Elle Cosimano

Where I’ve Been Wednesday

Nevada SCBWI Mentor Retreat
Virginia City, NV
October 12-14, 2012

This might be the worst picture ever taken of me, but it’s the only photo I have of me with Holly Freaking Black!!! Therefore, it is the Best. Pic. EVER! (Left to right: Tessa Elwood – my amazing crit partner/web designer extraordinaire, Kathleen Duey, Holly Black, and yours truly in front of the St. Mary’s Art & Retreat Center.)

Working with Ellen Hopkins and Holly was a transformative experience. Ellen really made me think more deeply into my characters, and helped me to realize the impact of POV and tense choices when telling their stories. And Holly is the plot whisperer. Seriously. Her technique for plot mapping has completely changed the way I think about structuring a story. The Nevada SCBWI Mentor Retreat for Agented/Published Authors was the educational highlight of my career so far, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

 

YALL Fest
Charleston, SC
November 12, 2012

What is it?  44 authors, a full day of panels, and thousands of books! Best excuse ever for a road trip to meet up with two of my Greenhouse sisters.  (Left to right: Megan Miranda, me, and Ashley Elston.) I have the best crit partners EVER! It’s been three months and my face STILL hurts from laughing!

If you’re ever in Charleston, SC with a group of creepy thriller writers, then you should totally tour a haunted jail. And then get pie. Lots of pie. (Left to right: me, Megan Miranda, SR Johannes, Kimberly Derting, and Ashley Elston.)

 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
November, 2012

I promised my kids that if I ever sold my book, I would take them to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. This is me, making good. And these are my colors.

 

In The Blogosphere

Catch my recent post at Ink & Angst about learning styles and finding your inner Yoda.

Check out my interview at OneFour KidLit, a blog for YA and MG authors debuting in 2014.

We’re spilling fresh blood at Sleuths, Spies and Alibis, and guess who’s the newest Sleuth! My first post goes live on January 22. Drop by to find out why I write mysteries and thrillers.

 

The Convict Who Came To Dinner

I’m not a religious woman. I appreciate the symbolism of my culture – the nuance and metaphor – over the literal translations of the traditions we pass from generation to generation. One of my favorite traditions happens during Passover, when we open our doors for the prophet Elijah.

During the sedar, a meal commemorating freedom and redemption, a place setting is left vacant at the table, and a glass of wine poured for Elijah. A child is asked to open the door for his spirit, so that he may enter the hearts of those who celebrate, fill us with assurances of freedom, instill us with hope, and inspire us to build a better world.

There are many literal interpretations of this ritual found in the writings of the Talmud. But for me, the symbolic gesture – opening the door and leaving it ajar throughout the Passover meal – is an expression of trust. We are safe. We are free to dine and worship without fear. The seat remains empty each year, and the wine remains in that symbolic cup until the end of the night when someone always drinks it. Silly to let it go to waste. After all, it’s a celebration. A night when we luxuriate in the pleasures of free men.

I think of Elijah during Thanksgiving, when two seemingly non-related meals collide in one foggy childhood memory.

The night James came to Thanksgiving dinner.

My father brought James home from work and introduced him to our extended family. James was a quiet man with a warm smile. Like my father, he was a decorated war veteran, except James walked with the aid of a cane. And though I was only eight years old at the time, I recall his polite and genuine appreciation for the meal, and for my family’s hospitality. Sad, I thought, that he didn’t have his own family close by. Generous, I thought, of my family to share a seat at our table with this lonely man.

As polite conversation turned toward James, my Uncle asked him, “So you work together?” We kept eating, shoveling in rounded forkfuls of turkey and stuffing. Chasing it with sweet potato casserole and wine. My father was a prison warden. Surely, James was a fellow administrator, a counselor, or a guard. None of us looked up when my Uncle asked, “What exactly do you do at the prison, James?”

A quiet beat passed while James wiped the corner of his mouth with a fine cloth napkin. “Twenty to life,” he said over the clinking of silver on china. “For Murder One.”

Knives poised over plates and forks fell silent while we all waited for a punch line that never came.

When I looked up from my plate, James didn’t look any different. He was still a gracious guest with a gentle face. He still limped from wounds suffered in defense of our country. He was a good man who’d made an angry choice that had cost him twenty years of his life, and taken another.

It’s been more than thirty years since James came to dinner. But I never forgot that Thanksgiving. Or his grateful smile when James thanked my mother, and my father drove him back to prison. How in the blink of five courses, he made me think differently about people. About good and bad. And about what hope, freedom and redemption really mean.

 

Note: this is a re-post of an original post which can be found here at Ink & Angst. James’s name has been changed in this story.

Nov

19, 2012 |

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Where I’ve Been Wednesday

I’ve decided to dedicate Wednesdays to where I’ve been, and where my book is going.  Here’s the latest…

Last week, I had the awesome pleasure of attending the Writers Police Academy (more photos here). This one-of-a-kind annual event is hosted by GTCC/Public Safety and High Point Public Library in North Carolina, instructed by a broad range of law enforcement professionals, coordinated by author and veteran police investigator, Lee Lofland, and sponsored by the organization, Sisters In Crime. Check the link above for info about the program, and stay tuned for my guest blog about the event on Sleuths, Spies, & Alibis later this month!

In other exciting news, my debut thriller NEARLY GONE (formerly DEAD BLUE) will be included among an inaugural list of books set to publish under a new Penguin imprint!  My powerhouse editor is launching her own imprint, Kathy Dawson Books, and NEARLY GONE will be among the first books released in early 2014.  I am deeply honored to be listed alongside authors I’ve long admired in this article by School Library Journal

Somewhere in the middle of this, I managed a Guest Blog at Ink & Angst – Tech Yourself series. You can read my review of the iPad app, CloudOn.  It IS possible to use Word WITH track changes on your Pad!  If you are mobile and your editor requires you to use track changes, this article is for you.

Next month, I’m heading to Virginia City, Nevada for my final mentorship weekend with Ellen Hopkins and the NV SCBWI. Meanwhile, you can read some of my notes from the May panel session at Ink & Angst.  Ink & Angst – Interview series.

Until next week…

Sep

26, 2012 |

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Lucky 13s Giveaway: Books That Inspire

This week, The Lucky 13s are giving away an impressive collection of our favorite books. More specifically, the books that have most inspired and shaped us as writers. My contribution to this list is The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith.

This book made me think — about a lot of things for a very long time. But not just about the story. It also made me think about writing.

Here are a few of those thoughts that still linger — the lessons I took from my journey to Marbury with Jack (and later, my cross-country roadtrip with Stick McClellan.)

I don’t need a lot of words. Just the right ones. And the words I keep matter. I shouldn’t be afraid of my own voice. I shouldn’t be afraid of what other people think, or of going frightening places, or of choosing the wrong words, because at the end of the day, the words that matter to me — and how I hear them — are what should matter most.

If you haven’t read anything by Andrew Smith, here’s your chance. Drop by The Lucky 13s blog between July 1st and July 7th for a chance to win a one way ticket to Marbury. Once you put on the glasses, nothing will ever look the same again.

Where I've Been

I’m shaking the dust off my blog and realizing it’s been a while since I’ve been here. Too long.

Truth is, I’m in the process of re-designing. My talented friend, Tessa Elwood at Pop Color Web Design (oh, did I  mention she’s also a brilliant writer and photographer?) is working up an amazing custom site and I can’t wait to unveil it. Meanwhile, I’ve been guest blogging, interviewing, and visiting some great places. In case you missed them, here’s where I’ve been and a sneak peek at some of the exciting places I’m going.

Recently, I was a guest blogger at the YA Muses where I talk about writing The End.

blogged at Ink & Angst about Artist Statements and my acceptance into the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. I’ll be spending three days in Lake Tahoe this May with NYT Bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, working on my WIP. It still feels strange and wonderful to say this out loud.

My book recently appeared in RT Book Reviews Book Buzz. Find it under “Young Adult” in the section called Piquing Curiosity.

Here is my Author Interview at Greenhouse Literary Agency. Yep, I’m official!

I’ve become a member of The Lucky 13s, an amazing group of children’s and YA authors debuting in 2013.

Here’s my SAT Interview at Writer, Writer Pants On Fire. LOVE the name of this blog!

I recently appearared in the Big Sur Writing Workshop Blog and the Henry Miller Memorial Library Blog.

My book recently appeared in Bookshelves of Doom: Upcoming YA Titles and Daisy Chain Book Reviews.

My book has been added at Goodreads and Library Thing.

I’ve joined the International Thriller Writers Association.

I’ve registered to attend The Writer’s Police Academy in September.

I’m donating a query critique for Crits for Water in June.

Finally, this Monday, April 9th, you’ll find me guest blogging with the fine romance authors at Chicklets In The Kitchen where I’m sharing my favorite Passover memories and a recipe for Matzo Brei.

Whew!

That’s it. Why are you still here? Go read something.

Apr

05, 2012 |

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The Big News

If you’ve ever asked me to list my favorite books, you know I am a huge fan of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling, and her prequel Fire. I recommend this series to everyone, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of her next story. These beautiful books were edited and introduced into the world by a woman named Kathy Dawson. So imagine, if you will, that breathless moment when I learned that the very same Kathy Dawson, acquiring editor at Dial/Penguin Books for Young Readers, contacted my agent and expressed an interest in purchasing my book.

I might have babbled a bit.  And then I might have cried. Wild chair dancing might have ensued.

I am the happiest writer in the world to finally be able to share this announcement from Publishers Marketplace:

Children’s: Young Adult
Elle Cosimano’s DEAD BLUE, in which a math-genius from a DC trailer park is the only student able to solve complex clues left by a serial killer targeting classmates, thus making herself the main suspect, and a sequel, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, to Kathy Dawson at Dial Children’s, in a good deal, for publication in Fall 2013, by Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency (World). Posted: January 9, 2012 at 10:11 p.m. Eastern

If you love YA, you will probably recognize a few of the hugely successful titles released by Penguin Books for Young Readers. I am astounded and honored to be in such company.

Special thanks to my amazing agent, Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency, who believed in Nearly’s story and challenged me to make it better. To my crit partners who read my book (multiple times in various stages) and offered guidance and support: Tamara Ireland Stone, Megan Miranda, Kelly Barwick, and Tessa Elwood. To my dear friends at “Ink & Angst” who cheered me along the way. To fellow Greenhousers who welcomed me with open arms. And most especially, my friends and family outside of my writing world who encouraged and believed, even when it seemed like such a crazy pipe dream. For those who stood by me, I am eternally grateful.

Here’s to chasing down dreams and making them real… and finding joy in the journey.

Jan

10, 2012 |

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Getting Away With It

I’m blogging today over Ink & Angst. Drop by for tips on finding affordable furnished cabins for impromptu winter weekend getaways, perfect for writing retreats.

Jan

06, 2012 |

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Illumination

Today, I’m guest blogging over at Chicklets in the Kitchen.  Drop by, read about Hanukkah traditions and try my family’s recipe for Potato Latkes.  And be sure to comment for a chance to win a box of Latke mix to try at home.

Dec

13, 2011 |

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When Elijah Came To Dinner

I’m blogging today over at Ink & Angst.  Drop by to read about the most memorable Thanksgiving guest I’ve ever had.

This year, I am grateful for supportive family, talented, creative and enthusiastic friends, and for finding an outlet for my stories. Here’s to a memorable, meaningful, and sparkling holiday season! Cheers!

Nov

25, 2011 |

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Dark YA Blogfest

Today, I’m blogging over at Ink & Angst. Drop by and comment. We’re participating in the Dark YA Blog Fest and I’m sharing my favorite dark YA book, THE MARBURY LENS.

 

Nov

02, 2011 |

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