May 15, 2006

The manuscript is away! And now the pacing continues apace...

Because whenever I have to wait more than four minutes for something, I start to unspool mentally, I shall regale you with more news from the publishing world. After all, it's something to do while I'm waiting*, which, I'm assured, is the best way to make the time pass between S.A.M. and the Editor E. hashing out my manuscript for what one hopes is the blessedly last bloody time before it passes inspection...

I came across the story of an amazingly arrogant person who got first an MFA and then a Ph.D in children's literature, and was so angry that he couldn't find a university job that he wrote a book about it. Yes, this is what America wants to read. Strange, but I think anyone observant about collegiate life knows that professors have way too much to do to get much publishing done unless they retire for awhile. I look at my brilliant and favorite ex-Mills professor, Dr. Kahn - she had to leave teaching in order to really research and write, because she gave all of her time to us on a daily basis. While I wish this author the best of luck with his work, I suggest he just teach high school for awhile and write -- and see if he has any better luck with being brilliant and publishing and being an amazing teacher!!

Publishers Weekly reports that 'tween' publisher B*tween Productions is doubling their list this year. B*tween publishes "wholesome" reading for the preteen girls set, and began the popular Beacon Street Girls series in 2004. Admittedly, the word 'wholesome' makes my teeth ache, but what that really means is that these books are girl-positive and made to foster independence and action in girls. Their mission statement says "The mission of the company is to provide the kind of positive role models and empowering messages that help girls believe in themselves whatever their challenges. The BSG brand crosses socio-economic barriers and provides problem-solving tools within an entertaining format that girls can apply to their own lives." Sounds worthwhile to me.

Meanwhile Chronicle Books has expanded their picture book and board book lines into middle grade series. The company expects to move further into older reader categories, and has expressed a desire to expand its list of titles for middle-grade readers to include stand-alone novels and nonfiction as well as series pieces. Their beautifully produced adult books make Chronicle Books a notable local publisher - hopefully one of us will get onto their lists.

Is it just me, or are we seeing more YA books by Australian authors than ever? It's a trend, and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief has helped cement the presence of the Australian voice in the American YA pantheon (and Markus being cute and nice and easy to listen to hasn't hurt, either). I hope this means more books from Jaclyn Moriarty!!

I haven't read many good girl-friendly Westerns, have you? This looks like it's going to be a lot of fun, and I can't wait to put it on my Summer Reading List!

Well, I've gotten the flyer in the mail for the 35th Anniversary SCBWI Summer Conference and found out that Our Lady Jane is speaking!! And now I have to decide between new ceiling fans and new flooring in my house, or a week in LA and getting to hear her. It's 87, and the fans and cool wood floors are winning out at present, but oh! - Lady Jane is the patron saint of Fantasy! It's a tough choice.

*Isn't it scary the places your brain reverts to when you're nervous?!

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