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Today we welcome Kris Dinnison to YABC! Kris's new book, You and Me and Him will make it's debut July 7th! This contemporary read follows the style of both Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan, and we can't wait to read it! But until then, Kris is sharing a little bit about her, the book, and the top five things that fuel her writing.
Kris Dinnison learned to read when she was five years old. She grew up reading books nobody else had read and listening to music nobody else had heard of and thinking she was weird, which she kind of was. She spent nearly two decades as a teacher and librarian working with students from kindergarten to graduate school. The bulk of that time she spent teaching High School English while dreaming of becoming a writer. Nowadays, when she’s not writing, she helps run her family’s retail and café businesses. She lives and writes in Spokane, Washington.
Now meet Kris's book.
“Do not ignore a call from me when you know I am feeling neurotic about a boy. That is Best Friend 101.” —Nash Maggie and Nash are outsiders. She’s overweight. He’s out of the closet. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. This warm, witty novel—with a clear, true voice and a clever soundtrack of musical references—sings a song of love and forgiveness.
All writers need something to keep them going on those tough writing days, and Kris is sharing hers with us!
Writing can be a lonely, crazy‐making business. Many writers have quirky things they need to keep them going when the writing gets tough. One friend of mine has a rock from Robert Frost’s farm that he sets on the table next to his computer. Another friend needs a fresh package of Red Vines to make it through her writing day. And one full‐time writer I know listens to heavy metal as loud as she can while she writes. My writing needs are pretty predictable, but they are essential to keep my writing motor running.
Top Five Things That Fuel My Writing:
I really love coffee. I’m an Americano or drip with a little cream sort of gal, so I keep it pretty simple. But volume is important. Fortunately, I own a coffee shop so I get my coffee cheap, fresh, and often.
2.) The Pile
This is the pile of books that I want to read. Pile is not really the right word. It’s more of a wall. Full. Of books. I make deals with myself that after I finish a certain amount of writing, which I love, I get to read a certain amount, which I love even more. It’s a sort of reward system for myself.
3.) Other crazy people who are better writers than I am
No, I’m not actually friends with J.K Rowling. But I am friends with a whole bunch of other writers I admire and like. We share work with each other, give honest, sometimes tough, feedback, encourage each other when we feel like quitting, and generally make each other better writers. It’s no Hogwarts, but it’s pretty magical.
4.) Cute animal videos
There are so many! I’m partial to sloths and baby pandas, but any baby animal will do in a pinch. I also like videos where animals who don’t normally frolic are frolicking. Like there’s this one video of a turtle and a dog playing with a ball. A turtle was playing with a ball! Warning: cute animal videos are a slippery slope, so be very careful with these. They are addictive and can cause a lack of productivity. Use sparingly.
5.) Impromptu dance parties
These are an essential part of my working day. I can’t listen to music while I write, so a loud song and a burst of wildly inappropriate and extremely dorky dancing is a welcome break to the long stretches of silence in between. If I can sing loudly and know all the lyrics: even better.
We'd like to thank Kris for showing us a little bit of the writer's life! And here is another BIG thanks for the following giveaway of You and Me and Him!
One winner will receive a signed hardcover of You and Me and Him, a bookmark, and another piece of literary swag. US addresses only.
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. During this giveaway, Kris has a question for entrants. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What is one of the songs on the playlist for You and Me and Him? You can find the answer HERE!
*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*
Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.
To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.
Larry Kramer and Bill Goldstein will sit for a conversation on Kramer’s book, The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart. Check it out on Tuesday, June 30 at McNally Jackson starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)
The Summer in Poetry City panel will feature five writers. Meet them on Tuesday, June 30 at the Housing Works Bookstore Café starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)
Genevieve Valentine and Kelly Link will join forces for a discussion on Valentine’s book, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club. Join in on Wednesday, July 1 at Word Bookstore (the Brooklyn branch) starting 7 p.m. (Brooklyn, NY)
The Walt Disney Company has folded its children’s publishing business into its interactive media division, as part of an overall realignment of Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive.
Leslie Ferraro, co-chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and president of Disney Consumer Products and Jimmy Pitaro, co-chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and president of Disney Interactive, will lead the newly combined segment, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI).
Disney Publishing Worldwide, which “has increasingly blended technology with storytelling to create interactive story-based digital experiences,” will report to Ferraro and Pitaro.
For the past few months, the three library systems of New York City (the New York Public Library, the Queens Library, and the Brooklyn Public Library) have been pushing Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council for an increase in funding. The campaign has proved successful; a $43 million increase has been approved for the Fiscal Year 2016.
According to the press release, this budget increase “will allow for citywide six-day branch service, as well as an increase in hours and programming seats, more expert library staff, and more. The budget — adopted today — also includes a capital allocation of at least $300 million to libraries over 10 years, which will go towards improving, renovating, modernizing, and repairing library facilities across the city. This is the first time libraries have received such a large, long-term investment, allowing them to adequately plan for the future.”
As of late, John Green seems to be devoting his efforts to various YouTube series, film adaptations based on his young adult novels, and charity projects. Given this busy schedule, many fans have been wondering about when he will publish a new book.
When all the conference work is over and done, you can go to Library Games to have some fun!
Library Games is a night of challenges, boldness, and laughter, typically held on the Monday evening of annual.
Last year, I checked it out with some friends– we were cramped in an overly hot room watching our peers compete in various library challenges. This year, we stepped up to the plate. Our team– Punk Ass Book Jockeys (bonus points if you get the reference) competed in Library Trivia, Lip Synching, Flannel Board, Book Talk for Your Life, and Battle Decks!
Library Trivia– 10 questions on library history/ pop culture references. I think all teams utilized the lifelines to switch their answers with a random audience member.
Lip Synching– The obvious winner chose a Miley Cyrus song- Wrecking Ball– and she delivered! My team went with “Smells Like Team Spirit” and we all jumped in to headbang and rock out!
Flannel Board– My competition. Category- randomly picked– Dealing with Board of Trustees. Must use 20 random pieces in 2 minute story– I used 15– whew, time goes by quick!
Book Talk for Your Life– Choose a book and sell it! Our group won this category with a romantic tale of “Slugs in Love”, which she had actually borrowed from the SF public library!
Battle decks– Could you give a spontaneous presentation on an unknown topic with Meme slides? It’s just about as hard and as hysterical as it sounds!
Join the games next year!! They start recruiting via social media a few months before conference! It’s a great time for being silly with new friends! Everyone is supportive of the efforts!!
We came in third out of four, I’ll take it for our first try! Watch out, Orlando- we’re coming for the win!
Amy Steinbauer is an Early Childhood Outreach Librarian in Beaumont, CA. Follow her on twitter @Merbrarian.
Hedge funds and other investment funds are emerging as sophisticated litigators, viewing litigation as an asset, which can create value and mitigate risk, rather than something to be avoided or feared. As a consequence, both the market and various legal systems are being disciplined and developed. How and why is this happening? Willing to litigate relentlessly and fearlessly, hedge funds will seek out and find gaps in documents and uncertainties in the law, and exploit them with ruthless efficiency, entering new legal territory and pushing the boundary of legal theories.
Last year my mentor treated me to a Caldecott/Newbery awards ticket and it was a magical night that I refer to as the library Oscars! People are dressed in fancy dresses, and everyone is bubbling with excitement to hear the speeches and celebrate! This year, as I made my selections for ALA events, it seemed like I just had to go back! The ticket is pricy– but it is a magical night!
Winner of the 2015 Caldecott, Dan Santan gave a thoughtful speech about the struggle to keep believing in your dreams and the hard work of what it takes to succeed.
Winner of the 2015 Newbery award, Kwame Alexander gave a performance that buzzed through his life and reminded us that with the belief in greatness can propel you to fulfill your destiny!
Winner of the 2015 Wilder award, Donald Crews wove an interesting story of a somewhat reluctant path to children’s literature, and how the love of a good woman can inspire!
Afterwards, there is a receiving line where you can make small talk/shake hands/ hug some if the years greatest creators of children’s books! It is the best part of the evening, especially if you work with the texts of the winners– it’s an opportunity to geek out with people you love and admire!
I had to stop children’s book collaborators and besties Mac Barnett and Jon Klassan, to take a pic of my besties on besties! Take a look:
Amy Steinbauer is the Early Childhood Outreach Librarian from Beaumont, CA. Follow her on twitter– @Merbrarian.
A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.
As of this year, the American Library Association (ALA) has designated June as GLBT Book Month to celebrate authors and books depicting the lives and experiences of members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. While many libraries Instagrammed their GLBT displays earlier in the month, many more images were posted after last week's Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage. With photos of book spines arranged in rainbows, #bookfacefriday posts, and images of library booths at pride events, libraries showed their support for the GLBT community.
For resources on selecting materials for displays or collection development, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) provides resources including the Stonewall Book Award recipients and lists of Rainbow Books and Over the Rainbow Books for youth and adults, respectively.
David Gruba is hoping to raise $5000 on Kickstarter for Tales of the Wolfman, a collection of comics and art that gives new life to some classic children’s tales and comic books.
The 48-page anthology, which includes contributions from various artists, reimagines Little Red Riding Hood based on the premise that the wolf marries Red Riding Hood.
Here is more from the Kickstarter listing: “But in this case, the Wolf is a Wolfman. In this all-ages series, writer David Gruba and artist Rene Castellano play with the possibilities of Wolf and Red’s uncommon pairing by blending Universal Monsters with Fairy Tale Classics. The series, so far, consists of Bride of the Wolfman, House of the Wolfman, Feast of the Wolfman and Time of the Wolfman.”
Matthew Santoro has landed a deal with Perigee, an imprint at Penguin Random House. This YouTube star’s channel boasts a following of 4 million subscribers.
Santoro (pictured, via) will write a book featuring unique and funny facts called Mind=Blown. The facts will cover a wide range of topics including history, science, and technology.
Collective Digital Studio and Marc Gerald, a literary agent at The Agency Group, negotiated the deal with Marian Lizzi, the editor in chief of Perigee. A publication date has been scheduled for August 2016.
Many aspiring authors turn to book coaches when they’ve gotten stuck deep in the process of writing a manuscript; however, book coaches can also be helpful for those who haven’t yet typed a single character.
If you’ve always wanted to write a book but can’t seem to consolidate your ideas into a solid vision or need someone to help you get organized enough to make it through the writing process, it may be time for a coach.
The idea stage is when [Liz] Alexander contacted her book coach, Lisa Cron. They currently meet twice a month over Skype, and content is due before they talk. Regular deadlines help keep Alexander accountable, but the process unfolded differently than she expected. “I imagined at first I’d be like Stephen King — you know, get the first draft out in three months and then go back [to revise it].” Instead, Cron had Alexander write several scenes, and the two of them dissected the scenes over a call. “Lisa kept saying, ‘You haven’t gotten the emotion piece down yet,'” Alexander recalls. Alexander wrote the scenes over. And over. Her characters still came across as bloodless. When Cron coached Alexander through a mini breakdown, Alexander realized she was feeling the exact same emotion her character was experiencing, and she was able to draw on those feelings and express them on the page. She’s grateful now that Cron held her back from rushing forward with her story too quickly. To nail down the emotion and psychology of her characters made moving forward easier in the long run.
The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the congressional passage of the Hart-Celler Immigration and Nationality Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was the culmination of a trend toward reforming immigrant admissions and naturalization policies that had gathered momentum in the early years of the Cold War era.
Celebrate the end of Black Music Month with this timeline highlighting over 100 years of music created and produced by influential African-Americans. Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams developed the idea for Black Music Month back in 1979 as a way to annually show appreciate for black music icons. After lobbying, President Jimmy Carter hosted a reception to formally recognize the month.
The lovely Angela Ackerman wrote a brilliant post last week about characters with secrets, and she was kind enough to mention Compulsion in it. The got me thinking about why both readers and writers love secrets, and it led me to an epiphany that's going to change how I approach character development.
I'm starting a new book outside of the trilogy. A brand new book with brand new characters. Isn't that bizarre? This week, I turned in the final book of the trilogy. I'm trying to spend my days not hyperventilating while I wait for my agent and editor to chime in. It's such a bittersweet moment. I'm done, but I'm also done. I'm going to miss this world and these characters. I knowthem so well. I know their secrets, their hopes, their fears, their vulnerabilities.
That's the key. Secrets make us vulnerable. The people who know our secrets are the ones who hold our sense of self-worth, our relationships, our very futures, in their hands. But the people who know our vulnerabilities and handle them with care, the people who see the ugliness in us and like us anyway, those are the people who come to care about us. Those are our friends.
A reader can forgive a character almost anything as long as they understand why that character did what she did. They want to see the character be vulnerable.
Vulnerability is what creates connection. So how do you use that to create a riveting character?
Amazon has been building up its Kindle business in Mexico for the past several years. Today the company has launched its first e-commerce store across the border that sells physical books.
Amazon.com.mx, a Spanish-language e-commerce site launches with millions of print books. Just as in the U.S., the online giant will also sell everything from consumer electronics and video games to personal health care items. They are offering free shipping on orders above MXN 599 (about $38 USD).
“Our mission at Amazon is to be Earth’s most customer centric company, and we strive to be the destination where people can find anything they want to buy online,” stated Alexandre Gagnon, director of international expansion at Amazon. “With Amazon.com.mx, customers in Mexico will find more of what they want – the largest selection in the country, low prices, fast and reliable delivery, all with a trusted and convenient experience.”
When immune cells infiltrate tumors in large numbers, patients do better. Now researchers aim to harness this immune response to predict outcomes. The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in Milwaukee is coordinating an international effort to validate Immunoscore, an assay that quantifies this immune response.
Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, and Christopher Golden, a prolific writer, will collaborate on writing a new comic mini-series called Joe Golem: Occult Detective. This character originates from the 2012 illustrated novel, Joe Golem and the Drowning City.
Here’s more from the press release: “The new series takes place prior to the events of the illustrated novel Joe Golem and the Drowning City. Set forty years after an earthquake leaves Lower Manhattan partly submerged under 30 feet of water, Joe Golem must hunt a horrifying creature that is pulling children into the depths of the city’s canals.”
The art team includes Patric Reynolds (interior art), Dave Stewart (colors), and Dave Palumbo (covers). Dark Horse Comics will publish a total of five installments for this project. The first issue will be released in November 2015.
As I’m packing up my stuff and moving on home, I’m so grateful to ALA for providing me the opportunity to grow and learn. Thanks not only for the memories but for all the exciting things I am going to take back with me. Next up is Boston in JANUARY! I can’t wait to see what I will take away from that adventure in snowy (but hopefully not to snowy) Boston!
Farley, who was often called Bill, devoted more than 30 years of his life to a career in bookselling. Bill (pictured, via) and his wife, B Jo Farley, opened the Seattle Mystery Bookshop in the summer of 1990.
Here’s more from the store’s blog post: “It was his intention that the Seattle Mystery Bookshop be a place where readers and writers could meet, that it be a resource for those with questions or simply looking for a new author to read, that it be a place for someone new to the novels as well as the serious buyers looking to extend their collections. Under his guidance, the shop presented internationally known authors as well as beginning authors who grew into internatinally known authors. It was his dream and it was one he succeeded at brilliantly.”
We’ve got one day here and not another minute…”. Well, not one day exactly, but just five—a short week’s stay in NYC from England, and four nights to catch a few shows. So how to choose? The first choices were easy: two new productions of classic musical comedies, and as it happens, shows by the same team of writers. Betty Comden and Adolph Green were veterans of Broadway by the time they came to write On the Twentieth Century (1978), though merely young starlets when they first scored a hit with On the Town (1944).
I’m so thrilled to wish Jessixa Bagley a very happy pub day for her debut book, BOATS FOR PAPA. I met Jessixa at SCBWI NY in 2013; that was the first conference I attended with my agent hat on after nearly ten years on the other side of the desk at Simon & Schuster. Jessixa came to my session, politely introduced herself and struck up a conversation. She was a runner-up in the Illustrator Showcase and submitted a dummy called Drift to me after the conference. I opened it and was immediately drawn into the world of Buckley, a young beaver who creates increasingly intricate boats to send to his absent and much missed Papa. And she made me cry. Tears-streaming-down-my-face cry. I sold the book to the brilliant and wonderful Neal Porter. Neal, … [more]
Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!
A luminous YA love story that evokes Judy Blume's Forever for a new generation.
Sarah—Bean to her friends and family—is an aspiring astronomer and champion mathlete. She lives behind her beloved telescope, with her head in the stars and her feet planted firmly on the ground. For as long as she can remember, she's also lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But after a traumatic end to the school year, Sarah goes to Cape Cod for the summer with her family, determined to grow up. It's there that she meets gorgeous, older college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl like Scarlett. He thinks she's older, too—and she doesn't correct him. For Sarah, it's a summer of firsts. Before she knows what's happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself. Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this romantic and heartfelt coming-of-age novel about how life and love are impossible to predict.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, goHERE!
When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High's resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:
1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.
Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, goHERE!
Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.
Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.
With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one -- and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.
Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaperintroduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction, and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, goHERE!
After almost a year in Japan, Katie Greene has finally unearthed the terrible secret behind her boyfriend Tomohiro's deadly ability to bring drawings to life—not only is he descended from Kami, the ancient Japanese gods, but he is the heir to a tragedy that occurred long ago, a tragedy that is about to repeat.
Even as the blood of a vengeful god rages inside Tomo, Katie is determined to put his dark powers to sleep. In order to do so, she and Tomo must journey to find the three Imperial Treasures of Japan. Gifts from the goddess Amaterasu herself, these treasures could unlock all of the secrets about Tomo's volatile ancestry and quell the ink's lust for destruction. But in order to complete their quest, Tomo and Katie must confront out-of-control Kami and former friend Jun, who has begun his own quest of revenge against those he believes have wronged him. To save the world, and themselves, Katie and Tomo will be up against one of the darkest Kami creations they've ever encountered—and they may not make it out alive.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, goHERE!
Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents' wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls...opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he's trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he's in the spotlight--on everyone's terms but his own--Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.
Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents' disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she's painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van's life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she'll have to choose between the one thing she's always loved...and the person she never imagined she could.
*To see reviews and find links to buy this book, goHERE!
If there are any new YA books we missed, let us know in the comments below, and we'll add them to the list!
"Sandman Meditation?" you say. "That sounds ... vaguely familiar..."
In July 2010, I started writing a series of short pieces called Sandman Meditations in which I proceeded through each issue of Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic and offered whatever thoughts happened to come to mind. The idea was Jay Tomio's, and at first the Meditations were published on his Gestalt Mash site, then later Boomtron. The basic concept was that we'd see what happened when somebody without much background in comics, who'd never read Sandman before, spent time reading through it all.
And then stopped. I read Chapter 2 of The Wake and had nothing to say. I tried writing through the lack of words, but the more I tried to write the more what I wrote nauseated me. I couldn't go on.
I got through 71 Meditations by only looking back once — in the piece on "Ramadan", I misread a word (yes, one word) and completely misunderstood the story. When Neil gently brought the mistake to our attention, I was shocked. So I went back and re-read "Ramadan" and what I'd written about it. Though in the immediate moment, I felt like a total idiot with entire chicken farms of egg on my face, I've come to cherish that mistake, because it showed just how carefully and subtly constructed so much of Sandman is, and how a simple slip in reading can make a text flip all around. It gave me a certain freedom, too. I'd always been terrified of making some dumb, obvious mistake in my reading of Sandman, because I know it's so well known by its passionate fans, and I didn't want to either let them down or annoy them. Once I made that big mistake, I felt somehow freer to go wrong, and that kind of freedom is necessary for writing. I went forward, trying hard not to think about whether I was writing well or terribly, thinking well or thinking badly, reading well or reading as if I'd never learned to read at all.
But by the 71st installment, my confidence fell apart. I was terrified that I'd written nothing but drivel, and the weight of that fear pulled me back. Why should anybody want to waste time reading what I've got to say about this? I wondered. This is a beloved series of comics, a beloved story full of beloved characters, an intricately woven tale that I'm just blundering through blindly. I couldn't do it.
Eric Schaller kept bugging me. "So are you ever going to finish your Sandman stuff?" he'd ask, and I'd change the subject.
I figured as more time passed, everybody would forget about my crazy reading experiment.
Jay Tomio remembered. I felt terrible for letting him down. He'd been so supportive, and I'd failed in the end. But he never seemed to hold it against me; he seemed to understand. It had been a long run. Boomtron went through some changes. The Meditations disappeared for a while. Then Jay started reconstructing, and so out of the blue one day I got a note: "Any chance you'd like to continue?" he asked.
I was terrified. A lot had changed. What would it mean to continue?