family with its stage-ready surname). But things get topsy-turvy when a surly teenage family friend arrives to be a live-in babysitter for Cal and his little sister, and Cal makes some missteps in the first days of school in Mr. Purdy's Fourth-Grade Boot Camp, which include a lost centipede and a class food fight. Salisbury uses humor and lots of action to guide Cal as he deals with a neighborhood bully, his new teacher and the upheaval in his home life. Fun details of Hawaiian life, including descriptions of snack foods, beach pursuits and the characters' melting pot of heritages bring the setting to life. The tone is realistic, warm and light as an island breeze—perfect for luring newly confident chapter-book readers." -- Publishers Weekly

Graham will be signing at Books of Wonder this Saturday, April 4th at 12:00, and he's got other stops on his tour around the country. Try and catch him if he's in your neck of the woods!

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6. The wait is over!


City of Glass, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

The final volume in Cassandra Clare's fabulous Mortal Instruments trilogy releases today in the U.S. Go out and get your copy today and learn the answers to all those burning questions you had at the end of City of Ashes.

And if you haven't read the earlier two books, well, what are you waiting for? Stephenie Meyer loves them, so all you Twilight fans in search of something new to read...here ya go!

Cassie's on tour right now, check her site for dates. (Sorry, I'm in Bologna at the moment or I'd link it up myself...this darn european keyboard is giving me headaches!)

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7. Growth Spurt

PRESS RELEASE                                                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

                                                            
BARRY GOLDBLATT LITERARY LLC HIRES TWO NEW AGENTS

 

Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC hires Joe Monti and Beth Fleisher as agents.

 

Brooklyn, NY – March 16, 2009 – For nearly ten years, Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC, an agency representing authors of children’s and young adult books, has been a one-man show. Now, it has tripled in size, welcoming two new agents—Joe Monti and Beth Fleisher.

 

Joe Monti most recently held the position of director of paperbacks at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and before that was the children's national accounts manager at Houghton Mifflin. He is perhaps best known for his tenure as the children's fiction buyer at Barnes and Noble, Inc., a position he held for over ten years, where he is credited with helping to form the rise in popularity of teen fiction.

 

“I'm thrilled to embark on this next adventure with such an experienced team,” says Monti. “I see this as continuation of what I know and love the best about this field, namely finding and championing authors and artists. In short, being a good bookseller.”

 

Beth Fleisher got her start in publishing via an internship with Houghton Mifflin’s trade division in Boston. Next came close to a decade with The Berkley Publishing Group, focusing on fantasy and science fiction, as well as several graphic novel and comics related projects. Beth then established an independent consultancy providing a range of services for prose, comics, and graphic novels.

 

This is an exciting new venture, filled with creative opportunities,” says Fleisher. “I can't wait to begin!”

 

“I’m thrilled to be growing the agency,” says Barry Goldblatt. “At a time when there’s a lot of doom and gloom out there, I’m optimistic about the future, and I thought what better way to show that than by expanding? And to be able to do so with smart, talented people like Joe and Beth sends the confident message that bigger and better things are ahead.”

 

Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC was established in 2000, and represents many bestselling authors, including Holly Black, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Shannon Hale and Lauren Myracle.


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8. JoJo and the Fiendish Lot


JoJo and the Fiendish Lot, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

This is definitely the year for mondo weird books from my clients, and Andy's contribution is fabulous: dark, twisted, sickly funny and still deeply heartfelt. I'm so excited it's finally out there in the world!

But don't just take my word for it...read this review from The Book Muncher!

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9. Bitchin' Camaro

Everyone else seems to be having so much fun with this (and [info]libba_bray 's answers had me howling, so I thought what the heck?

</lj-cut text="That iTunes meme">


My Life in Itunes

RULES:

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.

4. Tag 15 friends

5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing. (Except not really.)

6. Have Fun!



IF SOMEONE SAYS 'ARE YOU OKAY' YOU SAY?

Waiting for the Bus by Violent Femmes

Yea, now you know why people shouldn't ask that question.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF

The Times They are a-Changin' by Bob Dylan

Oh, you don't know the half of it!



WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?

Give Blood by Pete Townshend

For crying out loud
, haven't vampires invaded enough of my life territory already?

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?

Let it Be Me by Social Distortion

"Don't ever want to worry about a thing." Oh, yea, that's me, I never worry. LOL



WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?

The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz by Tom Lehrer

See, I've been doing the wrong thing ALL THIS TIME!!!!



WHAT'S YOUR MOTTO?

Winds of Change by Guadalcanal Diary

Surviving them seems like a good idea.


WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?

Time to Waste by Alkaline Trio

Umm, is there something you're all not telling me?


WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?

Last Chance Town by Let's Active

"down in the dumps, crossing the bumps" Yea, so I guess they still think I'm a moody teenager. Given my career choice, perhaps that's not a bad thing?

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?

Visionary by Husker Du

OK, this just makes me grin.


WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?

The Imperial March by John Williams

*blink* I don't even know what to say.


WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?

Guyana Punch by The Judy's

Oh---kay then...umm, I promise I am not a cult leader nor a serial killer. And I don't even like Kool-aid!


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

It's Expected I'm Gone by The Minutemen

This is definitely taking a turn for the bizarre.



WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?

Love Love Love by The Mountain Goats

Appropriate, I suppose, but somehow feels cliched to me. I was hoping for something louder.


WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?

I Predict a Riot by The Kaiser Chiefs

I'm so going to end up in prison, aren't I?



WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?

Spanish Bombs by The Clash

Well, bombs of pretty much any flavor would certainly be up there.



WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?

Around the Corner by The Evens

You got me! But I do love this song.


WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?

Pictures of You by The Cure

I'm sooo going to get spammed with photos.


WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?

You Couldn't Have Come at a Better Time by Luka Bloom

Awww, isn't that sweet?



WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?

Bitchin' Camero by The Dead Milkmen

</lj-cut>


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10. Adventure Annie Goes To Work


Adventure Annie 1, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

We all know children who love to imagine themselves as superheroes and with this sprightly story about Annie Grace (aka Adventure Girl), readers can find a heroine with whom to identify. When Adventure Girl's mom is called back to work to find a misplaced report instead of the two of them spending the day together, she takes her daughter along, instructing her to sit and wait. But Adventure Girl has other ideas and stalks the wilds of the quiet workplace determined to find the file. In a great "rescue," she spots the errant folder under a desk and saves the day. The charm of this story lies not only in depicting the fun that kids have at parents' workplaces but also in portraying Adventure Girl as cheerfully undaunted by changes in plans and parental admonitions. The bright, full-color pencil and watercolor pictures are set against ample white space and show the warm relationship between mother and daughter. This is an office adventure that children will want to experience and a heroine they'll love meeting. -- Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI (School Library Journal)

There's a sequel in the works too...Annie will return!

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11. Steady Hands


Steady Hands, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

Inventive, complicated collages and well-crafted poems focus on the activities of working people in this eye-catching book. With an observant eye, Zimmer (Sketches from a Spy Tree) captures different individuals performing work with “steady hands.” She details the “flap/ roll/ flap” of the baker kneading dough or the way a clerk performs “a ballet/ of hands” as she sorts, scans and bags groceries. Sometimes she gives the worker a backstory or views him after hours—a former lawyer prefers “the predictable company of dogs” and becomes a dog walker, while the exterminator doesn’t mind the guys at the bowling alley “calling him Roach.” Halsey and Addy’s (Amelia to Zora) hip collages combine individual cut-outs of people along with drawings, photos, textured backgrounds and designs. The aspiring filmmaker pops out of a box of movie popcorn while the tow-truck driver “fishes in the city,” literally reeling in cars. The sophisticated look should generate plenty of interest from the target audience. Ages 9–12. (Starred review, Publishers Weekly)

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12. The Year We Disappeared -- The TV Edition


the year we disappeared, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

Cylin Busby and her dad John's powerful memoir is going to be featured tomorrow night on CBS at 10pm EST, on 48 Hours Mystery. Here's the trailer for the new series (Cylin appears right at the beginning).


Watch CBS Videos Online



Maybe it's not the romantic Valentine's event you had in mind, but it should be really compelling television.

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13. Andy Shane is Not in Love


AS is Not in Love, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

The latest in Jennifer Richard Jacobson's sweet and funny chapter book series, now with a brand new look, which I just adore.

"The characters are complex and realistic . . . The narrative voice is fresh and whimsical as when an impatient Dolores waves “her arms like a willow in a windstorm.” The pen-and-ink illustrations effectively depict Andy’s frustration, Dolores’s temper, and Granny’s zany self-assuredness. Andy Shane is a welcome addition to the pantheon of compelling chapter-book protagonists. Children who feel upstaged by the Junie B.s of the world will be grateful to make his acquaintance."
— School Library Journal, starred review for the first book in the series, Andy Shane and the Very Bossy Delores Starbuckle

Andy Shane and the Queen of Egypt will get a new matching cover when it comes out in paperback in Spring 2010. And for those of you jonesing for Jennifer's older writing, she's got a doozy of a new YA novel. The Complete History of Why I Hate Her, due out in April 2010 too.

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14. Yummiest Love


Yummiest Love, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

"Starring an excitingly large and fuzzy bear and a tricycle-riding cub, McCourt's (the Stinky Face books) latest celebrates a parent's love. "I love your wild belly laugh-/ so delicious to my ears,/ I'd do my silly face a hundred times/ just to hear it again and again," writes McCourt; Bryant (God Gave Us You) tamps down the notion of "wild," showing a delighted cub rather politely applauding the parent's silly-face routine. More domestic humor follows ("I love your never-ending surprises./ Like when you hate broccoli./ Then it's your favorite./ Then you hate it./ Then it's your favorite") and Bryant's well-dressed bears have a wonderful time sledding and splashing and celebrating. McCourt's sweet sentiments will reassure youngest readers, but expressions of love this fervent may make strike some older children as uncomfortably mushy: "I love... the warmth of your small body/ and the beautiful beating/ of your perfect little heart." If a book could be a piece of Valentine's Day candy, this would be it. Ages 3-5. (Jan.)" -- Publishers Weekly

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15. Chicken Cheeks


Chicken Cheeks, originally uploaded by bgliterary.

"Actor/comedian Black produces a winner with his first children's book. A bear spies honey in a hive high atop a skinny tree, and as other animals come along, they pile on top of each other to create a tower. The focus of the story, and of Hawkes's brilliant acrylic cartoons, is animal backsides-"moose caboose," "penguin patootie" and, of course, "chicken cheeks." Pictures tell the story, with minimal text adding humor with rhyme, alliteration and clever wordplay. The visual humor is outstanding: What comes out of chicken cheeks? An egg of course, cracked upon the moose's nose. The animals' expressions are priceless as they struggle under each other's weight; the sight of the guinea pig straining to hold up the "deer rear" is positively hysterical. A "bumblebee bum" provides the climax to the story, and the tale concludes wordlessly, showing who gets to enjoy the honey in the end, or "the ends," as the author puts it. No butts about it, this is a perfect collaboration of text and illustration." (Picture book. 3-8) -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Michael will also be appearing on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight (unless all these political shenanigans in the senate get him bumped).



ETA: Let's see if I can get this to work. This is a fab video of Black and Michael Showalter discussing the book...definitely not work or child safe, but damn funny!


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16. Two for Tuesday

I'm not going to make any more crazy promises about what will or will not appear in this blog, as clearly I cannot be relied upon to actually live up to them. But I do have fun news to share, so I'll post about that!

Last Friday, the fabulous Shannon Hale and her equally fabulous hubby Dean went on the Today Show to promote their brand, spankin' new graphic novel, Rapunzel's Revenge. They were smart and funny, and the kids asked great questions. See for yourself!

The video

Also, Robin Wasserman's first hardcover ever, Skinned, is out now, and she'll be guest-blogging over at Scott Westerfeld's place this week. Check out the fun IM interview he did with her before handing her the keys.


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17. hip hip hooray!!

Psst!! Go check out my client [info]stephanieburgis's news. Go on, you know you want to!

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18. Time flows too quickly!

I know, I owe you these promised interviews, and I'm working on them. But there was a flood of manuscripts that needed reading, a bunch of deals that needed negotiating, and so on and so on. I'm happy to say that I'm nearly caught up on the reading, many contracts are nearly finished, and I even managed to get the backlog of filing put away, so I haven't been a complete sloth.

This weekend is my annual client retreat, so I'll be able to work on a couple of the interviews in person, but I won't be posting anything until late next week, unless of course I return and insomnia strikes. Then again, I think I've learned the hard way never to post anything on the Internet in the wee hours of the morning without being entirely sure what you've typed.

So, really, honestly...interviews soon!

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19. Because Holly didn't think I would...

1. FIRST NAME? Barry.

2. ARE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My mom always said I was named after someone in the family named Benjamin. How you get to Barry from Benjamin I'll never know.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? When I learned our new house needed a new roof. *whimper*

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yea, I do...hey, I can read it, whatl else matters?

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? If I'm feeling healthy, smoked turkey. If not, pastrami all the way, baby.

6. KIDS? One...cute as a button and wacky as can be.

7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably not...I'm a pain in the ass. Then again, I could introduce me to all sorts of really cool people.

8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Only this thing. Never kept a diary, and as everyone here knows, I don't update this much either. Journaling is alien to me.

9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Me? Sarcasm?? Never!!!

10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Alas, yes.

11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Nope. I love roller coasters and other thrill rides, but betting my life on an overgrown rubberband just doesn't seem entirely sane to me.

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? As an adult, I guess oatmeal, but as a kid, Peanut Butter Captain Crunch.

13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I'm not sure I even have a pair of shoes with laces any more, but even if I did, I wouldn't bother untying them.

14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Strong minded, yes...strong bodied, hardly.

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Serendipity used to serve this amazing raspberry chocolate chip ice cream that was utterly divine, but the small Swiss company that made it went out of business years ago. So, for now, it's Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk.

16. SHOE SIZE? 11

17. RED OR PINK? Umm, black? OK, if I have to choose one of the two, red, so the fairies won't get me.

18. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I hate my voice..it's just not the voice I pictured having as a grown-up.

19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I don't really miss anyone in general, but I do miss my wife and son when I'm away from them for long.

20. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Umm, no...I get enough slush as it is. ;^)

21. WHAT COLOR OF PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW? Black shorts, barefoot.

22. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE WRITER/BOOK/MOVIE? This pretty much changes all the time, but today I'll say Lloyd Alexander, The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving, and Blade Runner.

23, WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Hey You by The Exies.

24. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Burnt Umber.

25. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SMELLS? Chocolate, fresh-baked bread, and coffee (though I never drink the stuff).

26. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU SPOKE ON THE PHONE WITH? A client, Ellie Taylor, with the good news of a new offer.

27. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Eyes and smile.

28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? No one sent it to me, but Holly did send a challenge sort of...and yes, I adore Holly.

29. FAVORITE DRINK? Grey Goose martini.

30. FAVORITE SPORT? To watch: college basketball. To participate in: Ultimate Frisbee.

31. HAIR COLOR? Brown.

32. EYE COLOR? Blue.

33. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope, just glasses. I have this thing about sticking things in my eyes.

34. FAVORITE FOOD? Almost anything spicy: Indian, Mexican, Thai, etc.

35. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? I don't even know how to answer this. Some things are supposed to be scary, some are supposed to have happy endings. I don't have a preference.

36. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Fun for the first hour, but dragged on waaaay too long after that.

37. COLOR OF SHIRT YOU ARE WEARING? Green.

38. WINTER OR SUMMER? Summer all the way. Winter's fine for a week or so, then I'm so over it.

39. HUGS OR KISSES? Both...I'm greedy.

40. FAVORITE DESSERT? You mean I have to choose? OK, well, there's this phenomenal banana walnut bread pudding at Blue Ribbon that's to die for.

41. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? People who like memes.

42. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Libba, because she's on deadline and cannot do anything else.

43. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Hal Duncan's Vellum (fantastic), Janet Taylor Lisle's Black Duck (ditto) and about a half dozen requested manuscripts (jury is still out).

44. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? We don't need no stinkin' mouse pad...that's what optical mice are for!

45. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My son's laugh.

46. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? The Daily Show.

47. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles

48. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Italy.

49. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can recognize a manuscript I don't like in fewer than 20 words.

50. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Topeka, Kansas in 1967.

So there, Holly! ;^)

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20. Summer shopping

I think I forgot to do my summer book post, so before summer's totally over, here it is!

      
      
 


Picture Books

UGLY FISH by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Scot Magoon
WHEN GIANTS COME TO PLAY by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Chapter Books
ANDY SHANE AND THE PUMPKIN TRICK by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, illustrated by Abby Carter

Middle Grade
WINNIE ON HER OWN by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis

Young Adult
THE DEATH COLLECTOR by Justin Richards
TRASH by Sharon Darrow
SEVEN DEADLY SINS #4: WRATH by Robin Wasserman

A few books coming out in new paperback editions too (can't find my image files for these,darn it): ANDY SHANE AND THE VERY BOSSY DOLORES STARBUCKLE by Jennifer Richard Jacobson; SPY MICE #1: THE BLACK PAW by Heather Vogel Frederick; and MIRA, MIRROR by Mette Ivie Harrison.

ETA: Oh, and if you like audio books, Holly Black's VALIANT is also now available!

Hope you enjoy these!

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21. Hollywood, O Hollywood

*deep breath*

Since ALA in New Orleans, I have (a) moved into our new house, (b) mostly unpacked, (c) moved my office into said house, (d) suffered many of the horrors of new homeownership (plumbing and electrical problems, and, most recently, the need for a new roof *sigh*), (e) held my 4th annual client retreat (where a fab time was had by all),  (f) gone four out six weeks with no cable or internet service (damn Time Warner to the depths of Hell!) and (g) sold ten projects for various clients (see, I was getting some work done). What I still need to do includes reading about 15 requested manuscripts (definitely the thing that has suffered the most during the moving process), unpacking and organizing the office (which somehow just seems too overwhelming at the moment), and reorganizing my filing system now that I have a second filing cabinet  (yay, space!).

Also during that time, the wonderful news that we've optioned [info]libba_bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels and the as-yet-untitled third book in the trilogy to Icon Productions, with Charles Sturridge set to direct. While this is exciting news indeed, it quickly became clear from the comments and emails Libba and I both received that very few people actually understand exactly what that means. Understandably, really, as Hollywood is more than a little arcane. So, I thought I'd try and briefly explain.

First of all, let's start with the term "option." Basically, an option grants the right to a producer/writer/actor/etc. to exclusively develop a script, pitch to studios and otherwise try and get making a film possible. It is no guarantee that a film will be made. Let me say that again: this does not mean we will soon be seeing Gemma, Felicity, Pippa and Ann dazzling moviegoers in your local cineplex. It's merely the first step towards seeing that happen. Options are for limited periods (I've seen ones for as little as 6 months, to as much as 2 years), at the end of which the producer et al could renew or could let it go (and here we start to get into lots of more complicated issues, like whether renewal options are applicable or non-applicable to the purchase price, etc. which honestly I think would just muddy the waters, so let's keep this as simple as possible).

An interesting aside, girl in the know [info]castellucci tells me there's an amusing toast in LaLaLand that goes something to the effect of  "May your book/script be optioned repeatedly and never made!" Every option means more money, and if the movie's never made, a writer never has to face the horror of a film gone wrong.

During the option period, the producer will try and get a good script written, and sometimes will, even before this stage, try and attach talent, which might help move things along faster. But mostly, the goal is to get a script which can then be shopped to both talent and studios alike...the more excitement, the better. S/he might also look for other investors; making a movie really does take a village! The scriptwriting process is another truly bizarre part of Hollywood, which I certainly can't do justice. One writer, or a team of writers, may be initially approached, who will take a stab at it. Even if the producer likes it, though, other writers may be called in to fix or improve it. There are writers in Hollywood who are known for say, writing awesome car chase scenes, and if the producer feels the script needs the best car chase scene ever, one of those writers will be called upon to add it in. I'm sure you can find tons of stories about this process out there, but the simple fact is it's incredibly complicated and hardly ever straightforward.

Once there's a script that everyone likes...there's still no guarantee the movie will be made. Now it's time to find the money and the backing to try and make it, and here's where the script will potentially be worked over again and again, as different studio execs or money types will be interested, but will have issues with various aspects of the script. More doctoring, more tinkering, more waiting. Here's where most projects really get hung up too...very few things make it past this stage. People get frustrated, lose interest, get excited about something else, etc., and the project gets dropped or put aside. But if the money is found, and a studio or distributor is signed on, then work can begin. Lots of back office stuff at this point, accounting and location scouting and all sorts of things like that (hey, I said this was gonna be a basic explanation!).

The final step in getting a film made is getting the green light. At that point, there's an approved script, a director, possibly a few cast members signed on, a budget, and a shooting schedule. Oh, and guess what? A green light still doesn't mean the movie will get to theaters, though it does mean that most likely it will get filmed. It might then sit on a shelf, undistributed, if the studio decides, for whatever reason, not to release it. But a green light is certainly a Very Good Sign.

This seems like a good time to pause and examine the book author's role in all of this. *pause* Oh, right, there is no role for the book author in any of this! Well, most of the time, anyway. Sometimes an author with a tremendous amount of clout gets a chance to be involved, either in writing the script or in some kind of consulting role. But generally, an author just gets to sit back and see what happens. An author has no hand whatsoever in the casting (I was rather shocked how many girls started emailing Libba asking about auditions). An author doesn't get to decide the budget, doesn't get to make distribution decisions, etc. Among most authors, you'll often hear that, when it comes to Hollywood, you simply take the money and then put it out of your mind. If you're an author who simply can't bear the thought of a movie--good, bad or otherwise--made out of one of your books, then don't sell film rights. If you're an author who wants total control over the filmmaking process, well, hope you've got a really large bank account and some amazing industry connections.

This is all, of course, the most basic of outlines, but I think it should answer a lot of the basic questions. If it hasn't, ask away, and I'll see if I can answer; if not, I might track down an expert or two who wouldn't mind sharing some insight.

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22. I surrender!

Enough already, people! I get it, I get it! You want me to update. Sheesh, I had no idea how much pressure this was going to involve.

I don't quite know what this journal is for. I got into it as a lark, primarily to read many of my other clients' LJs. I didn't initially think I'd post much, and I didn't. Then I got into the whole question of personal vs. professional, and what I should and shouldn't post here. Mostly I noticed I was either posting rants or information about new books from clients. I think it's proved to be a good advertising tool, both for my agency and for my clients' work, but I'm not sure that's reason enough for its existence.

[info]arcaedia posted yesterday, noting that she too hadn't been updating at often, and wondering why that might be. Over the last month I've written at least three rants on various topics, and then decided not to post them. I'm a bit tired of sounding angry all the time (and I'm not really, just significantly stressed of late), although I do find I'm more easily annoyed by unprofessional behaviour from writers approaching me. (I mean, come on, querying me in my journal? That's just idiotic.) I haven't really had any good "teaching" topics I wanted to sound off on. I suppose I've also become a bit self-conscious knowing a lot of my professional colleagues are aware of this blog.

So, perhaps I'll try something new and open this up to questions and see if that spurs something for me. Ask away!



[info]

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23. And the winner is...

Went to bed last night still unsure, but found out this morning that the brilliant Holly Black (aka [info]blackholly) won the very first Andre Norton Award, for her second urban fantasy novel, Valiant. Holly was actually at the awards ceremony, and I do hope her hubby took pictures, because I really would have loved to see her face when the announcement was made. Congrats, Holly, you so deserved it, and I'm thrilled to pieces for you!

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24. Is this thing still on?

OK, so I'm going to try this blogging thing again...what the heck, right? All the cool kids are doing it.

I stopped blogging a year ago because I just couldn't figure out what this thing was supposed to be for. I don't want to be handing out professional advice (there are plenty of other agents doing that), I don't really want to be a teacher, and the "I've got a rant" thing got old real quick. So, this new incarnation is going to be about blatant client promotion (BCP) primarily, since honestly, my clients and their books are a million times more interesting than I am.  Oh, don't worry, I'm sure I'll throw in a rant or two occasionally, just to keep up my curmudgeonly image, but I mostly want to make sure people get to hear more about my fantastically talented clients, their books, their creative process and perhaps some fun personal tidbits.

Before I get to my first victim-author (no one wants to go first, why is that?), I'll go ahead and announce my two newest clients: Karen Healey ([info]kphoebe), who has just sold her first novel, Guardian of the Dead, to Alvina Ling at Little Brown, and Stephanie Burgis ([info]stephanieburgis), whose Regency-era fantasy trilogy I'll be shopping next week (fingers crossed).

Stay tuned for an interview with Laura Wiess ([info]gypsyrobin)!

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25. Oh, right...authors have deadlines

So there's going to be a slight delay while I work on these interviews...[info]gypsyrobin is facing a tight deadline, as are several of the others I planned to talk to first. Best to let them do the paying work first, right?

So instead I'll blog about last night's adventure in children's publishing.  Last night, Firebrand Literary had their relaunch party at a wine bar in Soho. It was a lovely party, but at one point I did mention that if the building were to collapse, children's publishing in the States would be devastated. I swear, every children's editor in New York was there, even if just for a brief appearance. It's not even worth name dropping...it would take too long, and you'd be bored after the first twenty names. I wish the gang at Firebrand many years of success, and am looking forward to watching Hot Man of Children's Literature Michael Stearns learn the fun of asking for all those things for his clients he used to refuse to grant when he sat on the editor side of the desk.

One of the most amusing parts of the evening for me was noting that Nadia had apparently invited several other agent friends of hers to the party...but only the male ones. I think this was part of her plan to balance out the predominantly female editorial staff of the children's world (although there are a surprising number of men around these days). But it certainly gave me something to tease her about...and she knows how I love to tease her. That's what she keeps me around for after all.

The other thing that made me chuckle was that several of the editors there had just the day before received [info]stephanieburgis's manuscript from me, and showed up with it in their bags. In the course of mentioning that to me, they of course realized which other editors had it. Think that will spur on some quick reading, hmm?

It was also interesting to note how many of them had Sony Readers or Kindles...and how a few still prefer good old fashioned paper. Me? I *heart* my Sony Reader. Best tech device I've purchased in years.

I'm off to a SCBWI conference in Springfield, IL this weekend with the ever-so-fabulous [info]blackholly and another of my clients, Julia Durango. Should be fun!

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