Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What a Week!

It has been a wonderful week of meeting amazing readers and writers. Getting out and actually talking to people who have enjoyed the book reminds me why we get into this crazy business in the first place.

Last Tuesday, I met with 15 high school students at our local library to help them with writing a graphic novel memoir. I taught them how to use my favorite 9 Point Plot process (click the link on the right side of this blog if you want to see what that is all about) using THE CAT IN THE HAT as the example.

It worked surprisingly well and the kids were great. I'm hoping to go back and help them again when they are further along in their writing this summer.

On Saturday, I went to the SCBWI meeting here in Northern California to talk about the writing journey with friend and fellow author Heidi Kling.

I got to meet a lot of wonderful writers, including blogger Samantha Hagar who wrote up a wonderful post on her blog about the event (and took a darn nice photo). No, I didn't pay her to say such nice things, but maybe I should start.

Last night, I was invited to a mother/daughter book club (oh, how I love book clubs) in Oakland. Unfortunately I always forget to take my camera and I'm not techie enough to figure out how to get photos off my phone, so there are no pictures. Not only did Dana, Emily, Celia and Mia (and their moms) read the book and ask amazing questions, but we had ribs, corn on the cob and carmel apples to celebrate Dana getting her braces off that day. Any book club with awesome food is okay by me. The kids requested no more vampire books (I'll see what I can do) and the moms requested that not all parents in YA be dead/abusive/absent. Again, I'm working on that. I have made a conscious effort not to kill off any parents in my next book. Can't promise anything for the book after that.

On this date: In 1613, the original Globe theater burned down.

Friday, June 25, 2010

SCBWI Event Tomorrow - June 26th

Are you in the Bay Area? Are you a writer? Do you want to ask some writing questions and hear about the journey? I'm going to be on a panel with marketing genius Heidi Kling in Walnut Creek from 2-4. Come join us - there WILL be cupcakes!

Cinder Rabbit


Beyond the Bay Series

Join Us!

on Saturday June 26, 2 - 4PM

presenting YA authors

Heidi R. Kling & Cynthia Omololu

"A Writer's Journey: From Idea, to Publication, Marketing and Beyond"

Two debut YA authors with books launching this year will share how they did it! Gain through their experiences from idea to edits, publication, promotion, marketing and beyond.

Wherever you are on your own journey, these two talented authors have stories to share that will appeal to everyone who writes for children!

Join us and share the experience...

...and enjoy cupcakes as we celebrate Heidi's anniversary and Keely's birthday!

About Heidi R. Kling

Heidi R KlingHeidi R. Kling likes people, stories and blue things. A native Californian, she relocated briefly to NYC where she earned her MFA in Writing for Children from the New School. Heidi resides with her family in Northern California just over the coastal mountains from the sea, where she alternately wears flip-flops and Ugg Boots. And is quite happy.

Sea Heidi R KlingSea was inspired by her husband's trip to Indonesia after the tsunami disaster in 2004.

Find out more at http://heidirkling.com

Location & Meeting Fees

Saturday, June 26, Time: 2-4pm


St. Paul's Episcopal Church

1924 Trinity Avenue

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Click here for directions and map

Within walking distance of BART

Or cut and paste the website below into your browser:



NON MEMBER: $15.00

About C. J. Omololu

C J Omololu

Cynthia J Omololu was born in New Jersey, but grew up in San Diego. She is now living in Northern California with her husband and two sons.

After her kids were born, she was a stay-at-home mom for a few years and enjoyed reading to them. She realized that there weren't enough books about biracial kids and thought she should write one. How hard could it be? Find out just how hard as Cynthia takes us on her journey to publication.

Berry Magic Berry Magic

Find out more at http://cjomololu.com

For More Information

Questions? Contact Keely Parrack k.parrack@comcast.net or

Anne Reilly

anne_reilly@comcast.net or

Louise Henriksen


Volunteers needed for this

Beyond the Bay event! Contact Keely


DominicanGardenSummer Workshops and Retreat

July 15 to 18

Domincan University / San Rafael

Speakers include editor Andrea Welch of Beach Lane Books, author Martha Alderson of Blockbuster Plots, agent Jill Corcoran of The Herman Agency, and Kathleen Duey

author of Sacred Scars. Illustrator workshop by David Weitzman.

$129 per day or $199 for both days / writing workshops

$89 per day or $160 for both days

Overnight accommodations and meals are available at the university.

Accommodations and meals are a package from Thursday night through Sunday brunch.

$229 for a shared room or $299 for a single room.

For more information and to register, click here:

Summer Workshops and Retreat

Monday, June 21, 2010

Titles Titles Everywhere

Most days, it feels like all of the good titles are taken. Wicked Lovely. Bleeding Violet. The Dark Divine. Shiver. All great YA titles and all already taken by authors I love and admire.

Now it's time for a completely unscientific and self-serving poll. If you were in a bookstore and saw the following titles in the YA paranormal romance section, without knowing anything about the book, which one would you pick up?

Barely Breathing
Eternal Past
Voices Carry
Breath Away
Eternal Symphony
Keeper's Secret
Echoes of Eternity

On this date: In 1965 Mr. Tambourine Man is released by The Byrds and the folk-rock revolution begins.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Guest Blogger - Saundra Mitchell

Today is a first for me - my very first guest blogger and I'm honored that it is my friend and fellow author Saundra Mitchell (if you've ever seen one of my bookmarks or postcards you will also know that she is an awesome graphic designer too).

I have my very own hard copy of her debut YA novel SHADOWED SUMMER, but it has just come out in paperback this week, so if you aren't lucky enough to already own one, you can now run out and get a copy. Also, look for her newest work, THE VESPERTINE, due out in Spring of 2011.


On first glance, a book about a teenaged girl trapped in the disaster that is her mother's hoarding, and a book about a girl haunted by a frustrated ghost don't seem to have much in common. But beneath the stacks of National Geographics and a borrowed heirloom witchboard, DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS and SHADOWED SUMMER have the same heart.

They're books about that moment when you realize that your parents had entire lives before you existed. That they have inner lives you can never know. And, shockingly, that know one will ever know *your* whole story, either.

The protagonists explore those shadow histories from the edges- in Lucy's case, in DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, she gets her glimpses from sorting through the hoarded, compacted belongings her mother has amassed over the years. Each box contains a memory, a slip of evidence, a hint of the life that made that object important (or unimportant) enough to keep.

For Iris in SHADOWED SUMMER, she dodges around the father who has the answers and won't share them, and picks through other people's stories instead. She asks the living and the dead alike, getting a shattered image of the past that she'll never be able to repair completely. But, like Lucy, Iris eventually discovers that the secrets and lies around you often lead to your own door.

On the surface, these books have nothing in common. But I find it fascinating that beneath the covers, they share their secrets- and just might reveal some of yours, too.


by Saundra Mitchell

In paperback June 8, 2010


Thanks so much to Saundra for dropping by the blog!

On this date: In 1942, Anne Frank received her diary.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hoarders Season 1 Update Show

On Monday, Hoarders on A&E ran what everyone on the boards was clamoring for - an update show. While there were some success stories with the first three participants, most of it was as I suspected: pretty much the same. Hoarding is such a difficult thing to get a handle on, much less 'cure' that the most depressing part of any hoarding story is that it can rarely be fixed.

That said, the very last segment was on Jake from Northern California (right near me). I totally felt for this kid when the episode first aired, and the update left me cheering. The fact that he is writing a memoir and wants to be a writer is fantastic. Go Jake!

You can view the entire episode online at the Hoarder's website.

On this date: In 1956 Rock and Roll was banned in Santa Cruz, CA.