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Books Read in 2010

9 Jan

1. Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose
2. Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
3. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
4. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
5. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley
6. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World by Bryan Lee O’Malley
7. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
8. Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O’Malley
9. Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together by Bryan Lee O’Malley
10. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
11. Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe by Bryan Lee O’Malley
12. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
13. Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour by Bryan Lee O’Malley
14. That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
15. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
16. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
17. Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
18. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
19. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
20. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley
21. Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill
22. Divergent by Veronica Roth
23. Sleepwalk with Me by Mike Birbiglia
24. Winter Dreams, Christmas Love by Mary Francis Shura

I don’t keep track of how many manuscripts I read for work, or how many times I read each draft of ones that I’m editing, but it’s pretty safe to say that I read Entwined, A Touch Mortal, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Mistwood, Nightspell, and The Seventh Level several times each!

I received 383 manuscript submissions, 177 of which were agented. Most of the rest were from writers who attended conferences I spoke at.

I am all over the internets, recently.

10 Aug

Many ideas for posts have been percolating recently, but while I get those together, why don’t you check out what I’ve been doing in other places around the intertubes?

First off, I’m participating this week in Write On Con, a FREE online conference that began today and ends Thursday. Today, the first vlog I ever did went up, featuring me, editor Molly O’Neill, and agent Holly Root. We busted some publishing myths. And looked longingly at cookies in front of us on the table. I was also a panelist in a live chat with agents Elana Roth and Kathleen Ortiz and publicist Paul Samuelson.

I also have been doing a lot of urban exploring this summer, largely because I have a Key to the City. And I blogged about that over on the Greenwillow blog last week, so you can read more about it and see lots of pictures there!

And I’ve been editing some things. Things that knock my socks off. Like maybe this and this. And some others that aren’t yet linkable, but just you wait and see!

Cat Sitting

1 Aug

I have a friend’s cat at my apartment for two weeks. He likes to “help” me work.

Find me over here today.

24 Jun

For the Greenwillow Blog today, I wrote about how I got to Greenwillow.

You can find it over here.

2009 Reading, by the numbers

4 Jan

Books read (for pleasure, not work!) in 2009:

1. The Woman Who Rides like a Man by Tamora Pierce

2. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

4. Asta in the Wings by Jan Elizabeth Watson

5. What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

6. Paper Towns by John Green

7. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

8. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

9. Fire by Kristin Cashore

10. Hate List by Jennifer Brown

11. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

12. Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

13. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

14. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

15. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

16. The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L. J. Smith

17. Winter Dreams, Christmas Love by Mary Francis Shura

And that’s it. Which is less than half of what I read last year. Five were re-reads, so twelve were new to me. And only one grown-up book! You might ask why the number went down so drastically. Well, my submissions went up pretty drastically this year. Those numbers?

I counted 427 manuscripts in my submissions log for this year. (Of those, 196 were agented, and most of the rest were from writers who attended conferences at which I spoke.) Thank the technology gods for my Sony Reader!

I donated a critique for a good cause–bid now!

26 Jun

Author Cynthea Liu is auctioning off critiques and gift packages from editors, agents, and authors in celebration of her forthcoming book. The money raised will go to Tulakes Elementary School in Oklahoma.

My listing is here. And you can go to Cynthea’s website for many, many more, including Greenwillow authors Kelly Milner Halls (a nonfiction critique) and Chris Crutcher (a Crutcher prize pack).

A-twitter

17 Mar

Over the weekend, I became fascinated by the reactions to the panel on book publishing at South by Southwest. It seems to have caused quite the uproar. Here are a few of the reactions that caught my eye:

http://www.williamaicher.com/2009/03/16/really-new-think-for-old-publishers/
http://yodiwan.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/the-art-of-the-conversation-a-la-sxsw/
http://booksquare.com/new-think-not-so-much/
http://medialoper.com/hot-topics/print/traditional-publishers-crash-and-burn-at-sxsw/

They all bring up interesting and valuable points. Yet, everything seems to focus more on the marketing and selling of the books, rather than their creation. Obviously marketing and selling are important, and I’m interested in both of those things. But frankly, what I’d love to hear and talk more about is how finding and creating stories is evolving. Yes, the new media is connecting books and authors and readers, which is essentially the business of publishing, and we need to explore it more and never stop exploring and pushing boundaries.

But how do editors and authors use all of this new available stuff before there’s a finished product? After all, editors aren’t gatekeepers. Ok, sure, we have to say “no” to things, but that isn’t what we like doing. We like saying yes. We like finding an author, a voice, a story that completely blows us away. I want to be able to help give kids and teens stories that help them live, and think, and cope, and laugh, and have opinions, and make choices. I want to find writers who have meaningful things to say and to help them say it and put it out in the world in the best possible way. I want to help them make their ideas and words shine. I want to read good books. Whatever formats “book” comes to mean. That’s why I wanted to be an editor, and why I love being one, and I think that passion and a critical eye are always going to be valuable commodities.

The stories that I find sparkling and brilliant might not be the same ones another editor is attracted to. And I might not connect with one that another editor finds irresistible. But we’re all working to get the stories we believe in out there, because there are so many different readers in the world. Are new media tools best used by us to find the writers we connect with, too, then?

The conversations about “new think” have mostly revolved around adult book publishing, but I’d love to see more about children’s and YA publishing. After all, that audience is the one that’s truly going to bring in the next era of reading, aren’t they?

Thanksgiving

27 Nov

I am thankful that I woke up to the smell of the turkey cooking; that both of my siblings and I were all able to come home for the holiday; that we still put the Macy’s parade on while we make coffee and help around the kitchen and generally putz around; that everyone still stops for a minute when Santa comes at the end; that my cousins and their kids joined us; that we sit around, talking and listening to each other; that Thanksgiving is a day to slow down and catch up with life; that my parents’ home is a warm, inviting place full of life shining in a dark, snowy, starry night.

I am thankful for a job that I believe affects people and makes the world better; that I help to bring kids and teens the kinds of stories that will stick with them and help them figure out life, choice, love, school, friendship, independence, and so many other things; that I get to know and work with awe-inspiring, creative people; that what I do is all about connection.

I am thankful for amazing friends who are funny, smart, passionate, giving, strong, and generally incredible people.

I am thankful.

Obama is like a YA novel.

3 Sep

During dinner with friends last night, I wondered in passing if I like Obama for the same reasons I like YA fiction better than adult fiction. Sure, I was being a bit flippant. But then I thought more about it, and…well…

1. Better edited. (Oh, snap!)

2. Change: YA books are full of change, because teens are full of change.

3. YA books are about taking on the world. Fix it? Change it? At least our part of it? Yes we can!

4. Hope. I’ve always said this is one of the key differentials between adult and YA. YA books need hope at the end, we need a sense that everything the character has been through has lead him or her somewhere better. That we are better for having spent time with him or her.

5. Gets you where you live. YA books are unafraid of using new formats, different structures, and incorporating cell phones, blogging, text messages, email, and tons more ways that young people actually communicate.

6. Not issue driven. Issues are important. You’ve got to know how to handle them. But then you’ve got to be about more.

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