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Hello. it’s been pointed out by Christopher Rowe and others that in the sci fi community we kind of have to remind people that we have stuff out there eligible to be nominated since so much of the awards are membership voted. So, taking a deep breath, here it goes.
For the Norton I have a YA hybrid novel The Year of the Beasts that is eligible. It’s alternating chapters of prose / graphic novel. the prose is the story of two girls and the boys they like and the summer and the graphic novel is about a girl who is a Medusa who just wants to be a girl again (with a centaur, minotaur and mermaid friends)
I also have three short stories eligible for the Nebula and Hugo
A retelling of the Prince Lindwurm fairy tale “Brother. Prince. Snake” over at Tor.com
A zombie story “Always the Same. Till it’s Not.” over at Apex Magazine
And of course “The Marker” in Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling’s fantastic AFTER anthology.
My friend Jenn Fujikawa tagged me in this meme where you talk about a project you’ve been working on. She got it from our friend, the fabulous Sarah Kuhn and Amber Benson. I decided to answer questions about my newest book Odd Duck!
A little something about Jenn. She’s a cook, a nerdy girl, a sassy mom, a designer. You should totally check out her recipie blog. If you’ve ever wanted to make things like wookie cookies or princess leia cupcakes, her blog is the place to go. Right now she’s got a mochi book out. YUM.
The Next Big Thing: Odd Duck!
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I think everyone I know is a little bit odd.
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a hybrid graphic novel picture book for kids of all ages. (6 – 106) It’s written by me and illustrated by the fabulous Sara Varon.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie
It’d be voice actors! Because I would want an animated movie. I think I’d choose my old pal Reno Wilson to voice Chad and Jennifer Hale, from my fave video game Mass Effect, to voice Theodora. To round it out, let’s say Dave Foley, Sean Cullen and Jane Lynch for Gabe, Max and Velma.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Theodora is a normal duck, following her daily habits. Chad is a bit of a strange egg, chaotic and creative. But which of them is really the odd duck? (that’s from the Junior Library Guild page where it is a spring pick!)
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I originally wrote it as an easy reader. So it was all text. Then Sara Varon came on board and we decided to throw out the words and make it pictures. Sara broke down the text and then we worked together on the pacing and fleshing out what needed to be fleshed out. All in all it took about three years.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Any book where there are two mismatched best buds.
Ernie and Bert. Wallace and Gromit. Bink and Gollie. Elephant and Piggie.
Oscar and Felix.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Many years ago I was sitting at a dinner with author/artist Peter Reynolds. We started talking about the odd ducks we knew. I got an image of a duck swimming with a tea cup on her head. That’s when I came up with Theodora. I made everyone laugh at dinner with stories of Theodora. And what better way to ruffle her feathers then to have a new duck move in next door. . I loved the idea of Chad being loud and colorful and messy. I wanted to write a book about being okay with yourself being weird.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
What I like a lot about this book is that it really is for all ages. It works on three levels. Kids who can’t read can follow the pictures, which are adorable. Kids who can read can get more details about the story, not only in the regular text but in the asides that are in the pictures. And then I think that adults can enjoy it because because we as adults know exactly what it’s like to be a Theodora or a Chad.
As for who I’m tagging to go next, I wanted to highlight some fantastic female writers/creators/artists that I adore and also call friends.
Jillian Lauren, Liza Palmer and Sherri L. Smith
Jillian Lauren is a sassy lady who writes non-fiction and fiction. She wrote the memoir, My Life as a Harem and the novel Pretty. She also performs. She just did a one woman show at the Edinburgh Fest! She keeps a great blog about motherhood, which I adore.
Liza Palmer has written five books. She’s emmy nominated. She’s best selling. She’s sassy, funny, plays board games and is always a good time. She wrote More Like Her, A Field Guide to Burying your Parents, Seeing me Naked, Conversations with the Fat Girl and her most recent, Nowhere but You. Chuck her books into your bag and read them everywhere.
Sherri L Smith is an award winning YA author. She wrote one of my fave historical fiction YA books, Flygirl, which won the California Gold Medal. She’s worked in comic books, has helped organize special effects, makes cool jewelery and is an all around great gal to go to a comic book convention with. Her new book Orleans is an amazing dystopian YA set in a post hurrican New Orleans. So. Good. She blogs over at the Middle Hundred.
And I’m going to back tag Sarah Kuhn and Amber Benson
Today, I caught it. I think it started as an itch. Like a song stuck in your head. But it was just moaning, moaning outside my window. Then I noticed that others were getting it around me. My mom. My dad. My brother. They were shuffling. It’s the shuffle that gives it away. You think, “That person is not sick. That person wants to eat my brains.”
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada. And I’m thankful that I’ve still got my capacities, at least for today. I don’t want to be turned into one of them. Please, I’m small and stringy and more of a snack than a meal.
Let it stop. Let the leaves in the park be the only things that change anymore. I can’t take it.
In my old life, before yesterday, I wrote a story about a different kind of zombie apocalypse. A hopeful one. As if that could be possible. Here it is. It’s called Always the Same. Till it is Not – Apex Magazine October 2012 I hope you’ll read it. If you’re still out there and that you’ll find some hope in it.
Meanwhile. Since the invasion has begun and the horde is coming for you, why not start yours sweetly, with a song. I can’t get the Cranberries out of my head.
Please enjoy my retelling of the Prince Lindworm fairy tale Brother. Prince. Snake. over at Tor.com
I’m doing a GIVE AWAY of 2 copies of The Year of the Beasts (illustrated by Nate Powell) since I received my author copies! Please draw me the picture of the mythical monster that crouches inside of you and post it in comments here. (or over at facebook or twitter @misscecil )
And PS. the launch party will be May 22nd at Skylight Books in Los Angeles.
I’m going to be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) this weekend. It’s at the Toronto Public Library at 789 Yonge Street and it’s free! I’ll be at the Librarian and Educator day on Friday for the author luncheon. Then I’m tabling with Nate Powell, the illustrator of my new novel The Year of the Beasts! We’ll be on the second floor so come on by and say hello. I’ll have books for sale.
My panel is on Sunday, May 6, 2012 | The Pilot 22 Cumberland Ave.
2:00 – 3:15 – Making Comics: The Process
Creators discuss how they make comics: what’s the process of writing and drawing that they go through to create individual creative projects? When a comic varies from only writing to nonfiction journalism to fantasy, how does the process change? With Mike Dawson, Adam Warren, Cecil Castellucci, and Kagan McLeod. Moderator: Tina Coleman
It’s that time of year! The holidays. Perhaps for your holiday shopping you are thinking of getting one of my books for your sassy teen, your friends inner teen, your surly niece or nephew, your bosses kid or a teen you don’t know because you’ve landed at a party of someone elses family. They make a nice gift! Perhaps you want to get one signed.
So, for your signed Cecil book needs, you may get them at four different places in four different cities!
LOS ANGELES - SKYLIGHT BOOKS For your information, Skylight Books always has signed books.
TORONTO – MABLES FABLES
MONTREAL – BABAR En VILLE
NYC - BOOKS OF WONDER
Most of you know that I really love outer space. Almost all of my books have some kind of observational astronomy in it. My newest book, First Day on Earth, (coming out in November 2011) is a Sci Fi(ish) book. And my current work in progress, The Tin Star, is a two book series that takes place on a space station around an extra solar planet. So, you know, finding out that there was a workshop to teach writers about space science… well… I could not apply fast enough.
And so last week I went to LaunchPad 2011 (aka space science camp.) It was the most fun and brain breaking thing ever.
LaunchPad is the brainchild of astronomer and sci fi writer Dr. Mike Brotherton (Spider Star and Star Dragon) It’s been funded by NASA and the NSF and its goal is to teach writers (of sci fi) space science so that the science is correct in your fiction. (I know, right? AMAZING!)
It takes place at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. (by the way, we all know Laramie has a bad rap. But it’s a sweet cute place. Totally adorable. For example, i saw a pair of victorian boots that I am coveting and also the cowboy saloon and dancehall which we got to sneak into and look at its amazingness – including saddle seat bar stools and a buffalo that snorts smoke. I was sad the saloon was closed for summer.)
Cowboy Saloon and Dancehall. I know you are two-stepping in your mind right now.
We were there for one week. Every day we had a lecture on space science. For a space dork like me it was amazing. I learned so much.
Learning about Stars. Learning about space medicine. Dark Matter. Spectrograph lab.
I even liked cosmology. (although it nearly broke me.)
We had two observing nights. I so desperately wanted to see M51 because there is a supernova in it right now. But we couldn’t see it from where we were. A stupid streetlamp was in the way and the weather was not cooperating. But we saw clusters (open and globular) Saturn. M82 galaxy. The Ring Nebula. I admit, many of these things looked like smudges. But they were very. cool. smudges.
We also went to WIRO (Wyoming InfraRed Observatory)
It was way up high on Mount Jen… Gorgeous. There was a lightning storm that surrounded us below. We could see bolts in the sky.
Lovely grad students Rana and Jessie let the few of us stay later help to open the telescope door and engage the telescope.
Dani opening the observatory doors.
Me in front of WIRO (pic by Liz)
The late night WIRO crew – Chris Rowe, Dani Wolff, Me!, Liz Gorinsky, Shelly Li (Todd Van der Mark took the pic)
I enjoyed the fine company of all of my fellow classmates. And I know that my reading list got huge. I think you should probably go read them all, too. Liz Gorinksy, Greg Fishbone, Mike Albo, KC Ball, Shelly Li, Todd Vandermark, Christopher Rowe, Stan Schmidt, Jennifer Willis, Danielle Wolff, Henry Strattman, Deborah J Ross , Shariann Lewitt, An Owomoyela , Pembroke Sinclair, Eric James Stone
And if you write Sci Fi, or long to, you should totally apply to LaunchPad next year. (And if you are science organization, (hint hint NASA and NSF) you should continue to support them.)
My New Project Revealed!
from Publisher’s Marketplace yesterday!
Children’s: Young Adult
Cecil Castellucci’s THE TIN STAR and A STONE IN THE SKY, a two part series pitched as Casablanca recast, re-envisioned, and set on a space station, to Nancy Mercado at Roaring Brook Press, by Kirby Kim at William Morris Endeavor (NA).
I had great fun being the EmCee for the SCIBA Children’s Book dinner. There were many lovely authors there at the dinnerand the four keynote speakers – Judy Blundell, Brandon Mull, Andrew Smith and Dr. Cuthbert Soup were charming and it is always so wonderful to hear writers talk about writing.
Because I believe in a little bit of quirky fun at these sorts of things, I made up a little “Cecil gets lost in their books” montage. So here I am, transported by their new books. I had photo help from photographer Ben High. Oh. And I also sang a song I wrote especially for the evening to help celebrate the awesomeness of Children’s Literature. Yes. A little ditty from me to you. Mary from Skylight Books filmed it for you to enjoy. Fun!
Thanks to all who came out last night. I love you indie book stores!