I keep getting lucky. Especially in my writing connections. The Fates have been busy weaving up some good threads for me.
Maybe it wasn't Luck at all, but it was Something really good, that I ended up in Martine Leavitt's workshop at the BYU Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference. Martine is an amazing writer (if you haven't read her Keturah and Lord Death, or Heck Superhero, do it now), and she's an amazing teacher.
Maybe it wasn't Fate that the class itself was pretty amazing, too, full of talented writers, many of whom ended up becoming my critique-group friends. Two of them--Bree Despain and Matt Kirby--have recently landed book deals, and their first novels will be coming out in 2010. Luck? Maybe for me, that I get to work with them. On their end, it seems only Justice that all their talent and really, really hard work should pay off.
Regardless, you won't want to miss these:
Look for Bree's young adult novel, The Dark Divine, in spring of 2010. It's a prodigal son story with a paranormal twist, full of great suspense and romance, published by Egmont USA. Be warned that it's a read-in-one-sitting, drop-all-your-responsibilities kind of book, so you won't want to start it if you've got an important deadline. Don't give it to your teen girls two days before term finals.
As if the book weren't reason enough to check out her blog, she's giving away free stuff. Even better, the free stuff is books, and all you have to do is sign up to follow her blog or to follow her on Twitter to be entered into a book-giveaway drawing. I would create a link, but I don't know how (I'm still learning how to navigate all this stuff), but here's the site: breebiesingerdespain.blogspot.com
She'll give you more details on the giveaway when you get there.
Matt Kirby's novel, the Clock-Maker's Grimoire (the name will be changed, but we don't know to what yet), is a middle-grade story of three kids whose lives converge in a search for treasure. Matt creates a world so real, you forget it's not, and I love his images, but kids will like it because it's just so dang exciting--kidnapping, automatons, narrow escapes, a forbidden forest... It's being published by Scholastic and will debut in fall of 2010. You can check out Matt's blog at matthewkirby.com/kirbside or his website at www.matthewkirby.org. Again, sorry it's not a link.
I stayed up way too late reading Bree's and Matt's books, and the missed sleep was worth it. Congratulations, guys!
Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones
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