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Showing posts from August, 2011

Teeth: Vampire Tales Book Review

Title: Teeth: Vampire Tales
Editors: Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0061935145

480 pp.

Reading copy via local library

This anthology of 17 vampire short stories (and 2 poems) isn't part of the Debut Author Challenge since many of the contributors are well-established authors such as Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Melissa Marr, and Tanith Lee. But it was sitting so seductively on the shelf that I had to read it.

I'm glad I did.

I totally missed the Twilight bandwagon, and I wanted to see what other authors had to say about vampires. And this collection has all kinds of vampires. Funny vampires, gay vampires, creepy vampires, psychotic vampires, and regular teenage angsty vampires.

I'm just going to list my top five favorites stories, but almost all stories are extremely strong (only one did I find a little clunky and I wasn't that interested in the two poems that are include…

Book Review: How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend

Title: How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend
Author: Gary Ghislain
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: June 8, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0811874601

208 pp.

Reading copy from local library

Yeah, it's funny. Yeah, there's a sci-fi twist. No, there's no actual Johnny Depp. But don't let that stop you from reading Gary Ghislain's hilarious, hi-jinks filled book.

David is a 14 year old living in France with his dad, a shrink for troubled kids. And when Zelda, a superhot girl who is supertrouble, becomes his dad's latest patient, David can't stay away from her. Even though she says she's from outer space. And on a mission to find her Chosen One. Who happens to be Johnny Depp.

There's a ton of action, lots of laughs, and a French sensibility. By that I mean there is implied sex, although it works as both a plot point and character development. But this may be icky to some readers (especially given that David is 14; if he were 16, I think the ick-…

2011 SCBWI Summer Conference, or What I Did Over Summer Vacation

There are lots and lots of great blogs about the conference, but definitely check the Official Conference Blog. I can't chew gum and blog at the same time, so I left it to these speedy bloggers to give the play-by-play action.

What I do better is ruminate and then sum up. So here's an overview at my time at the 2011 SCBWI Summer Conference.

Day One: Friday

I live in the area, so I skipped all the early morning sessions and showed up in time for the first keynote. Bruce Coville is all kinds of awesome, and I loved his speech about why what we do matters and how what we do affect others in ways we can never know.

Jerry Pinkney's keynote was accompanied by personal photos and drawings and how to bring a sense of place to your work. Awe. Some.

My first breakout session was Donna Jo Napoli's "Sources of Tension and How to Use Them." She did a very interactive session, taking suggestions from the audience how what were the elements of tension. But lessons I learn…

Debut Author Challenge - July Update

It's been a busy, busy summer. Summer reading is going on full swing and I've probably read over 100 picture books. But that's not quite the Debut Author Challenge, is it?

I did read Through Her Eyes, which hasn't gotten the buzz of some other new releases and really should be a must read. I also read Wildefire, which was muy caliente and another must read.

So I'm caught up for the year, which gives me the warm fuzzies. I've started How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend, a hilarious read so far (and review forthcoming).

I picked up a boatload of books at the SCBWI conference last week (thoughts on that forthcoming), and the first to be read from that pile will be Ruta Sepetys' Between Shades of Gray. Ruta signed my copy of the novel at the conference, and she was so gracious and sweet!

That's all for now. Enjoy the rest of of your summer reading!