Monday, November 28, 2011


I've heard legends about a Goodreads Fairy who enters recently acquired books onto the Goodreads site. Well, I just discovered In the Shadow of Blackbirds is one of her recent additions (click here to go to the novel's Goodreads page). Thank you, Goodreads Fairy!

If you have a Goodreads account, I would be honored, humbled, and grateful if you added In the Shadow of Blackbirds to your bookshelf to help me start spreading the news about the book. I'm working on getting myself added as a Goodreads author so you won't have to see that sad little "No Photo" face with the question mark on it.

In other news, I did indeed watch Hugo over the weekend, as I mentioned I would in last Friday's post. In that same post, I also bemoaned the lack of movies set during WWI, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the First World War played a large role in Hugomore so than in the book, if I remember correctly. Martin Scorsese even wove actual WWI footage into the film.

Even if WWI hadn't been involved, Hugo was excellent. Read the novel first (it's a fast read), and then run out and treat yourself to the magic of the film.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kickin' off the Holiday Season...and My WAR HORSE Obsession

I didn't get a chance to pop on here and say "Happy Thanksgiving" earlier this week, so a belated Happy Turkey Day to all you Americans and anyone else who decided to feast yesterday. I'm thankful for so many things this year: my kidlets and husband, the fact that my dog survived an attack by another dog, my family (far away as you all are), my friends, my writing buddies, my blogosphere pals, and all the wonderful and amazing people in New York who are helping me bring my writing to the world.

In our house, the big movie-watching plan for the weekend is to head out to see Hugo. We've all read The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and I'm still in awe that a tale about the magic of silent films has become such a hit. So many times I've heard that historical stories are risky and undesirable to modern audiences, so I'm thrilled every time an author can spin enough magic out of the past to enchant today's readers. That's one of my own goals with writing a historical, and writers like Brian Selznick are an inspiration to me.

I'm also dying to see War Horse, because—lo and behold—it's actually a WWI movie. WWI! Not WWII!! In case you haven't yet read the Publishers Marketplace announcement about my upcoming novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds is set during the First World War, and I rarely get to see that time period portrayed on the big screen.

Unfortunately, my husband isn't a fan of horse films and isn't all that enthusiastic about running out to the theater to watch War Horse with me. My twelve-year-old daughter doesn't like horse films or war films, but she may accompany me to get me to stop pining for a War Horse companion (although I don't want to traumatize her). So, if you go to a theater and see a woman sitting by herself, munching M&Ms and weeping over that poor, brave horse running across the battlefield, that may be me.

Happy early holiday season to you all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Soundtracks & Music for a Haunted World

This week at The Lucky 13s, we're sharing book soundtracks for our 2013 releases.

If it seems a little early to be discussing such a thing for novels you won't be reading for at least another year, keep in mind that author soundtracks usually consist of songs that inspire writers during the actual writing process. Sometimes a single song can trigger an idea for an entire novel. As we revise our upcoming releases and prepare to launch them into the world, it often helps to go back to the music that influenced us in the first place.

Without revealing anything about the plot that wasn't mentioned in last week's Publishers Marketplace announcement, I've included my In the Shadow of Blackbird soundtrack as my debut Lucky 13s post:

Even though the novel is set in 1918, I'm featuring songs that span from 1914 to 2010, and I'm explaining how they helped me dig into my characters' emotional depths.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Lucky 13s

I joined The Lucky 13s, a group of children's and young adult fiction authors debuting in 2013. That year might seem eons away right now, but 2013 books will have cover reveals, advance review copy giveaways, and other fun treats during the next twelve-plus months. Furthermore, all year long we'll be interviewing The Apocalypsies, kid-lit authors with debuts in 2012.

In honor of the 13th day of the month today, we Lucky 13s are offering 13-word summaries of our books. If you want a glimpse into your reading future, head on over for a taste of 2013 releases:

Yes, there's also a group for 2011 releases: The Elevensies.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My HUGE News: IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS Found a Publisher!!!

I'm thrilled beyond belief to announce the sale of my young adult novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, to Amulet Books (the folks behind the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Lauren Myracle's Shine, and other amazing books for kids and teens).

Here's the official announcement from Publishers Marketplace:

Cat Winters's IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, the story of a teen girl mourning the loss of her first love in 1918 California, where a flu has turned deadlier than a world war, and spirit communication has become a dark and dangerous obsession, illustrated with early-twentieth-century photographs, to Maggie Lehrman at Amulet, by Barbara Poelle of Irene Goodman Agency (World English).
Foreign rights: Heather Shapiro at Baror International

My journey to this point in my writing career has been a long, long, LONNNNNNNNNG one, so even though I've known about this news for a little while now, I'm still in awe and pinching myself to make sure it's real.

I'll be chronicling my journey into print right here at, as well as at and I'll also be sending out updates (the book's Goodreads debut, cover art reveals, events, giveaways, etc.) through my mailing list.

Thank you Mrs. Martin of Crown Valley Elementary for making my writing feel special back in the second grade and planting this dream inside me. Thank you Ms. Deily for featuring my poems on the wall at Back to School Night in sixth grade. Thank you family and friends for encouraging me throughout the years. Thank you Barbara Poelle and my brand-new Amulet family. And welcome future readers! I can't wait to share this novel with you. I'm so proud of it.

My celebratory blackbird balloon.
They really do make such things!