Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: At Least She Didn’t Include "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"

  • I rarely do write-ups of events that happen within my own library.  Not because I don’t think they aren’t splendid or anything.  I just don’t think of it.  Well last Saturday my library featured authors Kirsten Miller (Kiki Strike), Katherine Marsh (The Night Tourist) and Delia Sherman (Changeling) as well as some mighty fine reproductions of the old Viele Map of Manhattan’s underground waterways.  The talk was on how these three authors penned their fantasies set in New York City.  Delia Sherman is a more productive member of society than I am, though, and she has her write-up about the event here.  Delia, dude, I owe you one.  Thanks for that.

  • Oh.  And I’m feeling a little big in my britches today.  Probably because my I.T. guy here at School Library Journal, Dan Blank, just posted swell information on How to Become a Superstar Blogger.  It’s pretty good advice, even if it is a little me-centric.

  • Sad news. I had enjoyed the blog postings from Publishers Weekly during the last Bologna Book Fair so much that I failed to take note of the author’s name.  Craig Virden.  I discovered from Roger that he died.  PW Children’s Bookshelf has the obituary.

  • The honeymoon is over.  Over at Simon & Schuster Jon Anderson has started consolidating.  One of the side effects?  "Emma Dryden, who had been in charge of those imprints as v-p and publisher, will be leaving the company after 19 years, though she will continue to edit some of her well-known authors, including Ellen Hopkins, Karma Wilson and Alan Katz, in an advisory capacity."  Dammit, man!  Emma one of the few editors with a name that I can remember!  People, I don’t think you’re thinking of the real victim with these cuts: Me.  If I have to learn any more names me head’s gonna explode.  I think it was Holly Black who once told me that it’s worse for authors, though.  She has the names of real people to keep straight, and the names of characters.  Once she names a new character, fft!  There goes a real person out the back door of the noggin.  So here’s the deal.  We’re going to work it so that the only people who get cut from their jobs from here on in are people I don’t know.  Deal?

  • Under certain circumstances my hair is curly.  I try to straighten it from time to time with mixed results.  But generally, there are curls there.  So when it comes to authorial pet peeves, I agree with this one 100%.  Thanks to bookshelves of doom for the link.

I’m the kind of blogger who tries to neatly tuck away facts in her cranium for use in a blog post later.  When it works, it’s great.  When it doesn’t, I end up reading articles that make my point for me.  Example A: The Wind in the Willows.  I have the Seth Lehrer annotated version sitting on my bookshelf at home, and then I open up my Entertainment Weekly and find that there’s a second annotated version by an Annie Gauger coming out at the same time!  That’s one of those weird universal coincidences I enjoy.  I was going to mention how peculiar it was, and then promptly forgot again.  Now Katherine Powers over at The Boston Globe has taken it upon herself to review the two of them simultaneously.  It is an admirable piece of work.  Powers makes the point that "neither editor seems really at home in the world that gave rise to ‘The Wind in the Willows’," and then proceeds to provide magnificent evidence to back this up.  She even points out the jokes missed.  Overwhelming thanks to Oz and Ends for the link.

  • seems nice enough.  Regular posts.  Nice layout.  Good reviews.  But just one question: Why do they say it’s about children’s literature?  Seems pretty clearly teen to me.  Just scanned through their last few posts and not a single one had much of anything to do with children.  Odd.

  • I’ve dipped my toe into the scary world of fiction writing, which has been very interesting.  In my prose (and in my blog posts) I tend to reuse the same words over and over again.  Greg van Eekhout has a great piece up talking about exactly that.  The clever man has even opened with a Mark Twain quote: " Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. "   Thanks to Shaken & Stirred for the link.

  • I can just imagine the pitch for this one: Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer.  That’s five layers of "hunhuna?" with a cup of "hubba wha?" on the side.  Thanks to Oz and Ends for that link too.

  • That’s something to aspire to.  As a reviewer, I wanna be so big that people tattoo my face on their backs.  Okay, fine.  It’s just magic marker.  But the point remains!

  • I’m the kind of sicko who would really enjoy sitting in on an acquisitions meeting. In lieu of that I’ll just have to read Jacqui Robbins’ recap of what one is really like.  Thanks to Collecting Children’s Books for the link.

  • Insanity, served with a fine merlot.  Sarah Clarke, Waterstone’s children’s buying manager, chooses the "classics" of the future.  An odd selection since to my mind Inkheart and Artemis Fowl (and when I am 85 you may prove me wrong) will never ever ever EVER be classics.  EVER!  Nuh-uh, no way, no how. . . . maybe.  Thanks to Bookninja for the link.

  • Daily Image:

Like you don’t already own it.

Thanks to Shaken & Stirred for the image.

Rosario Dawson and Steve Coogan are joining the cast of the Greek mythology themed fantasy adventure feature film Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief , according to .  Coogan will play Hades, while Dawson takes on the role of Persephone.  Directed by Chris Columbus and based on author Rick Riordan’s first book in his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the cast already includes Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Sean Bean, Kevin McKidd, and Melina Kanakaredes among others.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Karen Gray Ruelle says:

    Ooh, the map library at NYPL is an awesome place to do research! And the librarians, Nancy Kandoian and Alice Hudson, are so helpful. I used that wonderful old Viele map when I was researching my picture book, The Tree, as well as some other amazing maps (I love looking at maps, can you tell?), including a very cool one from 1782 that showed Revolutionary War battlements and the British headquarters. Yes, I highly recommend old maps!

  2. Question says:

    What is it you can’t wait for? The link goes to, which you talk about right below. (And I’d say kidlit encompasses YA, or at least did until very recently, which means it’s still standard usage for many.)

  3. Fuse #8 says:

    Dang it! Thanks for the catch. And as for, they specifically say “children’s literature” in their description. Kidlit is one thing. Children’s another.

  4. Mary from says:

    Thanks for the link, I’m glad you like my reviews! I just set up shop at a month ago and intend to expand my horizons. I’ve done a lot of YA recently because that’s the ARC’s I’ve been getting my hands on. Stay tuned!

  5. janeyolen says:

    Not only did S&S fire Emma Dryden–who probably knows more about the world of publishing and how to find and encourage talent than most of us put together–but Kevin Lewis was fired as well. Who is KL? Only Tony diTerlizzi’s editor, who edited and cosseted through all of its incarnations the Spiderwick Chronicles and has along the way made more money for the company than any other editor there.

    Once again I do not understand this brave new world of publishing. I am going to lie down on my back like a good little dinosaur and watch the bright light falling from the sky, and say, “PRETTY!”


  6. Fuse #8 says:

    I have a video of Kevin singing All Gods Creatures at an event at ALA in Anaheim, and I thought about including it in this post. Then figured it wouldn’t exactly fit. But I too was sad to see Mr. KL go. It is strange that they are losing the people that make them the most money. One begins to wonder where the criteria lies in these cases.

  7. Bottom Line. Corporate mentality is bringing down our economy and our publishing business. The corporates do not consider art or even good literature to be first. Their world is based on the bottom line. Money in their pockets. Always the sad story given to the authors and illustrators that there is never enough. Corporates making money off the backs of the artists and authors they use, pay poorly and hardly promote. Why on earth did the publisher’s ever hand over the reigns to the sales and marketing, non artists? Now the results are in our faces. According to this #100 best book thing, hardly any books published past 2000 are in anyone’s memories. That’s nine years. Sales and marketing are doing a lousy job holding the reigns; the bottom line formulas being used suck and we are all watching our once meaningful world crash and burn due to greed. How do they sleep at night taking jobs away from hard working dedicated people and handing them over to hacks who cannot keep a book in anyone’s memory?

  8. Okay, so I’ll veer away from all the serious what-is-the-future-of-publishing talk and tell you that the Strawberry Shortcake image just made my day. Dude, I want that on a poster in my cubicle.

  9. Els Kushner says:

    To Anon– I wouldn’t tie the 100 best books results to the corporate publishing carnage; there have been many really exceptional picture books (and novels, etc. etc.) published in the last several years. But it takes decades for a book to become the kind of beloved that will land it in the top 10 picks of someone–or more than one someones–who reads hundreds of children’s books each year, as is the case with many or even most of the participants in this poll. I’m sure I’m not the only one who agonized before leaving off a recent classic-in-the-making (Roni Schotter’s Mama, I’ll Give You the World is one that comes to mind) in favor of a book loved since childhood.

    Not saying what’s going on in publishing isn’t nasty and horrifying and stupid, because it is. It’s also been going on, and bemoaned, for at least twenty years. There are still incredible children’s books being published, but we’ll never know what we’re missing that a laid-off or never-hired editor would have picked up or made better.

  10. And it’s “reins.”

  11. Els Kushner says:

    Well, yeah. And the word “publishers” in that same sentence shouldn’t have an apostrophe. But I figure anyone can commit a typo or two in the heat of emotion.