Friday, March 07, 2014

Cynsational News & Giveaways

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Congratulations to Carol Lynch Williams on the release of The Haven (St. Martin's Griffin, 2014). From the promotional copy:

For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020.
But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.

But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?

Powerful and emotional, The Haven takes us inside a treacherous world in which nothing is as it seems.

More News & Giveaways

How to Write YA by Seth Fishman from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "...how do adult writers, so far away from the source, successfully manage to create believable teen characters? ...I’ve written a couple YA novels now and have a few handy hints for those aspiring writers who want to give it a go."

Five Agents Share What Makes Them Stop Reading Sample Pages from Adventures in YA Publishing. Peek from Suzie Townsend: "This might sound harsh, but I stop reading when I'm not hooked. Which means: I read the first line. If I'm interested, I read the second line. If I'm still interested, I read the third line, and so on."

Black History Month: Interracial Teens in Historical Fiction by Diane Colson from YALSA. Peek: "These mixed race children have had to work out their place in society for hundreds of years. The books listed below focus on the choices available to teens of mixed white and black heritage."

Ten Positive-Aging Picture Books for Pre-schoolers by Lindsey McDivitt from A is for Aging, B is for Books. Peek: "...internalizing positive images of getting older is more strongly linked to longevity than a low-fat diet or daily exercise, especially when we begin in childhood."

Embracing Failure by Ginger Johnson from Quirk and Quill. Peek: "Rejection can be a slippery slope into a deep chasm of self-doubt and fear. As a matter of self-preservation, we’re advised not to dwell on our failures, our rejections, our bad reviews. That’s good advice. However..." See also When Publishing (Or Life) Has You Down on the Mat, Answer the Bell by Tiffany Trent from Adventures in YA Publishing.

Giving Up Our Stories from Marion Dane Bauer. Peek: "My best stories aren’t the ones that give answers, the ones that support my most passionately held certainties. They are the stories that ask the hardest, most-difficult-to-entertain questions."

Illustrated by Shadra Strickland
Do Great Work and the Rest Will Follow by Shadra Strickland from The Horn Book. Peek: "...interviewers would ask questions like, 'Why do you only paint black people?' To which I would reply: My choice of characters isn’t what defines my style; it’s how I paint them and the world around them. Would you ask a white male artist why he doesn’t paint black people?'"

Multicultural Children's-YA Books Action List from CCBC-Net Discussion, compiled by Sarah Hamburg (with additions by Debbie Reese) from American Indians in Children's Literature. Peek: "...how people could advocate for more books that are representative of all the peoples who, in some way, are part of the United States."

Surviving the Cancelled Contract by Nicole Maggi from The Writing Barn. Peek: "...I’d been asked to do endless (unnecessary) edits and my acquiring editor had left. I never felt like my new editor was on board. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to get that awful call from my agent. But it was devastating."

Interview with Renowned Publisher Neal Porter on the Current State of Picture Books by Leonard S. Marcus from The Horn Book. Peek (on picture e-books): "I think they are not going much of anywhere. The fact remains that there has yet to be a platform that is as effective from a cost point of view as well as from a delivery point of view as the physical book."

You Are Not Lazy from Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Peek: "They’ve said I'm not lazy...and I relish the declaration. But it’s only true when it comes to those things, because those are the things I care about. And for them, I will never have enough time and never put in enough effort. Whereas for somebody else, it might be drudgery."

How Manuscript Auctions Work by Deborah Halverson from DearEditor. Peek: "The agent contacts the chosen publishers, pitches the project, and explains the rules and timeline. It’s usually blind, with the editors knowing the number of houses involved but not the names."

CLA Book of the Year for Children Short List
Short Lists Announced for the Canadian Library Association 2014 Book Awards from The Canadian Children's Book Centre. Peek: "...shortlists for its three Canadian children's book awards — the CLA Book of the Year Award for Children, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award and the CLA Young Adult Book Award." Note: Ten books are listed for each award.

Why Playing It Safe May Be the Most Dangerous Game of All by Emma D. Dryden from Dryden Books. Peek: "Where but in stories can we allow our youngest readers to not play it safe, to try new things, to explore, to roam, to make mistakes and make amends, to reach higher, deeper, and further than we ever thought possible? And where but in stories can we allow ourselves the very same?"

If Writers Wrote Every Scene Like a Sex Scene by Jane Lebak from QueryTracker. Peek: "...let's talk about details and at what point your reader stops reading and starts noticing that you're cramming every sentence with far too many of them."

Connecting Science and Poetry by Sylvia Vardell from Poetry for Children. Peek:"Pairing science-themed nonfiction or informational books and poetry may seem to be an unlikely partnership at first, but these two different genres can complement one another by showing children how writers approach the same topic in very different and distinctive ways."

After the Call: a blog series from Caroline Richmond. Peek: "...chronicles what happens after you get an offer of representation from a literary agent. For instance, how do you choose between multiple offers? How do you communicate with your new agent? And what is the revision process like?"

SCBWI Golden Kite & Sid Fleischman Awards

Golden Kite Award Winners

Golden Kite Honor Recipients

Sid Fleischman Award for Humor: Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (Arthur A. Levine)

Note: "The Golden Kite Awards and the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor will be presented to the winners at the Golden Kite Luncheon during the Society of Children's Book Authors & Illustrators’s Annual Conference on Writing and Illustrating for Children, taking place in Los Angeles, California. An Honor Book plaque is also awarded in each category."

2014 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award

Winner: Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet, written by Andrea Cheng, with woodcuts by the author (Lee & Low).

Honor Books:

Note: "This prestigious award is named for Lee Bennett Hopkins, the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. Selected by a panel of teachers, librarians and scholars, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award was the first award of its kind in the United States. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the Penn State University Libraries and Lee Bennett Hopkins share joint administration of the annual award." See more information.

Lambda Literary Award Finalists


Note: "Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. Winners will be announced during a ceremony on Monday evening, June 2, 2014, at The Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street, New York City 10003)."

Children's Africana Book Awards

Best Books for Older Readers


Best Books for Young Children

Note: "Collectively CABA winners show that Africa is indeed a varied and multifaceted continent. CABA titles expand and enrich our perspectives of Africa beyond the stereotypical, a historical and exotic images that are emphasized in the West." See more information. Source: Monica Edinger.

Scottish Children's Book Awards


From Scottish Book Trust: "A record breaking number of votes – over 38,000! – were cast to choose the winners, who took to the stage at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library on 5 March to present their books and receive their prizes." See more information. Source: Bookshelves of Doom.

This Week at Cynsations

Cynsational Giveaways


Enter to win a signed and personalized copy of Robot Burp Head Smartypants! (Candlewick, 2014) and a set of alphabet-and-numbers foam stickers. Author sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. Enter here. Note: scroll through the photos to the entry form at the bottom of the post.
 
Check out the OneFour Kidlit Preview & Seven-Book Giveaway at Adventures in YA Publishing.

Check out the One-Year Anniversary Giveaway from Diversity in YA. Seventeen winners will each receive a prize pack of four books. Eligibility: U.S. addresses only. Deadline: March 31.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond (Scholastic) from YA Highway. Peek: "What if Hitler Had Won World War II?"

More Personally 

Lucky me! I had a terrific lunch on Ash Wednesday with Austin SCBWI RA Samantha Clark and author Lesléa Newman at Z'Tejas on 6th Street in Austin.

See Lesléa's recent post, In Writing I Trust.
This week's big event was the launch party for Varsha Bajaj's debut novel Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood (Albert Whitman, 2014) at Blue Willow Books in Katy/Houston, Texas.

With Varsha Bajaj; see more pics & learn more about the novel!
Clowning around at Mabis Patisserie in Houston.
I'm on a revision deadline for Feral Pride (Book 3 in the Feral series). First, I'm streamlining the antagonists' logistical situation and then I'll move to my protagonists' interpersonal dynamics.

Congratulations, Laney!
Congratulations to Laney Nielson winner of the Austin SCBWI Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award and cheers to all the finalists!

Congratulations to Clint G. Young -- Illustrator on his new official website. If you're not already a fan of Clint's work, you should really click the link and be wowed. Really, it's breathtaking.

Cheers to Read Across America and World Book Day!

Interview with Bestselling Author Cynthia Leitich Smith by Brittney Breakey from Author Turf. Note: Get the scoop on my preferred apocalypse, legacy, hidden messages, theme song and more!

What Surprised Me in Writing the Feral Series? Find out from YA Series Insider.

Personal Links
Typewriter Cake by Akiko White
Preview the new Feral Curse & Feral Nights audio books (Brilliance) from Ambling Books.
Cynsational Events

The SCBWI-OK Conference will be March 29 in Oklahoma City. Speakers are: Liza Kaplan, Editor, Philomel; Melissa Manlove, Editor, Chronicle; Andrew Harwell, Editor, HarperCollins; Colleen AF Venerable, Design Editor, First Second and author of Guinea PI series; Kristin Miller-Vincent, Agent, D4EO Literary Agency; Tricia Lawrence, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary. See more information and registration.

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers will be held June 16 to June 21 at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah. Keynote speaker: James Dashner; faculty includes Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith. Learn about the WIFYR Fellowship Award. See also Alison L. Randall on Choosing a Writing Conference.

http://www.wifyr.com/

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway: Annette Simon on How a Bookseller by the Sea Influences a Book Maker at Her Desk. And Vice Versa.

Visit Annette!
From Cynthia Leitich Smith:

Do you wear more than one hat in the children's-YA book world? There are a lot of us. Writers who also are teachers or librarians. Illustrators who do promotional design. Retired librarians who work as consultants.

Today we welcome indie bookseller and author-illustrator Annette Simon, who has boldly decided to split herself into three people (the third of whom is a special guest reporter at Cynsations) and interview herself. Or herselves? Read on to discover for yourself.

By Annette Simon
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Reporter AS: I’m glad we could all get together. Where do each of you work?

Bookseller AS: My work is play in a lovely independent, The BookMark, in Neptune Beach, Florida.

Writer/Artist AS: I play in my studio, at my kitchen table, and on whatever paper scraps are handy.

Reporter AS: You both love books. How does it feel to be surrounded by them?

Bookseller AS: Pretty much like heaven, except without the time to read them all.

Writer/Artist AS: Both inspired and intimidated. All those fantastic, new books! But a store’s never-ending supply makes getting published look easy.

Bookseller AS: Booksellers know otherwise. Besides, we champion the creators of those fantastic, new books.

Writer/Artist AS: Really? Bet we champion you more....

Reporter AS: I take it, reading is both a privilege and a job requirement?

Visit BookMark.
Bookseller AS: Of course. Also, fun.

Writer/Artist AS: Ditto. And ditto. Hey, remember ditto paper?

Bookseller AS: The smell of third grade! Remember when our teacher’s sub –

Reporter AS: Ladies, what’s the best part of your job?

Bookseller AS: Talking with people who love books. Matchmaking people and books. And when someone comes back for more? That reluctant reader now reads? Just … joy.

Writer/Artist AS: I’d say it’s those moments of creating when you’re in the zone, almost outside of yourself. But copy that about talking and reading. Nothing beats knowing your work matters to someone.

Bookseller AS: Icing on the cake is when that book was created by a friend.

Writer/Artist AS: Aww…. Uh, we’re friends, right?

Download the Activity Kit.
Reporter AS: So you share the same mission: connecting with readers.

Bookseller AS: It’s our reason for being.

Writer/Artist AS: Absolutely.

Reporter AS: What’s something you learned on the job that surprised you?

Bookseller AS: That there is no perfect book.

Writer/Artist AS: Are you kidding me? I can name several right now. How ‘bout –

Bookseller AS: I mean, there is no one book that’s perfect for everybody, every time. Its connection will depend on a person’s reading level, time, interests, desires, life story, mood, and goals at that moment, which can and will vary any day of the week.

For children’s books, the buyers are also the gatekeepers, so add their goals for the reader. However, these are also the reasons why most good books will probably connect with someone, at some point.

Writer/Artist AS: Hmm ... I hadn’t thought of that. Okay. It relieves a bit of pressure. My book will not be for everybody, all the time, and that doesn’t mean it is (or I am) a failure.

More likely, my book will connect with someone, somewhere. I’ll channel Mr. Dean Martin….

Reporter AS: Tell me about the bookseller/author relationship. How do you best work with each other?

Bookseller AS: As I said, booksellers love writers and artists.

Writer/Artist AS: And we love booksellers. Also, librarians and media specialists.

Bookseller AS: We do, too. But, Esteemed Authors, please don’t just stroll into a store and expect folks there to drop all to see Your Fabulous Creation.

Unless, of course, you’re Harper Lee, J.K. Rowling, John Green, Judy Blume, my parents, or the President.

Then, please. And by all means!

Writer/Artist AS: So what do I do if I’d like to see my book in your store?

Bookseller AS: Please visit the store’s website, and contact appropriately. If you’re a regular customer (and we hope that you are), please say so. If you’re visiting the area and can sign stock, let us know. But please, never tell indie booksellers that they can purchase your book from that giant online store.

Reporter AS: That happens?

Bookseller AS: More than you’d think. If you’re traditionally published, our source is your publisher. If you’re not, make sure your book is available through a reputable distributor.

Also, when you’re visiting the store, please don’t yammer on all "me, me, me." Talk with the sellers, ask about business or favorite titles. And once your book is on the shelf, please consider a link to the store on your author website. It’s just good business, you know?

Reporter AS: Parting thoughts?

Bookseller AS: Um ... I’ve become addicted to spine poetry.

Writer/Artist AS: I may have had a hand in that. Wanna share one we made together?

Bookseller AS: With pleasure. ‘Cause it’s true.



Reporter AS: Thank you, Annettes. I couldn’t have said it better, myself.

Cynsational Event Report

Last weekend, writer/art gal Annette Simon launched her new picture book, Robot Burp Head Smartypants! (Candlewick, 2014), at bookseller Annette Simon’s store.

Check out how it went, and enter to win a copy of her new release:

"We're on the store's events board!"


"Books in the house! Er, store."


"Prime real estate: a store window."


"Event prizes included foam numbers and alphabet puzzles, and sticker packages made by Annette and her mother-in-law."


"Party treats included iced cookies."



"Annette recruited store colleague and Duval County reading specialist Pat Laurence to play the green robot (and wear its tie)."


"Why we do what we do."



Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a signed and personalized copy of Robot Burp Head Smartypants! (Candlewick, 2014) and a set of alphabet-and-numbers foam stickers. Author sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Laney Nielson Wins Austin SCBWI Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award

Laney Nielson
By Samantha Clark of Austin SCBWI
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Congratulations to Laney Nielson, who won a year's mentorship with the inaugural Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award, at the Austin SCBWI 2014 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference last month.

Laney was one of eight nominees chosen by the conference's critiquing faculty for their high-level writing. She wins a year's mentorship, this year with Cynthia herself.

"Laney's manuscript, 'Shattered,' was chosen as the winner due to its charm, humor, and kid appeal," said Cynthia. "The quality of finalists' writing, obvious potential, and wide variety of their works made for a difficult decision."

Laney Nielson is a writer who lives in Plano, Texas. A former upper elementary school teacher, Laney has taught in both suburban Virginia and inner city Boston. She has her Masters in Education.

Laney is a member of a critique group formed through the North Texas Chapter of SCBWI. She has attended the Highlights Foundation Whole Novel Workshop and many regional events, including the Austin SCBWI conference for the past three years.

Cynsational Notes

At the Illumine Award Banquet
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author the Feral series and the Tantalize series (Candlewick).

Cynthia is also the author of several children's books, including Jingle Dancer, Rain Is Not My Indian Name and Indian Shoes (HarperCollins).

Cynthia was named a Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers in recognition of Rain is Not My Indian Name. She has been twice featured at the National Book Festival. 
 
Recently, she was named the first Spirit of Texas Young Adult author by the Young Adult Round Table of the Texas Library Association and the first young adult author to be honored with the Illumine Award by the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. 
 
In 2013, the Austin chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators instituted the Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award in her honor.


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Guest Post: Lorie Ann Grover on Gendercide & Firstborn

By Lorie Ann Grover
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

37 million girls missing…in China alone, due to the One Child Policy.

The United Nations estimates 200 million girls are missing worldwide.

What is this systematic killing of girls called?

Gendercide.

Reading these statistics I was appalled. How could this be happening today?

"It’s a Girl" movie, now on Instant View on Netflix, made the atrocity even clearer.

How can we turn away from the woman who says she killed eight daughters while waiting to conceive a son? She stands, pointing to the eight mounds of dirt in her yard.

How can we not respond to parents crying because hospital staff have murdered their newborn daughter in the night?

How can we not grieve over rooms of women awaiting forced abortions? Either the mothers can’t afford to pay the fee for another child or they simply are carrying girls.


We can’t look away.



I wrote Firstborn (Blink, 2014) in response to gendercide. Sometimes the power of a fictional story can be used to draw awareness, attention, and action to a real cause.

My character Tiadone is a firstborn female. In her society, her father has the choice to leave her in the elements to die or declare her a male and suppress all her feminine traits with an amulet. He chooses the latter, and her role is set for the rest of her life.

Everyone knows Tiadone was born female. Everyone knows she is a declared male.

As initiation draws near, she begins to wonder over the power of the amulet. If it is powerless, it will mean her death. Tiadone’s heroine’s journey will take her to see the value and worth of a female, newborn or grown.



 As Firstborn takes flight, I hope readers are outraged by gendercide.

I hope they watch "It’s a Girl" movie, visit All Girls Allowed, and grow familiar with the Global Gendercide Advocacy Awareness Project.

As I share imagery across social media for 30 days, beginning on Valentine’s Day, I hope more hear of gendercide and experience the same rage I felt and continue to feel.

As we say at readergirlz, I hope they read, reflect, and reach out—to their sisters: those carrying a female child, the unborn child herself, and the newborn daughter. May they all be allowed to live.

Monday, March 03, 2014

New Voice: Varsha Bajaj on Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood

Discussion Guide
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Varsha Bajaj is the debut novelist behind Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood (Albert Whitman, 2014). From the promotional copy:

What thirteen-year-old Abby wants most is to meet her father. She just never imagined he would be a huge film star—in Bollywood! 

Now she's traveling to Mumbai to get to know her famous father. 

Abby is overwhelmed by the culture clash, the pressures of being the daughter of India's most famous celebrity, and the burden of keeping her identity a secret. 

But as she learns to navigate her new surroundings, she just might discover where she really belongs.

How did you discover and get to know your protagonist? How about your secondary characters? Your antagonist?

I wanted to write a book that I would have liked to read when I was twelve and I loved books with a sense of humor which I could connect with emotionally. ASGTB is a fun journey, but at the heart of the story is a father-daughter relationship. Abby is a teenager defining her cultural identity.

Starring Liv Tyler
I was watching an interview with Liv Tyler (actress) and she shared that she didn’t know Steven Tyler was her father till she was a pre-teen.

It set me thinking.

What if a girl discovered that her absent father was a celebrity in another country/culture? The premise intrigued me. A Bollywood star is the epitome of celebrity in India, and I thought what if my protagonist discovers that her father is the equivalent of Brad Pitt in India.

It was a happy coincidence that I grew up in Mumbai, on a street, where some of my neighbors were Bollywood directors and stars. In fact one of my childhood friends starred in a Bollywood movie.

My family also hosted international students during my late teen years. I therefore witnessed teenagers from the West navigate cultural differences in India. I have also been seen the reactions of my own American born teenagers to Mumbai and India.

Journey stories, like The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (HarperCollins, 2000) have always drawn me in, maybe because I love to travel.

The idea of taking the reader on a fun journey to Mumbai with my protagonist was simultaneously daunting and appealing. From these cumulative experiences, Abby Spencer was born.

Abby had to have spunk, to make that journey and own it. A sense of humor, and adventure and fun are also handy when visiting a new country. She had to be intelligent so she could be receptive to a foreign culture and sensitive so she could deal with being in a country with vast disparities between people.

I did not gloss over some of the harsher realities of Mumbai and neither did I want to skimp on the playful, glamorous aspects of Abby’s setting.

Striking a balance at times felt like walking on a razor’s edge.

Varsha & Cynthia Leitich Smith
Creating the cast of secondary characters was not as difficult once I knew Abby. I loved Grandma Tara, and I hope the reader will too. Rani, who is an actress and Naveen’s girlfriend, was a bit over the top, till the scene when she goes shopping with Abby. Shaan and Shiva were both Abby’s friends but in starkly different ways and help Abby on this journey.

Abby’s imaginary string quartet reflected her moods. In the first draft of the novel, it did not go to India with her. I missed it and so wove it as a theme through the story. The city of Mumbai is also a secondary character.

The antagonists in this story are the circumstances and the foreign culture and city that Abby has to adapt to. Neither parent is clearly to blame. The media/paparazzi that stalk her father are obstacles to Abby wanting to get to know him without prying eyes.

As a contemporary fiction writer, how did you deal with the pervasiveness of rapidly changing technologies? Did you worry about dating your manuscript? Did you worry about it seeming inauthentic if you didn't address these factors? Why or why not?

I did use existing technologies to allow my protagonist to “see” her father. Abby’s first introduction to her father is over Skype and I did worry about the device dating the book.

On the other hand, it would have felt forced and unreal to have Abby merely talk to her father who lives in India over the phone.

Later in the story, Abby wants to introduce her beloved Grandma Tara to her mother and again she turns to Skype. Both times Abby does think/feel that Skype falls short and is two dimensional, but she appreciates its ability to connect the people she loves who live in different continents.

Abby also does a web search for her father and it felt natural. I had to in fact explain why she had not done so sooner.

Contemporary fiction cannot help being dated by the time in which it is written, but I hope that it is part of its charm.

I recently re-read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott which was first published in 1868, and it engaged me all over again. It is so important that the characters and their emotions are real and timeless. The other aspects are secondary when the characters are authentic.

How have you approached the task of promoting your debut book? What online or real-space efforts are you making? Where did you get your ideas? To whom did you turn for support? Are you enjoying the process, or does it feel like a chore?

I became a part of the Class of 2k14, and they have made the process much less daunting. Not being very tech savvy, I am so in awe of their talents. I have learned so much from them.

It has been a cohesive, fun and supportive group. It has made the process less lonely. It’s been interesting to see the difference in how a range of publishers promote books and writers.

Cynsational Notes

Varsha with fellow Class of 2k14 author Kristin Rae
Varsha signs Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood for Greg Leitich Smith.

See more photos from Varsha's launch party on March 1 at Blue Willow Bookshop in Katy, Texas at Cynthia Leitich Smith's official author facebook page.
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