At our Vermont College Winter '09 Residency "Opening Ceremonies," Cynthia Leitich Smith was named the Patron Saint of "The Undead, The Unpublished, and Everyone in Between." This lofty designation is no exaggeration.
Cyn is popular among readers for her contemporary, accessible look into the lives of multi-culti tweens and teens, and, more recently, her wildly successful forays into Southern Gothic supernatural (mwah ha ha!). She is popular among writers because her blog, Cynsations, serves as a comprehensive resource on all things kidlit. She is popular with ME because she rocks it out, all over the place, and in addition to be VERY VERY smart and talented, she is also phenomenally supportive of the many aspiring and burgeoning writers who are lucky enough to cross her path. I am so excited to have her here as a guest blogger today!
And, as an extra-special treat, we're giving away a copy of Cyn's TANTALIZE (also one of Madison Takahashi's picks, as per her student page, which is also a personal fave of mine!) Comment to this post by midnight Thursday (2/5), and you'll be entered in the random drawing to win her book. Winner to be announced a week from today.
Name: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Blog url: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ or
Tell us a little bit about your blog (the content, editorial identity, purpose):
Cynsations is a source for interviews, reading recommendations, publishing information, literacy advocacy, writer resources, and news in children's and teen literature.
How/when/why did you decide to start blogging?
Is your current blog your first? If not (or, if so), how did your original blog/s evolve to your current blog-incarnation?
One of them is. Cynsations is mirrored at Blogger and LiveJournal. The Blogspot came first, and then I decided to crosspost to LJ and more easily reach the YA community there.
What's your favorite thing about blogging?
Being able to offer a most-days hearty dose of information and inspiration. It satisfies my inner journalist, allows me to participate in the greater conversation of books, and hopefully is of some use to the audience.
It is! Okay, what is one thing that surprised you about the blogging process?
The size of the audience. On occasion, I'll ask at a children's-YA writer's conference how many people read Cynsations, and often the majority of hands go up. Jeepers.
Jeepers indeed! You're famous! And with good reason. . . . So, in your opinion, what constitutes a "good" (ie: interesting, readable) blog post?
Anything of interest to the targeted community of youth literature enthusiasts. Styles vary, and that's part of the charm of the community.
What sort of information are you looking to offer your readers?
I tend to go for the substantive--meaty conversations and shared resources with an emphasis on the positive and outreach to the YA readers themselves through giveaways and book-related information of particular interest to them.
What blogs do you read regularly?
The list is too huge to mention, though I skim the whole blogroll on JacketFlap daily. Just for fun, though, I'll highlight: Through the Tollbooth, The Blue Rose Girls, The Longstockings, Read Roger, Fuse #8, Nonfiction Matters, and the whole Austin Blogger Community (see my sidebar for links).
Great recommendations! Thanks for stopping by, Cyn!
Bio: Cynthia Leitich Smith is the author of TANTALIZE (Candlewick, 2007), ETERNAL (Candlewick, 2009), RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME (HarperCollins, 2001), several short stories, and award-winning books for younger readers. She is a member of faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts M.F.A. program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her website at www.cynthialeitichsmith.com was named one of the top 10 Writer Sites on the Internet by Writer's Digest and an ALA Great Website for Kids. Her Cynsations blog at cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ was listed as among the top two read by the children's/YA publishing community in the SCBWI "To Market" column. She makes her home in Austin, Texas, with four bossy cats and her husband, author Greg Leitich Smith.