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1. Cover Revealed For New Mitch Albom Novel

Mitch Albom New Book Cover

Tuesdays With Morrie author Mitch Albom has unveiled the cover for his forthcoming novel, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think?

According to Albom’s announcement, the story follows the “greatest guitar player who ever lived, and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings.” Harper, an imprint at HarperCollins, will release the book on November 10th.

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2. Nicole Krauss Lands $4 Million Book Deal

Nicole KraussWriter Nicole Krauss has inked a two-book deal with Harper.

Executive editor Terry Karten handled the acquisition of these two manuscripts. Gawker.com reports Krauss signed a $4 million contract.

According to Bookforum Magazine, Krauss plans to write “a searching and metaphysical novel about transformation” entitled Late Wonder and “a book of stories” called How to Be a Man. This new projects mark Krauss’ departure from her longtime publisher, W. W. Norton & Company. (Photo Credit: Patric Shaw)

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3. “The Haunting of Sunshine Girl” Goes From Screen to Page

Paige McKenzie’s \"The Haunting of Sunshine Girl\" YouTube series has more than 130 million views, her @hauntedsunshine page has 10.7k followers, and her book just pubbed. She’s 20.

Alexandra Alter in the New York Times described how McKenzie, a business partner at 16 with film producer Nick Hagen and her actress/voice-over artist mother, Mercedes Rose, launched the mockumentary web series almost five years ago. In about a year, the \"Haunting\" videos had more than five million views.

Shot, starring, and edited by McKenzie, the story features teenager Sunshine Griffiths, who captures on film the ghost that haunts her home and then struggles to save her mother from being possessed by dark forces. Weinstein Books has brought \"The Haunting of Sunshine Girl\" brand to print in a YA novel series, slated to include three books so far, with screen rights optioned, as well.

Here’s the book trailer posted yesterday by McKenzie and Weinstein:

Alter describes how literary agent Mollie Glick spotted a piece on McKenzie in Seventeen magazine. She introduced McKenzie to YA writer Alyssa B. Sheinmel, who drafted a few chapters and an outline. A book deal quickly followed, and McKenzie is quick to credit Sheinmel:

\"I can’t do this by myself, are you crazy?\" Ms. McKenzie said. \"I’ve never written a book. I don’t know how to do that.\"

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4. Poetry Festivals & YA Lit Discussions Get Booked

92YHere 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.

Four young adult writers are set to participate on a panel called “New Twists On Old Fairytales.” Hear them on Tuesday, March 31st at the 92Y (on Lexington Ave.) starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

The Miami Poetry Festival will take place throughout the entirety of April. Join in from April 1st to April 30th for events throughout the entire city. (Miami, FL)

The next session of the “Selected Series” event will focus on April Foolery. Check it out on Wednesday, April 1st at Symphony Space starting 7:30 p.m. (New York, NY)

Author Jeffrey Bennett will sign copies of his book What is Relativity? at the UTA Maverick Activity Center. Meet him on Wednesday, April 1st starting 7:30 p.m. (Arlington, TX)

Three young adult authors will take part in the “Great Teen Reads” panel at Books of Wonder. See them on Sunday, April 5th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (New York, NY)

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5. RSVP For Maya Angelou Stamp Dedication

Author Maya Angelou is getting a forever stamp from the USPS and you can go to the dedication ceremony on Tuesday, April 7.

The event, which will also be attended by Oprah Winfrey, Al Sharpton and poet Nikki Giovanni, will take place at the Warner Theatre in Washington DC at 11 a.m. You can RSVP to attend at this link or by calling866-268-3243 before 5 p.m. ET April 3. Each RSVP is limited to two (2) seats.

The stamp features a hyper-realistic painting of Angelou by the Atlanta-based artist Ross Rossin. The original painting is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery through Nov. 1. The stamp also features a quote from the author:  \"A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.\"

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6. Cover Revealed For Book Four of The Millennium Series

The Girl in The Spider's WebThe cover for The Girl in The Spider’s Web, the fourth installment of the bestselling Millennium series, has been unveiled by The Wall Street Journal.

Swedish writer David Lagercrantz picks up where the late Stieg Larsson left off. Deadline reports that Lagercrantz did not consult “the partial manuscript for a fourth book that the author’s partner, Eva Gabrielsson, reportedly found in his computer.”

According to The Guardian, Quercus Books will publish the United Kingdom edition of this book on August 27th. Click here to watch the book trailer and see the cover art for this title. Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House, won’t release the American version until September 1st. Follow this link to see the American publisher’s book trailer.

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7. Sean Fay Wolfe Lands Deal With HarperCollins

Minecraft PictureSean Fay Wolfe, a teen writer, has signed a three-book deal with HarperCollins. Wolfe became well-known for writing fan fiction stories inspired by the video game Minecraft.

Senior editor Pamela Bobowicz negotiated the terms of the agreement with Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agent Rick Richter. The publisher will release book one of Wolfe’s middle-grade trilogy, entitled Quest For Justice, on July 28, 2015. Book two will come out on October 27, 2015 and book three will follow on January 26, 2016.

Here’s more from the press release: “Sean Fay Wolfe was just 16 years old when he wrote, Quest For Justice, the first book of The Elementia Chronicles trilogy, which he originally self-published. Inspired by the best-selling game, this unofficial trilogy brings Minecraft fans and middle grade readers on an action packed adventure. In Quest for Justice, dark forces are at work on the Elementia server, and when new players Stan, Kat and Charlie arrive on the scene, they quickly find themselves in peril.”

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8. Philip W. Errington On J.K. Rowling’s Four ‘Daily Prophets’

harry potter logoWhat did the man behind J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013 dig up? In an interview with Entertainment WeeklyPhilip W. Errington revealed that J.K. Rowling created four special pieces of Harry Potter universe content early on in her career.

Errington explained: “She actually wrote four editions of The Daily Prophet, the newspaper within the Wizarding World, which were printed and distributed by Bloomsbury to the Harry Potter Fan Club. Those four issues are entirely by her. So if you were looking at the author’s work, you would know that between the American publication of The Sorcerer’s Stone and the English publication of The Prisoner of Azkaban, she wrote two issues of The Daily Prophet. Between Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, she wrote another version of The Daily Prophet.”

In the last few months, Rowling herself has unleashed several new pieces of Harry Potter-related writing on the Pottermore website. Fans have been treated to essays and stories about potions master Severus Snape, antagonist Draco Malfoy, villainous bureaucrat Dolores Umbridge, singer Celestina Warbeck, and the final match of the Quidditch World Cup 2014.

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9. YouTube Sensation Jenn McAllister Inks Deal With Scholastic

JennxpennYouTube sensation Jenn McAllister (also known as JennXPenn) has landed a deal with Scholastic for a book called Really Professional Internet Person.

According to the press release, the 18-year-old internet star’s title will be “a personal and funny guide to creating successful online content and handling the pressures of internet fame.” It will contain pictures, screenshots, social media posts, and biographical stories.

Vice president and publisher Debra Dorfman negotiated the terms of the agreement. A release date has been set for September 2015. Click here to watch McAllister’s video announcement about this project.

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10. Neil Gaiman Praised Terry Pratchett for Going Public

Author Neil Gaiman had a huge amount of respect for how his friend, the late  Terry Pratchett responded to a diagnosis with early onset rear brain alzheimer’s in 2007.

In a recent discussion about Pratchett with author Michael Chabon, Gaiman said: “He did something huge and noble, which was after his diagnosis, he went public and he went loud. He risked being trivialized.”

Here is an excerpt from the discussion:

Terry was someone who fought for years to get people to understand that funny and serious are not opposites. The opposite of funny is not funny. You can absolutely be funny and serious at the same time and Terry was.

So here is somebody who has fought to be taken seriously and to make people realize that you can write a serious novel set in a fantasy context on the back of elephants on the back a giant turtle floating through space and it can still be a real novel and he’s got there. He’s won the Carnegie Medal. He’s got serious critical attention and now he risks losing it, but he did. He announced it to the world and he used it to an opportunity to start the dialog.

(Via Electric Literature).

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11. Jeff Kinney’s 10th Wimpy Kid Book is Coming this Fall

The tenth book in Jeff Kinney‘s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is coming out this fall.

The currently unnamed title will hit bookstores Nov. 3.

“The tenth Wimpy Kid book gives me a chance to reset the series,” Kinney said in a statement. “I’ve thought a lot about what’s made these books work and how it all got started. So for me, personally, it’s back to basics. I’m carrying that theme through the book.”

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12. Elvis Costello to Pen Memoir

Musician Elvis Costello is working on a memoir.

The book, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, will come out on Penguin’s Blue Rider Press in October. Check it out:

Born to a musical family outside of London and relocated to Liverpool, Costello created his own form of punk, became one of the first artists to exploit the newly-burgeoning MTV-Video world and managed to make himself a huge reputation in the UK and the U.S. through both his catchy tunes, provocative, poetic lyrics and more than a few instances of bad behavior. Now, having just turned sixty, Elvis is in the pantheon of elder statesmen musician/rockers, collaborating often with the likes of Paul McCartney, great ballet and opera companies, hip-hop groups, jazz ensembles while appearing frequently in venues like Carnegie Hall and on shows like David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon.

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13. StoryCorps Founder Dave Isay Gives Talk at TED 2015 Conference

StoryCorps founder and author Dave Isay has been chosen as the winner of this year’s TED Prize. This award comes with a one million dollar cash prize.

Isay recently delivered a talk at the TED 2015 conference called “Everyone Around You Has a Story the World Needs to Hear.”  We’ve embedded a video showcasing the entire presentation above—what do you think?

Traditionally, those who win the TED Prize share a wish with the world. According to the TED Blog, Isay hopes “that you will help us to take everything we’ve learned through StoryCorps and bring it to the world so that anyone, anywhere, can easily record a meaningful interview with another human being, which then will be archived for history.”

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14. Self-Published Author Offers Marketing Advice on Reddit

redditDylan Jones self-published his thriller novel Black Book back in December 2013.

Since its release, over 30,000 readers have downloaded this title. The book has earned more than 100 four-star reviews on Amazon.com. During a Reddit AMA session, one user inquired about Jones’ efforts in marketing and book promotion.

Jones offered several pieces of advice: “Sure, I made a list of all indie book bloggers and reviewers amd emailed each and every one that I could find. I searched Amazon’s most prolific product reviewers and emailed some of those asking if they would consider reading my book.(This got the least favourable results with people being genuinely angry at even being contacted). I entered competitions for book cover design and even won a “gold star” at bookcoverdesign.com or similar (I forget which without going through my emails to check).”

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15. John Green On Why He Writes For Young Adults

John Green TFIOSWhy does John Green focus on the young adult genre? In an interview with The Huffington Post, Green feels that those within this age group exhibit great bravery in tackling difficult questions.

Green explains: “I think we should credit teenagers with the way that they grapple with that. I don’t know — I find them inspirational, actually, and I think they’re a lot of times smarter than I am — a lot smarter than I am — in terms of the way that they grab onto a question and really, really wrestle it without fear.”

When Green isn’t hunched over his writing desk, he can usually be found shooting a vlog or producing a movieClick here to watch the first trailer for the Paper Towns film adaptation.

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16. Go Set a Watchman Book Cover Revealed

A1rBZedGc0LHarper has revealed the cover to  Go Set a Watchman, the highly anticipated new work from To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee.

The book will be available on July 14th and is currently available for presale on Amazon. It is a kind of sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, however it was finished earlier. It features Scout as an adult woman, who has flashbacks to her childhood.

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17. Europa Editions to Publish an English Translation of Muriel Barbery’s New Novel

La vie des elfesEuropa Editions has picked up the U.S. and Canadian rights to The Life of The Elves by Muriel Barbery.

According to the press release, Gallimard recently published the book in Barbery’s native France. It “debuted at number 10 on the national best-seller list.”

Alison Anderson will serve as the translator for this project. The English edition is slated for release in March 2016.

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18. Straight From the Source: Kathryn Fitzmaurice on Writing Historical Fiction

When Kathryn Fitzmaurice was thirteen years old, her mother sent her to New York City over the summer to visit her grandmother, who was a science fiction author. After seeing how her grandmother could make the characters in her books into whomever she wanted, Kathryn decided that she, too, wanted to become a writer someday. Years later, after teaching elementary school, she now writes full time and lives with her husband, two sons, and her dog, Holly, in Monarch Beach, California.

Kathryn is the author of The Year the Swallows Came Early (2009, HarperCollins), A Diamond in the Desert (2012, Viking), and Destiny, Rewritten (2013, HarperCollins). Visit her at www.kathrynfitzmaurice.com or at http://kathrynfitzmaurice.blogspot.com/   

How did you conduct your research for A Diamond in the Desert?

Kathryn:  Very carefully and with an amazing amount of note taking.  I conducted several interviews over the course of two years and read through four years of THE GILA NEWS COURIER, which was on microfiche.  I collected photographs and maps, printed several pages from the newspaper, and kept all of this in a file.  I made sure to find at least one other back-up source, which confirmed what I had learned, so that I had two primary sources.  In some cases, I was unable to do this, but for the most part, I did my best to confirm what I had learned.  This was so that when the copy editor asked a question, or was attempting to confirm a fact, I could easily send her what I had.

How long do you typically research before beginning to draft?

Kathryn:  I make sure ALL of my research is complete before I start writing.  This is because I want to understand everything that has happened in my story before writing the first word.  I need to know how the story will begin and how it will end.  I believe that by making a timeline in my office on the wall (with sticky notes) that this helps me to know where I am going.  Each day, I can write, using the timeline as a reference, and then the next day, I am able to pick up where I left off.  I also like to place photographs on my wall and maps of the area I am writing about.  All of these things help to keep me grounded in the time period I am writing about. 

What is your favorite thing about research?

Kathryn:  Finding something I had no idea had happened, and then deciding whether or not to include it in my manuscript. 

What kinds of sources do you use? 

Kathryn: Phone and in person interviews, newspaper articles from the Pacific Region National Archives Center in Laguna Niguel, online research, The Japanese American National Society in San Francisco, and California State University at Fullerton provided a collection of Japanese American interviews.

What’s your favorite thing about writing historical fiction?

Kathryn: Being able to give a copy of the finished book to the person whose life it was written for.  In my case, I was able to do this because the gentleman I interviewed is still alive.  This was such a thrill and to this day, nothing brings more joy than to see how happy Mr. Furukawa was when he first opened A Diamond in the Desert and saw that it was dedicated to him.

Why is historical fiction important?

Kathryn: Historical fiction novels are able to show young readers a part of our history they may not be aware of.  These stories are important because often times, readers are introduced through a medium that brings more understanding and therefore, perhaps, more compassion toward a situation or group of people. 

The post Straight From the Source: Kathryn Fitzmaurice on Writing Historical Fiction appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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19. Chuck Palahniuk Sells Movie Rights to Lullaby

Author Chuck Palahniuk has sold the film rights to his novel Lullaby to the indie filmmakers Andy Mingo and Josh Leake.

The author announced the news on Facebook yesterday, revealing thatPalahniuk himself will be co-writing the script with Mingo, who is also directing the film.

“I’m honored and humbled to be bringing one of my all time favorite novels to the big screen with my production partner Josh Leake and our new production company, Mindpollen, wrote Mingo on Facebook. “This is going to be quite the adventure.”

The story centers on reporter Carl Streator who discovers a dangerous lullaby while researching Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

According to Mingo’s Facebook posts, they would like to shoot the film in  Portland and eastern Oregon. (Via The Wrap).

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20. Cover Revealed For Strictly No Elephants

Strictly No Elephants

Lisa Mantchev has unveiled the cover for her forthcoming picture book, Strictly No Elephants. Artist Taeeun Yoo served as the illustrator for this project.

We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think? Paula Wiseman Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, will release the book on October 27th.

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21. Libba Bray Reveals Title & Release Date For The Diviners Sequel

Lair of DreamsAuthor Libba Bray has announced the title for her next book, Lair of Dreams. According to Bray’s blog post, this sequel to The Diviners has “been moved on the schedule so many times we have lost faith in the old gods of the book pub-scheduling universe.” Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has set the release date for August 25th.

When Bray isn’t using her voice for writing, she puts it to work by singing and standing up for her beliefs. She recently stood with three fellow authors (Gayle Forman, E. Lockhart, and Shannon Hale) to protest against the act of assigning genders to books. Over the weekend, Bray gave a moving speech about this issue at the 2015 NYC Teen Author Festival.

Here’s an excerpt: “Does sexism exist in YA? Abso-fucking-lutely. Everyday we see ourselves reflected back to us in ways that are reductive and foreign. And it’s tough when we are continually dismissed and told that our experiences aren’t real. It makes us doubt our reality; to the point where we have to keep turning to each other and saying, ‘Wait, is this true? Are these my hands? Are these hands worthy?'”

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22. Kwame Alexander Named Bank Street’s First Dorothy Carter Writer-in-Residence

Kwame AlexanderKwame Alexander has been named the Dorothy Carter Writer-in-Residence by the Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature.

From early April through mid-May, the recently crowned Newbery Medal winner will work with kids (ages 9 to 10) on their poetry curriculum. Alexander (pictured, via) will be the first writer to inaugurate this program. Bank Street will host a conversation event between Alexander and his father, Dr. E. Curtis Alexander, on April 6th. Leonard S. Marcus, a famed historian, has been brought on to serve as the moderator.

Here’s more from the press release: “Bank Street College is establishing an endowment to continue this residency in the name of Dorothy Carter, a children’s book author, a Broadway actress, the first African-American member of the Bank Street College graduate faculty, and a leader of the Bank Street Writers Lab. We lost Dr. Carter in 2012, but her legacy will live on through the Dorothy Carter Writer-in-Residence program. It is fortuitous that Kwame Alexander will inaugurate this program–not only because he is the winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal, but also because his father, Dr. E. Curtis Alexander, who graduated from Bank Street College Graduate School of Education in 1970, worked directly with Dorothy Carter in the Harlem Institute for Teachers.”

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23. Julie Andrews Inks Deal For Second Memoir

Julie AndrewsAcclaimed singer and actress Julie Andrews (pictured, via) has landed a deal for her second memoir.

USA Today reports that this book “begins in the 1960s and takes readers through her next three decades, including her many hit films and her marriage to director Blake Edwards.” Andrews plans to reveal the back stories behind the making of the Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music movies.

According to The Associated Press, Hachette Book Group USA has scheduled the publication date for September 2017. The publisher released Andrews’ first memoir, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, back in April 2008. (via Playbill.com)

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24. Jon Scieszka & Brian Biggs Advocate For Audiobooks in a Video

Author Jon Scieszka and illustrator Brian Biggs star in a video promoting audiobooks. The video embedded above features Scieszka wearing a mad scientist outfit and Biggs donning a robot mask.

The creative duo collaborated together on the Frank Einstein books. ABRAMS just released the newest installment of this middle-grade series, Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger. (via Shelf-Awareness.com)

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25. Henry Holt to Publish Pamela Paul’s Memoir

Pamela PaulPamela Paul, the editor of The New York Times Book Review, has signed a deal for her memoir. Henry Holt & Company executive editor Paul Golob negotiated the terms of the agreement with literary agent Lydia Wills.

The release date for My Life with Bob has been set for Fall 2017. Paul’s annotated journal, the “Book of Books” or “Bob” for short, was the subject of a widely-read essay. The New York Times published this piece back in April 2012.

Here’s more from the press release: “My Life with Bob serves as a codex of sorts for Paul’s comings and goings and rites of passage since the summer she began keeping a journal at age seventeen in rural France. Finding it impossible to maintain the typical teenage diary, she instead switched to recording the books she was reading and began filling in the margins with the texture of daily life as over time she poured through Moby-Dick during a lonely holiday on Ko Phi Phi, A Distant Mirror while in northern France, and Ethan Frome and The Secret History while hiking in western China. The journal also reflected the milestones of her life.”

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