children’s author and teller of stories
I am happy to report that Cyn (who owns an award-winning author site and blogs at Cynsations) agreed to let me interview her to go along with the posting of her new book, ETERNAL, on my site under “Good Books to Share.”
I enjoyed reading ETERNAL. The pace is swift, and the set-up interesting from the get-go. Miranda, the teenage heroine, has a guardian angel. He messes up and she is turned into a vampire. Now her angel has to make amends. But is he committing the ultimate no-no for guardian angels? Is he falling in love with her? ETERNAL kept me turning the pages through a single sitting. For anyone who likes a good love story, as well as for fans of vampire tales.
Cynthia Leitich Smith
I guess it depends on what you call “serious.” By fourth grade, I was writing poems in my bedroom more evenings than not. I even “bound” them in a homemade book with the help of my mom. By junior high, I was editor of the school paper-a position I had again in high school. By my sophomore year of college, I was spending my summers working in newsrooms. By my third year of law school, I was teaching legal writing. At 28, I quit my “day job” to write fiction for young people.
I honestly don’t know, but with regard to writing for young readers, my apprenticeship was about two-and-a-half years before my first sale.
With JINGLE DANCER (Morrow, 2000), most of the names are family names. The one exception is “Jenna,” which I simply thought sounded musical with jingle. Quincie P. Morris in TANTALIZE (Candlewick, 2007) is named after Quincey P. Morris in Abraham Stoker’s classic novel Dracula (1897). But beyond that, I often look for variety in terms of syllables, vowel and consonant sounds, first letters, etc. or meanings. The name “Miranda” from ETERNAL (Candlewick, 2009) means “miracle.”
Increasingly, I prefer sort of neutral music-no lyrics, which I generally tune out. It works like “white noise.”
I remember burning the silver plate off a gold spoon with a candle flame. I think everyone else was eating pie in the kitchen. And no, not so far.
It’s very crowded-I have a four, ten, fourteen, seventeen, and a nineteen-year-old.
Nothing too interesting, I’m afraid. My iPod and the key to my treadmill.
They feature tiny Texas flags.
Death Valley-scenery and peacefulness.
That the cats were growing more sophisticated by the hour.
No aliens, faeries perhaps.
Maybe, but I can’t promise he/she will be a good guy.
I just finished (I hope) text revisions on the graphic novel adaptation of TANTALIZE, which will be told from the point of view of Kieren, the werewolf hero. I’m also jazzed about the short stories I have coming out this year. “The Wrath of Dawn,” co-authored by Greg Leitich Smith will appear in GEEKTASTIC: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown, 2009) and “Cat Calls” will appear in SIDESHOW: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magic, edited by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick, 2009).
Now to all of you . . . go forth, and read!
Shutta Crum writes books for children and poetry for adults. She is also a storyteller, a lecturer and a librarian. In addition to her current eleven books she has three forthcoming books. Several of her articles about teaching and writing have appeared in professional journals. In 2005, she was honored by being one of eight authors invited to the White House for the Easter Egg Roll. In 2010 she was invited to tour Department of Defense American military base schools across Japan.