Candle Knight & Lady

It’s my Candle Knight Lady Candela and  Pamikoo’s Miss Candlewick

See pics of Candlewick done by Pamikoo here and here

Previous pics of my Candela character here and here

I’m a fan of her for quite some years now though I’ve approached her recently =P.  I completely adore her style, the designs she comes up with are amazing and full of originality! It is hard to decide which character of her to draw but let’s start with one =P

I think these two look cute together! 

I realized last minute that they are posing very similar to this previous pic I did before here (facepalm) I’ll try better next time haha

#SIBA11 Exhibitor Day One: Sunday

Here are scenes from today’s events on the exhibitor show floor and at our Southern Territory Associates booth.

A proper thank you, again, to Dennis Lloyd and Stephanie Williams at the University Press of Florida, for assisting in the assembly of my floor display yesterday!

They are raffling two copies of Dream Houses: Historic Beach Houses and Cottages of Naples, which features homes in Naples, FL, where #SIBA will be next September.

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My former rep colleague Brentley Stephens, from my rep days at Penguin USA lives in Charleston, so it gave us an opportunity to catch up after about 13 years. Here is Brentley on the left, with Eric Svenson, the HarperCollins rep.

Brentley, always the gentleman, said I hadn’t aged a day. Neither had he!

I turned into a total fan girl when Candlewick author Allan Wolf stopped by the booth. His new book, The Watch that Ends the Night is featured at our Candlewick table, and he graciously signed copies for us. I had a chance to tell him how awestruck I was by the book. You will be too. It’s a novel in verse of the sailing and sinking of the Titanic, which will be one hundred years ago, next year. One of the many Titanic offerings coming out in time for the anniversary, but one surely not to miss. Here he is with Asheville, NC bookseller Emoke B'racz owner of Malaprop’s Bookstore, a wonderful bookseller friend to us.

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The book jacket art and design is striking, and Allan pointed out that Jon Klassen is the artist. Jon Klassen is the author and illustrator of another hot, new title out from Candlewick just now: I Want My Hat Back. I don’t know why we didn’t realize that earlier!

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Angie got to meet and chat with author Meg Medina, who I missed somehow in all the excitement. Her book is Tia Isa Wants a Car from Candlewick. Here is Angie’s photo of Allan Wolf with Meg.

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Here is one of my favorite museum manager/buyers, Mark Burrell, from the Michael C. Carlos Museum on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, and his lovely wife, Laurie Israel, who I got to meet for the first time. Mark is one of the most savvy booksellers I know, and a veritable expert on making the most of a small space for a bookstore for one of the most fascinating museums we have in Atlanta. The Carlos features ancient art from Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa and the Americas.

Lovely Angela Harwood, sales manager of John F. Blair, Publisher stopped by, and then again later with author Stuart Dill of Murder on Music Row and his wife Maral Missirian-Dill. For the media kit, click on the book cover.

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I also was pleased to meet author Janisse Ray, who was gracious and engaging. Her latest book is Drifting Into Darien from the University of Georgia Press. I wasn’t prescient enough to whip out my phone for a photo, being caught up in the moment. Here she is from the UGA Press website:

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We left North Charleston and headed to downtown for lunch at Blossom. Yummy. Pictured below is the dining room, and below that is my delicious granita martini.

Usually, it is Angie’s birthday during #SIBA, but this year she lucked out and it’s actually her birthday next weekend. Geoff found the perfect gift for our resident Anglophile, a Danbury Mint Windsor Castle he spied at a thrift store. Geoff couldn’t have found a more perfect gift.

Angie’s photo closeup of the detail of the castle:

After the trade show closed for the day, there was a mock wedding and author auction. Most importantly, there was sweet potato pie, from Well, Shut My Mouth!: The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook, by Stephanie L. Tyson from John F. Blair, Publisher. For a media kit, click on the book cover.

Photo credit: Angie Smits

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For dinner, we traveled back into Charleston to Blossom’s sister restaurant, Magnolias. Delicious. Here is Angie’s photo of the cappuccino that we both ordered to end the evening:

And so ended the day.

Step Out of the Privilege Bubble

Contributed to CBC Diversity by Zoë Marriott

So, this is a little awkward. Turns out…I’m a bigot. Oh, and you probably are too.

This is a shocking statement to make, right? My point is that it shouldn’t be.

Most people assume that prejudice, bias and bigotry spring from ideology–from a conscious hatred of other people. But for the vast majority, it inhabits us without our even being aware of it. Look at this post on the movie business, and how film students, even film students who were not male, not able-bodied, and not white found themselves caught up in responding to headshots of potential actors according to racial, ableist, and gender stereotypes.

I myself identify within a number of minority groups. I’m disabled. I come from a mixed race family. I’m part of the QUILTBAG community (the ‘A’, in case you were interested). Yet I’m just as stuffed with prejudice as everyone else.

Unconscious or unexamined biases lurk in the back of everyone’s minds, pretending that they’re ‘instinct’ or 'common-sense’ or 'realism’. But what’s the usual reaction among your friends and family if you hint that something they have said or done or assumed could stem from unconscious prejudice? I bet it’s, “I’m not a racist/sexist/ableist/homophobe! How can you say such a terrible thing about me?”

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Five starred reviews for Steampunk! edited by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant from Candlewick Press. Outstanding! Congratulations! ★★★★★

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“Veteran editors Link and Grant serve up a delicious mix of original stories from 14 skilled writers and artists. Among the many high points: Cassandra Clare’s creepy “Some Fortunate Future Day,” in which a lonely girl, grown bored with her sentient clockwork dolls, develops a crush on a wounded soldier; Libba Bray’s subversively funny “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls,” which concerns a girl gang robbing trains and dirigibles on another planet (presumably a future Mars) heavily reminiscent of the Old West; Holly Black’s humorous and romantic “Everything Amiable and Obliging,” whose heroine, a rich orphan, must deal with her feelings toward her cousin and persuade his sister not to marry her clockwork dance instructor; and M.T. Anderson’s magisterial “The Oracle Engine,” which explores the political complexities resulting from the Roman Empire’s development of a Rube Goldberg–like supercomputer. Chockful of gear-driven automatons, looming dirigibles, and wildly implausible time machines, these often baroque, intensely anachronistic tales should please steampunks of all ages. As the lovelorn, mechanically gifted “hero” of comics artist Shawn Cheng’s contribution says, “The world is a machine. Imperfect parts together in a perfect arrangement.” - Publishers Weekly

"Steampunk is hot right now, as evidenced by the rush of titles featuring goggle-wearing heroines on their covers. Happily, there are gems to be found within the flood, and editors Link and Gavin treat fans, old and new, to an array of fantastically rich stories in this polished, outstanding collection. Skillful organization slots entries by authors less well known to YA readers between those by stars, including Libba Bray and Cory Doctorow, and the result is an anthology that is almost impossible to put down. The gears, goggles, automatons, and dirigibles are all here, but these gifted writers have used the steampunk trappings as a launchpad, leaping into their own unique explorations of what it is to be human in a world influenced by technology. Settings range from Appalachia to a Pacific island to an alternate Wales everything but Victorian London. M.T. Anderson reveals an engineers cunning revenge in ancient Rome; Delia Sherman explores what happens when a ghost inhabits a machine; Kelly Link blends faerie tropes with clockwork tinkerings; and Shawn Cheng and Kathleen Jennings present stories in a comic-style format. From rebellious motorists to girl bandits, the characters in this imaginative collection shine, and there isn’t a weak story in the mix; each one offers depth and delight.” - Booklist

“It is about time that steampunk short stories really got a focused and creative exploration in YA lit, and this anthology of fourteen pieces (all original to this volume) is an excellent start. A brief introduction references the murky beginnings of the term itself, the key themes that make it what it is, and the one intentional common thread here: none of the stories is set in the well-worn venue of Victorian London. It’s a brilliant idea, and it has clearly led to some intriguing approaches, as readers will encounter steampunk elements woven into the old Wild West, as in “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls” by Libba Bray, all the way to ancient (perhaps) Rome in M. T. Anderson’s “The Oracle Engine.” Wistful efforts at trying to will clockwork and gears to somehow improve one’s dreary life are explored in pieces that inspire pathos even as they are gorgeously rendered to be more than their tragic parts, such as Shawn Cheng’s short graphic piece “Seven Days Beset by Demons” and the modern “Steam Girl” by Dylan Horrocks. The variety of storytelling styles and lengths and the inclusion of two graphic stories enhance the value of this collection and ensure that the common themes avoid samey repetition. While there are plenty of YA novels dipping into this area, this impeccable anthology can serve as either an introduction to much of what makes steampunk what it is or a creative take for established fans who will be intrigued by the authorial tinkering. And since tampering and tinkering is not only how steampunk evolved into a subgenre but also is very much part of each of these stories, that is a nice point of intersection indeed. - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Most readers have become familiar with the essential steampunk elements: clockwork automatons, brass goggles, mad scientists, brave adventurers, and Victorian imagery. However, this collection of short stories by some of the best YA authors today, including Libba Bray, Garth Nix, and Cory Doctorow, offers something different and takes the steampunk ethos to a new level. Within these pages, there’s a little something for everyone. For the romantic, there is Holly Black’s “Everything Amiable and Obliging,” in which a clockwork automaton exceeds the bounds of its programming and falls in love with the beautiful daughter of its employer. And for the disillusioned, there is Link’s lovely and eerily sad “The Summer People,” in which a girl in Appalachia is forced to care for the mysterious inhabitants of an unusual house. M. T. Anderson’s “The Oracle Engine” is an alternate version of the story of Crassus of Rome that will delight history buffs. And Dylan Horrocks’s “Steam Girl,” the story of an unusual girl with steampunk sensibilities in modern times, will resonate with those who feel as though they don’t quite belong. Two stories told in comic book format will appeal to graphic-novel fans. There is not a weak story in the bunch. This exceptional anthology does great service to the steampunk subgenre and will do much to further its audience.– School Library Journal

"You can’t have steampunk without steam (and maybe some gears), but in the hands of a stellar cast of authors, everything else is open to interpretation. Tales range across space and time, from ancient Rome (sort of; M.T. Anderson takes history, adds a few gears and delivers a mind-boggling result) to a Dickensian North America, courtesy of Cory Doctorow, where maimed orphans fight the literal and figurative man; from Wales (Delia Sherman’s comedic “The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor”) to the melancholy present and a heroine who might be an accidental transplant from an altogether more exciting reality (Dylan Horrock’s “Steam Girl”). The collection is carefully organized, frontloaded with bound-to-be- popular selections from Libba Bray (girl power in the Old West) and Cassie Clare (unrequited love, talking dolls and second chances) and then moving into less well-known contributors. A couple of graphic tales mix with literary hard hitters like Elizabeth Knox (a dark, dreamy and tragic look at the nuances of relationships) and co-editor Link (whose “Summer People” riffs on old tales of Faeries and humans). Steampunk is hot at the moment in literature, art and fashion: This collection taps into the ethos without ever seeming topical or transient, thanks to contributions rich with much more than just steam and brass fittings. An excellent collection, full of unexpected delights.” - Kirkus Giveaway! 3 copies to giveaway until October 31, 2011.

Click here to visit the Steampunk! website.

9780763648435 $22.99 Hardcover


From Abrams Image: The Steampunk Bible by Jeff VanderMeer with S. J. Chambers.

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An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature

7 x 10; 224 ppg
Hardcover; 150 color illustrations

Praise for The Steampunk Bible:

The Steampunk Bible is an informed, informative and beautifully illustrated survey of the subject.” - The Financial Times

The Steampunk Bible is far and away the most intriguing catalog of all things steam yet written.” -The Austin Chronicle

“It’s hard to imagine how VanderMeer and Chambers could have put together a stronger collection. Its publication marks a significant, self-conscious moment in the history of the movement.”

KVEIKUR Project 06: Kveikur

And here I finally return my dear followers, after a weekend off, with the illustration for Kveikur’s magnificent title track. It is easily the darkest and noisiest piece on the whole album, which is why I wanted this picture to be extra sinister (what a nice start into the week, right?).

“Kveikur” translates to “Candlewick”, but it’s also pretty close to words like “fuse” (“kveikiþráður”) or “ignite” (“kveikir”), so the word can have a rather explosive connotation aswell. At first, I was having problems coming up with an idea for the picture, because a candlewick isn’t that badass, but eventually, I had this idea of an evil candle spirit (don’t ask). So once I had that main idea, the details came pretty fast, like the ash cloak, the arms, the candles on the shoulders and the brandings on the body. It should all have a rather tortured feel.

In the end, it looks pretty different from what I had in mind (again), but all in all, I’m happy with it. I need to work on my colouring a bit though, I still have that tendency of using pretty bright, simple colours and it can ruin the flair of sinister pictures like that. But maybe it’s also the white background, because I had that feeling on “Brennisteinn” aswell and that picture is way more monochrome.

Anyway, next up is “Rafstraumur” (“Electric Current”), a picture I’ve been looking forward to for the whole project! Pretty exited for this one, and I already got a nice idea. So see you the next day!

Listen to “Kveikur” here.
Editor Interview: Andrea Tompa and Kaylan Adair from Candlewick Press

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Candlewick Press is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages; including books by award-winning authors Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody and ‘Ologies series; and favorites such as the Where’s Waldo? and Maisy books. Candlewick’s parent company is Walker Books Ltd., of London with additional offices in Sydney and Auckland.

A Place at the Table

On May 14, CBC Diversity hosted a speed-dating-style event with six authors and illustrators known for creating inclusive literature. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons and the Horn Book and presented in partnership with Children’s Books Boston, tables of eight to nine people spent ten minutes discussing diversity in children’s books with each of the featured children’s book creators (l to r): Anne Sibley O'Brien, Nicole Tadgell, Lesléa Newman, Rich Michelson, Susan Kuklin, and Francisco X. Stork .

Librarian and diversity advocate Sam Kane developed the following questions that formed the basis of each discussion:

  1. Why is it important that children have access to inclusive literature (books featuring a range of abilities, ages, ethnicities, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, and socio-economic classes)?
  2. What are the barriers that may prevent diversity books from getting into readers’ hands?
  3. What are some solutions, strategies, or conversations to help shift the barriers to getting these books into the hands of children? (Think about your industry or field.)
  4. Who has access to power in your industry or field? Which voices are denied access? Why?
  5. How can we educate the gatekeepers in your industry or field? What do they need to know or believe to create bookshelves that reflect our population?
  6. How can your industry or field promote or reward excellence as it pertains to inclusive literature?

What I found most inspiring about the evening was how it brought together participants from a wide variety of fields: we had teachers, principals, librarians, authors, illustrators, publishers, agents, academics, reviewers, bloggers—all united in our desire to promote and develop books that more adequately reflect the demographics and realities of the world in which we live. By providing a space for people to connect across disciplines, the event allowed new kinds of synergies to arise.

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