It's been hard to read Galleycat for the last two weeks -- so many publishing houses are hitting hard times -- but Firebrand Literary Agency still believes in writers. According to agent Michael Stearn's Cynsations interview on Tuesday, Firebrand is accepting first chapters in lieu of query letters from December 15th thru January 15. The details are also on the website, and honestly, it's too good of a deal to pass up, writers. Hat tip toFuse#8).
Also via Fuse earlier in the week, I discovered AuthorsNow!, which is "a collaboration of debut children’s book authors and illustrators who are the fresh and emerging voices in children’s and young adult literature today. Created with the parent, teacher, librarian and bookseller in mind, AuthorsNow! is a one-stop-shop to learn about all of our authors and illustrators." They already link to Readers' Rants, so we'll definitely keep checking back with them. How awesome to find someone willing to celebrate authors and their new books!
Mitali is a friend I've not yet met -- and she has such a good heart. Instead of spending time bemoaning the publishing industry this year, she's turned to a positive mental space -- and turned others with her. "About a week ago, I started thinking: why not show them some author/illustrator love by planning a massive multi-author signing event? Great idea, right?" Just starting with a little Twitter about how she appreciated independent booksellers, Mitali's now opened a floodgate of affection and respect for our industry and who we are and what we do -- and turned it back to sellers and patrons and kids, which is what this is all about. KidsHeartAuthors.com -- is an extraordinary valentine to New England. Which is so very sweet.
Thanks for restoring a little of our faith in the world, Mitali.
I read with amusement the Guardian's live-blogging of Beetle the Bard, which just this week outsold Twilight. Whee! It's tiny and it's not at all HP Book 8, as so many have wished, but it's out there, and the proceeds go to charity, so that's a good thing. However, I'm still more amused that it's bumped Twilight into the ...um, dark. And have you seen the Twilight dolls? (Or, wait -- is the Edward thing an action figure??)
Oh, all right. If you're still jonesing for a vampire story, you can download one by L.J. Smith for free until December 21. Thank-you, L.J. Smith! (Via our buddy at Cynsations.)
Earlier this week, SF Signal talked with R.A. & Geno Salvatore, the father-and-son team who are currently finishing their blog tour. I bookmarked the interview to reread later, then discovered to my happy surprise that both Becky and Charlotte got to take part in the tour.
I've read quite a bit of R.A. Salvatore, so I'm excited to read this YA/MG book, which is also a Cybils nominee! Definitely go back and visit all of their blog tour stops -- some really good comments on SFF and the idea of YA as a marketing target, trying to feed the post-Harry reading gap, writing for kids without dumbing anything down, and the introduction of a strong girl character who will reappear. Boo-yah! Can't wait to get home and read this one.
I'd never heard of Vera Nazarian until I read about her on John Scalzi's blog. People in the children's lit blogosphere are close and supportive, but I love the cohesiveness of the SFF community -- how amazing is it that one writer was able to raise over $3K just with people donating after reading a story of his? Or that the combined efforts of a bunch of writers could raise over $20K, and help save this woman's home and family? I'm not a big fan of holiday sentiment -- The Gift of the Magi actually ticks me off -- but stuff like this makes me think, "Yeah. We aren't all sucky." Which is Very Good Indeed.
I love my little icon about being self-centered. Bad times sometimes bring out the whining narcissist in all of us -- but I just love all of these examples of goodwill and balance and reasonableness and positiveness. They help me move forward. I may have to revisit this...