Saturday, May 10, 2014

In Memory: Kate Duke

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Obituary: Kate Duke by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "Children’s author and illustrator Kate Duke, known for her playful concept books starring an affable cast of guinea pigs, died unexpectedly at her home in New Haven, Ct., on Sunday, April 20."

Writer and Artist Kate Duke Dies at 57 by Mahnaz Dar from School Library Journal. Peek: "Charmingly illustrated, Duke’s works were also informational, conveying concepts such as letters and counting or the idea of storytelling."

Learn more about Kate Duke.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Cynsational News & Giveaways

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Congratulations to debut YA Author Catherine Linka on the release of A Girl Called Fearless (St. Martin's Griffin, 2014)! From the promotional copy:

Avie Reveare has the normal life of a privileged teen growing up in L.A., at least as normal as any girl’s life is these days. After a synthetic hormone in beef killed fifty million American women ten years ago, only young girls, old women, men, and boys are left to pick up the pieces. The death threat is past, but fathers still fear for their daughters’ safety, and the Paternalist Movement, begun to "protect" young women, is taking over the choices they make.

Like all her friends, Avie still mourns the loss of her mother, but she’s also dreaming about college and love and what she’ll make of her life.
When her dad "contracts" her to marry a rich, older man to raise money to save his struggling company, her life suddenly narrows to two choices: Be trapped in a marriage with a controlling politician, or run. Her lifelong friend, student revolutionary Yates, urges her to run to freedom across the border to Canada. As their friendship turns to passion, the decision to leave becomes harder and harder.
Running away is incredibly dangerous, and it’s possible Avie will never see Yates again. But staying could mean death. 
See also An Interview with Catherine Linka on A Girl Called Fearless by Tami Lewis Brown from WCYA: The Launch Pad at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Peek: "Technically speaking, it is not easy to kill 50 million women in a relatively short span of time. But I was undaunted. Yes, I am dauntless."

More News & Giveaways

Let's All Make the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign an Ongoing Movement by Patrick Flores-Scott from Latin@s in Kid Lit. Peek: "The movement needs to push us published authors of all colors and stripes, to mentor diverse up-and-comers, to include pro-bono school visits to underfunded schools, and to write real, complex, fallible diverse characters who live the entirety of the American experience." See also A Rambling Rant on Race and Writing by Lisa Yee from Red Room and The Stories We Tell by Zareen Jaffery from CBC Diversity.

The Green-Eyed Conference Monster by Jael McHenry from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "If your goal is to learn something about craft, are there lectures or workshops you could participate in, either in-person or online?" See also Do You Suffer from Fragile Writer Ego? by Judy Mollen Waters from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "Now that I’d seen it exhibited by two big name authors, I realize that no matter how successful, every writer must have it."

HarperCollins to Buy Harlequin by Jim Milliot from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "...the biggest upside in acquiring Harlequin is the huge boost it gives to HC's global presence. According to the companies, about 40 percent of Harlequin’s revenue comes from titles that are published in languages other than English." See also Toon Books Adds Imprint for Older Readers by Brigid Alverson from Publishers Weekly.

Interview with Nikki Grimes by Laura Purdie Salas from Poetry for Children. Peek: "A poem might be needed to create back-story, or to explain the emotional state of the character, or to establish the story arc. Whatever the case, it is always Story that drives my choices."

On Personal and Collective Memory: An Interview with Marjorie Agosín by Lyn Miller Lachmann from The Pirate Tree. Peek: "Although this book mirrors Chilean history and the era of Pinochet, the names [of the historical figures] are invented and I reimagined the time frame. I could not bear to make Celeste Marconi endure 17 years of a fierce dictatorship. Three was enough."

Writing & a Survey of YA Lit with Muslim Protagonists by Sajidah from YA Highway. Peek: " looks like female Muslim characters have just raised their boots to kick the door open in the publishing industry. Which leaves us to wonder about boys and books again...well, Muslim boy characters and books."

Crafting Powerful Sentences by Tabitha Olson from Writer Musings. Peek: "These juicy sentences (I love that term, by the way) are the ones that evoke the most emotion, imagery, tension, etc."

Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award from Crazy QuiltEdit., Peek: "currently seeking submissions to be considered for the 2015 award in two categories...."

I Am Not My Book by Tara Dairman from Emu's Debuts. Peek: "Note that I didn’t say that 'my' jacket arrived, or that 'I' got reviews, or that I’m planning 'my' launch parties. I did that on purpose, because—as I’ve been trying to remind myself daily of late—I am not my book."

Love or Market: Which Is More Important? Agents Reveal Their Thoughts by Lisa Gail Green from Adventures in YA Publishing. Peek from Sarah Davies: "My fallback position is always, 'If I see something to love here, if I respond emotionally, then I believe there will be an editor who feels the same way.'"

Interview with Debut Author Rebecca Petruck by Tamera Wissinger from Smack Dab in the Middle. Peek: "I love how willing middle grade readers are to suspend their disbelief and go with a story that catches their attention no matter how outrageous the idea—even if the 'outrageous' idea is only that they might ever live on a farm and raise cattle." See also Interview with Award-Winning Author Shutta Crum by Brittney Breakey from Author Turf.

Disabled Characters in YA Literature by Carly Okyle from School Library Journal. Peek: "Reading and carrying literature in libraries that do disabled characters 'right' is something librarians can initiate as part of their own nod toward recognizing the disabled community."

Ask an Editor: Worldbuilding After the Apocalypse by Stacy Whitman from Lee & Low. Peek: "We usually don’t need to know every detail of the apocalypse in the first chapter, or even by the end of the book."

Confessions of an Edgy YA Writer from Lindsey Lane. Peek: "My goal is to write books that hold grit and dirt right next to faith and mystery."

I Am Not My Book...Or Am I? by Laurie Ann Thompson from EMU's Debuts. Peek: "As readers, I think we tend to equate the author with the work more often than we might care to admit. We ask ourselves, 'Would I like this person?' and we base our answer on whether or not we liked the book and the ideas it contained."

Planing, Preparing and "Performing" School Visits by Caroline Starr Rose from Project Mayhem. Peek: "Check in with author friends who more experienced and ask them for advice. This is how I learned I needed a City of Albuquerque business license and an Albuquerque Public Schools vendor number. I also found out I would have to pay gross receipts tax for any visits conducted within the state of New Mexico."

2014 Whitney Awards

Note: "The Whitneys are an awards program for novels written by LDS authors."

Aurealis Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction
Compiled by Cynsations Reporter Christopher Cheng

The Aurealis Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction is an annual literary award for science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction for Australian works published the preceding year. There are four categories: science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult and children’s fiction (ages 8-12 years). The YA and children's categories cover works in all three speculative fiction genres and each have two separate awards, one for novels and one for short fiction.The Aurealis Awards were held at University House, Australian National Uuniversity on April 5. See full list of winners.

"Never Counted Out"

You've heard about Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (Candlewick, 2013). See the documentary trailer about the book's life-changing tour to empower at-risk youth. Learn more here.

This Week at Cynsations

Cynsational Giveaways

More Personally

Writer Me is resting as Author Me and Personal Me take over for awhile.

This week has been filled with dear friends, administrative tasks, responding to media requests and event preparation, which, granted, includes speech writing.

So maybe Writer Me never rests completely.

The link lingering on my mind this week is Staying Published by Sophie Masson from Writer Unboxed, and on the geek front, there's The Amazing Gwen Stacy Problem by Brett White from Comic Book Resources (warning: major spoilers).

I'm pleased to welcome YA author Pam Bachorz to the Austin area! We all look forward to getting to know her better.

Congratulations to Cynsations Europe reporter Angela Cerrito  on the sale of "A Bright Flame" to Holiday House! The novel is based on her research in Warsaw Poland including interviewing Irena Sendler, a mastermind spy and member of the Polish resistance, who helped over 2,500 children escape the Warsaw ghetto.

Congratulations to Texas YA debut author Kristin Rae on the release of Wish You Were Italian (Bloomsbury, 2014)!

Congratulations to author Doris Fisher, who won SCBWI's Crystal Kite Award for the Oklahoma-Texas district for Army Camels: Texas Ships of the Desert, illustrated by Julie Dupre Buckner (Pelican, 2013)! See the entire list of regional winners.

Congratulations to fellow Austin author Mari Mancusi on the sale of "Cross My Heart" to Alyson Heller at S&S/Aladdin. "'Cross My Heart' tells the story of an eighth-grade snowboarder who returns to her elite mountain boarding school after an accident nearly destroys her dreams of Olympic gold, and finds herself faced with pressuring parents, frenemies, and first love. It's slated for late 2015/early 2016; Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights."

Personal Links

With Greg Leitich Smith & Nikki Loftin

Cynsational Events

Middle Grade Mayhem! Join Varian Johnson, Greg Leitich Smith and Jennifer Ziegler in celebrating their new novels at 2 p.m. June 14 at BookPeople in Austin.

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 (deadline Monday!). See also Alison L. Randall on Choosing a Writing Conference

Join Cynthia Leitich Smith in discussing Feral Curse (Candlewick, 2014) with the YA Reading Club at 11 a.m. June 28 at Cedar Park Public Library in Cedar Park, Texas.

#BringBackOurGirls by children's book illustrator Micah Player

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway: Kami Kinard on Middle Graders Make Great Characters

By Kami Kinard
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

My world is peopled with middle graders – my daughter, her friends, and the students I see when I volunteer or do school visits. Additionally, most of the fictional characters I’ve come to know and love are middle graders.

I met a lot of them in the books I read, and others have sprung into my head and then onto the pages of the books I write.

Middle graders are awesome! So I love creating middle grade characters.

When writing for middle graders, it’s important to think about who these young people are. All characters, no matter what their age, need distinguishing physical traits, goals, and backstories.

Of course middle grade characters should sound like kids and tweens in the dialogue. But on a deeper level, how are middle grade characters different from others?

First and foremost, no matter what attributes we give our middle grade characters, the child within them should remain visible.

I love this about Eoin Colfer’s character Artemis Fowl, a teenage criminal mastermind who is still young enough and child-like enough to believe in fairies. This makes him all the more dangerous!

Artemis’s genius intellect allows him to craft elaborate schemes which drive the plots in Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series (Hyperion). Yet he still has embraces the belief that he can achieve the impossible, and because he believes it, he often does!

Middle graders are becoming independent and solving problems on their own or with limited parental input.

In my latest novel, The Boy Problem: Notes and Predictions of Tabitha Reddy (Scholastic, 2014), Tabbi plans a cupcake-selling fundraiser to help buy new books for the library of her cousin’s hurricane- demolished school. The fundraiser is fraught with mathematical (and comical) problems that Tabbi and her friends must work though. Though her mother is present in the story, Tabbi’s emotional growth occurs because she solves the most significant problems alone.

Despite their growing independence, middle graders still require nurturing love.

Diggy, the main character in Rebecca Petruck’s debut novel, Steering Toward Normal (Abrams/Amulet, 2014), struggles with this throughout the novel when a half-brother he hadn’t known about moves in. Diggy, who was abandoned by his mother as a baby, needs his father, but he’s also mad at him, and jealous of Pop’s new relationship with the son he hadn’t known he had.

Although Diggy aspires to raise a prize winning steer, to win the heart of the girl of his dreams, and to pull the best April Fools prank ever, his story is grounded in the need for familial love.

An unfortunate truth about middle graders is that they deeply care about what their peers think of them.

This is often a motivating force in a middle grade novel. The entire plot of H. N. Kowitt’s The Loser List (Scholastic, 2011) revolves around this truth. Danny Shine, the protagonist, desperately attempts to get his name removed from the humiliating list of male losers written on the wall of the girls’ bathroom.

Kowitt employs peer-consciousness through subplots as well as Danny bends to the will of school bully Axl, must win back the faith of his best friend Jasper, and tries to impress his crush, Asia.

Who are middle graders?

They are children merging into adulthood who still need love, friends, goals, and independence.

They are learning to deal with the pains of rejection and to find humor in embarrassment.

They are fantastic, complicated, fun, people. Fiction couldn’t ask for better characters!

Cynsational Notes
Kami Kinard is the author of The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister and The Boy Problem: Notes and Predictions of Tabitha Reddy, both from Scholastic.

Other than being a writer, she has been a camp counselor, a bookseller, a preschool teacher, and a high school English teacher.

She is known for making ridiculous analogies, an obscure talent that serves her well.

You can find her on her blog, on Twitter as @kamikinard and Facebook. See also New Voice Kami Kinard on Writing Humor and The Boy Project from Cynsations.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a bookplate-signed copy of The Boy Problem: Notes and Predictions of Tabitha Reddy by Kami Kinard (Scholastic, 2014). Publisher sponsored. Eligibility: North America. From the promotional copy:

Tabitha "Tabbi" Reddy believes in signs. Like fortune cookies. Magic 8-Balls. Shooting stars. And this year, she hopes, looking for the right signs will lead her to the right boy! 

Inspired by her BFF, Kara (star of The Boy Project), Tabbi starts her own "project" in the hopes of finding a cute crush. With the help of a math lesson on probability, Tabbi tries to predict who the right boy for her might be! Where is she most likely to meet him? What is he most likely to look like? 

Full of fun illustrations, hilarious equations, and lessons in cupcake-baking, life, love, and friendship, this book has a 100% probability of awesomeness.

“For any spirited, entrepreneurial teen that’s ever had a crush, this sweet read is sprinkled with lessons on life, love and business.” – Kirkus Reviews

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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway: Elizabeth O. Dulemba on What To Do When The Story Finds You

By Elizabeth O. Dulemba
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

I’ve heard authors say they didn’t feel like they wrote their story—more like they were a conduit to some greater force writing through them.

It sounded like a bunch of hooey until it happened to me.

They say you write what you read. Well, I grew up reading fantasy. I called it my brain candy.

So why was I suddenly writing this historical fiction middle grade, A Bird on Water Street (Little Pickle Press, 2014)?

It began during a meeting between copper miners and the company owners who wanted to open a scenic railway going from a Southern Appalachian mining town north to a rare and interesting turn-around at the top of a mountain. The company wanted to fund the railway by reopening the mine and shipping out one load of sulfuric acid per week. The miners said "no way."

They stood like gnarled oak trees in denim and flannel telling stories of lost friends, family, and coworkers to injury and illness, all because of the mine. They made thinly veiled threats that if the company’s plans went forward, the railroad tracks would be sabotaged.

I sat in the meeting feeling like a Muse had put her hands around my throat. She whispered, “You’re a writer. I need you to write about this.”

But I was a picture book author. I had no idea how to tackle such a complicated and very real topic. I tried to write the story in a format I knew, but of course it wouldn’t fit. I did research and interviews, and the story grew bigger. My agent sent it out as a chapter book, but the Muse wasn’t satisfied.

Although I received lovely compliments on my writing, it didn’t sell.

And then I remembered... I loved Wilson Rawls’ Where the Red Fern Grows (1961). I loved Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard (Clarion, 2001).

Maybe historical fiction middle grades weren’t as alien to me as I believed. I realized that each of those stories had a believable and likable boy in the center of bigger things. So I met my boy (I don’t say I created him), Jack, and I set out to tell this enormous story through his eyes.

It took ten years. It went into a drawer for a while. But the Muse wouldn’t let me forget or give up. I owed the people living in the Copper Basin community to complete the story.

This wasn’t a creative endeavor for me. This was a responsibility.

Then one day, while talking to my now publisher about a picture book project, she said, “You know, we’re really looking for an environmental novel. You don’t have one of those lying around, do you? Ha, ha.”

The story sold.

My wonderful editor helped me take the story apart like a puzzle and put it back together upside-down and backwards, but better.

I gave it the best I had, for I’d grown in my skills over the years.

Finally, the Muse was pleased. An enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders. A Bird on Water Street will be released on May 7, 2014. I have fulfilled the purpose I was assigned.

How the story goes from here—well, I suppose that’s up to greater forces than me.

Cynsational Notes

From the promotional copy of A Bird on Water Street (Little Pickle Press, 2014):

When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? 

A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. 

Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.

Elizabeth O. Dulemba is an award-winning children's book author/illustrator with two dozen titles to her credit. She is Illustrator Coordinator for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Southern Breeze region, a board member for the Georgia Center for the Book, and a Visiting Associate Professor at Hollins University in the MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating program. She speaks regularly at schools, festivals, and events, and her "Coloring Page Tuesday" images (free to parents, teachers and librarians) garner around a million hits to her website annually with over 3,000 subscribers to her newsletter.

A Bird on Water Street (Little Pickle Press) is her first novel. It's a SIBA (Southern Indie Booksellers Association) Spring Okra Book Pick, a (Gold) Mom's Choice Award Winner, and the 2014 National Book Festival featured title for Georgia.

Scroll past gallery (below) to enter the giveaway!

Cynsational Gallery

Photos shared with permission.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of A Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba (Little Pickle Press, 2014).  Author sponsored. Eligibility: North America.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

New Voice: Megan Jean Sovern on The Meaning of Maggie

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Megan Jean Sovern is the first-time author of The Meaning of Maggie (Chronicle, 2014). From the promotional copy:

Eleven-year-old Maggie Mayfield can’t stop thinking about Oreos and this is just one of her many conundrums. 

She also has two older sisters with bods that don’t stop and she has to wait to campaign for president for almost an entire quarter century.

Then in one summer, her conundrums triple when her father takes a fall at work. What happened? The truth? It’s not what happened to him, it’s what’s happening to him.

The Meaning of Maggie is a novel set in a house too small for all the big problems plaguing a smart girl just trying to survive adolescence armed with after school snacks and deep thoughts.When her father’s legs permanently fall asleep, Maggie begins a search for meaning that she never expected.

And just like that, getting a B doesn’t seem like such a huge deal*.

*Okay getting a B is still a huge deal. But you get the idea.

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

Maggie’s story is inspired by my own. But she’s so different, cooler, more confident and more hotheaded than I ever was. I didn’t want her to have any of my meekness especially when it came to getting to know her dad and what was happening to him. I really shied away from ever wanting to know more about the progression of my own dad’s MS. But Maggie faces it head on. And I love that about her. I love that she goes all in. She pulls up her bootstraps. She’s always searching for more.

The secondary characters of Maggie’s mom, dad and sisters take turns leading her in and out of darkness. But I wanted the reader to always trust them. They really do always have Maggie’s best interest in mind even when that best interest drives her bananas.

And I really consider Maggie’s dad’s MS to be the main antagonist. It has a personality and purpose all its own. And it constantly challenges the family and how they relate to one another. It’s the villain that pulls them a part but eventually pushes them back together.

How did you go about connecting with your agent? What was your search process like?

Who did you decide to sign with? What about that person and/or agency seemed like the best fit for you? What advice do you have for other writers in seeking the right agent for them?

Fate and Google connected me with my super agent Marietta Zacker.

I really had no idea what I was doing. So I researched online how to put together a query letter and then I made a list of twelve agents who represented work that I really loved. I received a few notes of interest right away but they didn’t pan out for one reason or another. And then a month after I had queried Marietta, she called me.

And it was magic. I felt instantly connected and inspired by her. She’s funny and fiery and everything I needed. And she ruined my life and told me to start over completely and write Maggie from first person. And she was totally right. She encouraged me to give it all I had.

My initial manuscript was very timid. And she shook that out of me. So maybe she didn’t ruin my life. Maybe she made it 1000% better.

I took her advice and she disappeared. And then almost a year later, I sent her a completely revised and ready Maggie. She read it in one night and signed me the next day.

I cried buckets.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway: Jill Santopolo on Following Your Heart or How Life Is Like A Find-Your-Own-Ending Novel

By Jill Santopolo
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

For the past year plus, I’ve been crafting two different teen romance novels with thirteen different endings for each one.

I say crafting and not just writing because a huge part of the creation of these books involved coming up with the structure of the story—where the book would fork so that the reader could make a decision guiding the plot this way or that, which choices would lead readers to a final ending, and which choices would allow a reader to loop around and be presented with different options or with another chance at the same option.

As I was crafting these novels, my own life had just forked romantically. It had forked professionally, too, with the chance to write two different book series at once while I was editing full time. And I realized I’d started to evaluate real life situations the same way I was evaluating plot points for the Follow Your Heart books.  

Is this a decision that will take me to an ending I like? Will other choices have to be made along the way to reach that ending? Is this a decision that I can loop back toward, or if I say no, will this option be gone forever?

I started thinking about life not simply as a journey I was on, but as a series of choices and consequences—a line of decisions that could potentially open some paths while closing off others.

And often times, like in the stories I was creating, certain decisions seemed incredibly clear, while at other times all available options seemed equally appealing or equally unpleasant, but still, one always felt a little more right than the others.

As someone who has worked for more than a decade in a job that combines business and creativity, I believe in data and analytics and metrics, but I also believe in instinct and gut and following your heart.

I believe there’s something inside all of us that resonates when a decision feels right.

And that’s something else I thought about a lot while I was writing these books—that feeling that comes after you make a decision when your whole being says, yes, that was the right choice.

While working on the Follow Your Heart books, I often thought of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” and the film "Sliding Doors" and the Choose Your Own Adventure books of my childhood.

People are intrigued with decisions, with what their lives would have looked like if they’d gone another way.

But what I also realized is that like the readers of my Follow Your Heart books, we don’t always know what’s coming next, we don’t know what our lives would have looked like if we’d taken the other path, missed the train—and we can’t flip a few pages ahead to find out.

We make the best decisions we can make at the time, we weigh the options, we follow our hearts—and we hope that the ending we find is one that, if not perfect, includes enough happiness for us to feel satisfied and say, yes, that was the right choice.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win one of three signed copies of Follow Your Heart: Summer Love by Jill Santopolo (Puffin, 2014). Publisher sponsored. Eligibility: U.S.

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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Happy Star Wars Day

Austin Comic Con 2011
Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith for Cynsations

May the Fourth Be With You: It's Star Wars Day by Bill Chappell from NPR. Peek: "Darth Vader walks the Earth today. And by that, we mean he's walking all over the place — fans of the sci-fi franchise are celebrating Star Wars Day, or May 4 for the less geek-inclined."

Celebrate Star Wars Day with Some Jedi Jams by Brian Truitt from USA Today. Peek: "So in honor of the fan holiday, here is the Jek Porkins Memorial Star Wars Day Playlist, a mix that even Jabba the Hutt would spin on his sail barge."

May the Fourth Be With You: Seven Reasons to Get Excited About J.J. Abrams New Star Wars Movie from Peek: "The smartest thing producers did was to announce that the beloved trio of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) would be back for the first sequel, set 35 years after the events of Return Of the Jedi." Note: Better gender representation isn't one of them.

Celebrate Star Wars Day in the U.K. from Metro. Peek: "Simon Wilkie, who has built his own C-3PO costume, will be at Disney’s store on Oxford Street in London on Saturday, and Anthony Daniels, the man behind C-3PO, will be there from 12:30-2:30 signing autographs. Get there early to avoid disappointment."
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