Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Around the Corner -- CAKE!

So we at WWFC have been sworn to a sort of secret pact this week. Can't name any names, can't reveal any details, but since we always celebrate good publishing news with cake, suffice it to say that there will be cake soon, maybe two (maybe three, who knows at this point?)

In honor of the news that shall remain a secret -- I made my first vlog. I spent all day trying to post it and when I finally did, the audio and video were off by a good second, and the whole thing had the look of a poorly dubbed Godzilla movie (minus Godzilla of course).

So I'm posting my favorite Cake-related video for your enjoyment. And to the members who shall remain nameless -- get out your forks -- the cake is on it's way!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Trailers!

Wow! There are so many awesome book trailers out there, we really need to do a book trailer MONTH. Here are a few more of my favorites ...

This is the trailer for One Wolf Howls, by Scotti Cohn, published by Sylvan Dell. This is a great example for authors of how to market not only your book in a trailer, but also yourself. Scotti introduces her book in an engaging way, but mentions her availability for speaking engagements and speaks of the book's educational value in the classroom.


Faithful, by Janet S. Fox - is out TODAY from Speak/Penguin Books and this trailer has me ready to go out and devour a copy! I love historical fiction, and this book sounds so compelling. Plus, Janet is a friend of the Cakers from just up the road in College Station, TX. Congratulations to her! Enjoy the trailer, produced by Janet's talented son, Kevin.

Hope you enjoy these ... let us know what you think!

Have a great day,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Trailer Week Continues ...

Today I'm posting a trailer by Will Write for Cake member Doris Fisher. Doris' awesome picture books thrill children (and adults) everywhere. They are funny, interactive and her "Day" books have the magical ability to make math fun. And Happy Birthday to Whooo? Best Baby Shower gift ... ever.

Enjoy the trailer below...

And if you haven't seen this trailer, watch it now. Listening to Neil Gaiman's voice and beautiful prose is like getting a literary massage. Enjoy...

My favorite line ... "Trust dreams, trust your heart and trust your story." Words to live by.

And don't forget to send us links to your favorite trailers!

Happy Wednesday,

Monday, April 26, 2010

When the zombie apocalypse comes, I'll be in my pajamas. Or in that shirt I've been wearing for three days.

It had rained for so long, it seemed the sun would never shine again. Weary, beaten-down mobs clamored to grab the last of the goods. There would be no other chance. Either they'd fight their way to the front of the line, or walk away empty-handed. Maybe they already held an armful of supplies, but how long would that last? A few weeks? Months? Besides, what was being handed out this day was different. If they passed them by, who knows when they'd see them again?

You might have guessed by now who I'm talking about. You've seen them, yes, but perhaps not like this. Not in the wild. And not so many in one place.

That's right. Librarians.

At least I heard it was like that on the last day of the Texas Library Association Conference in San Antonio. I was in bed at the time. (What? It was raining.) I did go on Friday, so I can write more accurately about the time I was really there.

If you go to TLA or a similar conference, it's best to arrive on the first day if you can--the cool tote bags I saw and some books I was hoping to nab were gone by the end of day one. But, since I was working Thursday evening, I drove in to San Antonio after work that night. Friday morning, after having a Texas-shaped waffle at La Quinta (are there any other waffle irons in the shape of a state? Any Delaware-shaped waffles?) I headed over to the convention center wearing this shirt I bought after seeing it on Jamie Harrington's blog:

It's a Storysaurus shirt. It's a picture of how Jamie outlines. Adorable, isn't it? And somehow that's about all I packed. I knew I set aside other clothes to wear for the weekend, but they didn't make it into my bag. Oh, and the shoes I was wearing were cute too, and comfortable enough for normal walking around, but not for walking the miles and miles around the exhibit hall to see all the publishers and other exhibitors and to look for a new shirt.

TLA is a great place for author sightings, since tons of authors have book signings for an hour or two. I did spot Suzanne Collins, but people had started lining up at 7:30 AM for her 10 AM signing. The first 250 people were given wristbands--yes, like they're lining up for concert tickets--so they could get in line to get their copies of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire signed. Many disappointed people were turned away, but I'm sure we all want Collins to save her hands so she can keep writing.

I knew where I wanted to go first: the Albert Whitman booth to see a galley of fellow Caker Miriam King's first book--the picture book biography Librarian on the Roof!: A True Story. It was so cool to see the layout of this story I remembered from the first time Miram said at a critique meeting "I know this librarian who lived on a roof...". I love how the book turned out, with awesome illustrations by Stephen Gilpin.

Next I had to hit the other publishers' booths to see their upcoming books and to pick up any ARCs (advance reader copies) they were handing out. Some of the publishers set out display copies only, and you can ask if you may have an ARC of something you see. For others, when a stack of ARCs thunks onto the table, people descend upon the booth like a pack of semi-feral cats hearing a can opener. Here's a picture showing most of what I got:

Missing from the stack is Linger, the sequel to Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, because daughter's friend has been dying to read it, so I let her take that one to her (after I read it, of course). How cool am I that it'll be released in July but I have it NOW?

Also missing is Jessica Warman's novel Where The Truth Lies, companion to last year's Breathless. That one is at my mom's house now--she got sucked into the book after flipping through it and reading a bit.

With the ARCs and the books that I purchased, like Grace Lin's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Sarah Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer, my tote bag was getting heavy. The Baker & Taylor booth had some really cute bags to give away, and in an act of bravery and heroism, buddy Brian grabbed the last bag for me by tackling an elderly woman who was stuffing about seven of them into a bag. Or he might have just walked behind her to pick up the last one before she could take it. Something like that. So then I had these little guys to help divide the bookload:

I was hoping to get an ARC of agent-sister Kody Keplinger's novel THE DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). The nice people at the Little, Brown booth didn't have any copies to hand out, sadly, but they let me hold the display copy. I didn't even think of running away with it. Maybe just for a minute, but that's all.

By early afternoon I was dragging, but there was more to see. I couldn't give up. I walked by the Simon & Schuster booth just in time to see Chris and Miriam waving frantically and exclaiming, "Get in line! Get in line!" So I got in line. Liz Garton Scanlon was there signing her gorgeous book, All The World, a Caldecott Honor book illustrated by Marla Frazee, and the S & S representative handed a book to each person in line. I got mine signed for my nephew Dylan, but I'll read it many, many times before I hand it over.

From there I rushed over to the Hyperion booth to meet Patricia McCormick. We started corresponding a couple of years ago about her novel, Sold, and about my own writing. She's an awesome writer and a really nice person, so I'm happy I was at TLA the day she was there so I could meet her in person. We hadn't communicated much lately, since someone hacked into her email account. I knew all those emails about um, "toys" weren't really from her.

After leaving the exhibit hall, I sat down on bench outside before making the trek to the parking garage. I know I looked like a bag lady. A bag lady who really, really liked to read. Of course after making it to the garage I still had about twenty minutes of wandering around exclaiming, "Where's my car? Dear God, just help me find my car! Where did I park?"

I collapsed soon after arriving at my mom's house, about an hour out of town, where I stayed for the rest of the weekend. I did plan on going back to TLA the next morning, but like I mentioned before, it was really rainy when I woke up. And the bed was so comfy. And there was no way I was going to walk around in those shoes again. I still had the nothing-to-wear problem; I'd bought a cute Where The Wild Things Are shirt, but it didn't occur to me that I'd be wearing the new white shirt over a navy blue bra. Not so cute.

So I wimped out. Didn't go anywhere, didn't wear shoes the rest of the weekend. Just sat around Mom's house in my Storysaurus shirt and read my new books. I started and finished Charles Benoit's You on Saturday. Amazing book, so hard to put down. The rep at the HarperCollins booth had said that reading it was like "watching the Titanic sink and hoping it'll work out okay this time." You know from the beginning of the book that things are not going to turn out well, but you have to keep reading to see how things unfold.

I asked some of my braver and not-so-sleepy friends about the last day of TLA, and it sounded pretty wild. The exhibitors don't want to pack up their display copies and leftover ARCs, so many of them hand out everything they can before leaving. There is clamoring. And shouting. Some throwing. Sounds kind of like Mardi Gras, except no one is flashing the publishers. At least I don't think so. Some of those books looked really good.

Next year's TLA will be in Austin, and I'd like to go for all three days. Before leaving home I'll check to make sure I've packed more than one shirt and some comfortable shoes. Maybe some ninja gear. And one of those orange bicycle flags for my car.

But if the apocalypse hits before then, I'm hanging out with librarians. They know how to survive. Plus, they'll have all the good books.

Cool Book Trailer Week!

The Cakers have been busy lately, with author visits (Doris) and deadlines (Laura), conferences (Miriam & Chris), house hunting & possible good news (fingers crossed Monica), waiting on good news (Lynne) and nurturing a humongous garden (Tammy). Whew!

But others are busy as well -- take Hilary Wagner who Doris Fisher & I met at the SCBWI conference in Chicago last fall. Her book, Nightshade City, will be out in October from Holiday House. Check out the cool trailer here.

Looks great, doesn't it?

How about you -- seen any good trailers lately? Share them with our readers!

Happy Monday,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Place to Call My Own, and Super Size It, Please.

Isn’t it exciting? Thanks to the Internet, the public is now able to peek into the Secret Lives of Writers. If you are a writer, you know that our secret lives are often so terribly exciting...

Although I am living the dream, I do occasionally fantasize of having more. That fantasy is to someday have a writing spot, all my own. Know what I mean?

I think I could definitely bang out some word count in a place like Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing cottage:

Or unfold my Wal-mart lounge chair in Jane Austen’s garden (she has wifi I assume?):

Either of these two would work out just fine.

Of course, I do have a dedicated space in my house. But it is also home to the hamster and doesn’t have a door, or walls, really (it’s a loft). The piano is in here too, so every other day or so I am entertained by a whiny kid who “doesn’t wanna practice!”

So you might understand why sometimes I just want to get out. Like today. A change of venue is just what my wip needs, I reasoned. So I drove to our brand new library here in Kingwood, Texas. Just opened two days ago … yeah, that will be THE PLACE where my creativity will come alive.

Except that it’s closed on Wednesdays.

Frustrated, I drove until I came upon a familiar sight, glowing like a beacon on the horizon. Yes, here is where my novel will thrive, where the characters in my head will find a home on the page.

Hey. If I can’t have a writing cottage, at least I can get fries with that.

Now my question to you …

Is there a spot where you feel most comfortable, creative and inspired? A cozy chair near a picture window? A greasy spoon? A spot far from the noise of traffic, home and distraction?

Let us know … and send a picture!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hey, Someone Interviewed Us!

Here's an interview with the Will Write For Cake group on the blog of The Irrepressible Writer.

Great job, Carol, and thank you!