Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 14, 2011

Night With Cynthia Leitich Smith

On Saturday night Anita Nolan and I traveled to the Barnes and Noble to see Cynthia Leitich Smith.  She was doing a book signing for her new book BLESSED, which is the third book in her gothic novel series.  Since I hadn’t read the series, I bought all three books and had them signed.  I’m reading MOON OVER MANIFEST (Newbery Winner), which is really good, but when I finish, I’ll start Cynthia’s TANTALIZE and discover how her main character starts up a vampire themed restaurant.  Of course, it becomes a place that vampires frequent.

I never met Cynthia, but I think like most people I felt like I knew her from of her blog Cynsations.  You probably think she does her blog, just as a marketing tool, but she really is a caring author who wants to give back (something I hope other published authors will try to do).  Patty Brown who comes out to many of our New Jersey events came out to support Cynthia, which was nice.  Cynthia knew Patty from one of her MFA classes at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  Patty says her whole experience with Vermont College and their MFA Program was wonderful.  I know that is something most of us would like to do. 

Cynthia is already writing her fourth book for the series and she is working on a graphic novel of the series, except the graphic novel is going to be told from the main male(werewolf) character’s point of view, which I think is very cool.  She also talked about how she completely writes the first draft of her novels and then throws the whole thing away.  The real book starts after that.  I know there are people who say that is what you should do, but I never actually met anyone who was that brave.  I could sit down and start writing the story again, but I am not brave enough to just trash the whole thing.  I keep everything, just in case I want to go and look.  I never do, but like I said, I am not that brave.

After the book signing Anita, Cynthia, her publicist Heather from Candlewick Press and I went out to dinner.  It was really nice getting to know both or them and we will be doing an interview with Cynthia for a later issue of Sprouts Magazine.  Don’t tell anyone, but Cynthia drinks very dark red wine. It almost looks like she is sipping blood.  Okay, I think I’m getting too into her books.

One of the things she said was that she started writing paranormal right before the genre really took off and she feels the next big thing is going to be in the direction of science fiction.  Which stopped me, because that is exactly what Agent Ginger Clarke from Curtis Brown said at the conference in New York last month.  So there you go.  We already know that dystopia is big, so it doesn’t seem like a big jump to get to science fiction.

Hope you get a chance in the future to meet Cynthia.  Maybe we can work something out for next year’s NJSCBWI June  conference.

Please Note:  I have extended the “Early Bird” pricing to March 1st.  After talking to some of you, it sounded like everyone could use a little more time.  Hope this helps.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



  1. Such a treat to meet you! Thanks so much for joining us at the bookstore and dinner afterward. Thanks too for your enthusiasm and leadership in the children’s-YA book creator community! I look forward to being in touch again soon.


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