The Writing Life

Post The Apocalypse

These are tough times. Not happy times. We worry for ourselves, our loved ones, the world. It feels like yesterday, the anticipation of baseball. The blossoms on the cherry trees, the joy of being together outside, at parties. It feels like a million years ago. We are all trying to do our part, and I’ve… Read more »

Writing Dreams Do Come True

I’m very excited to be able to reveal the cover of my next book, THE ARTIFACT HUNTERS, which will launch August 25 from Viking. This middle-grade novel is a companion to THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE, with a different protagonist (though some of the same characters). I’m excited for this story to reach the… Read more »

Thanks – Giving

Serious studies of late (here’s one) suggest that expressing gratitude can make you feel happier and improve physical and emotional health. So many people I know are feeling sad, or mad, and the world at large feels fractured and splintered and polarized. It’s hard to counteract negativity in the abstract (even harder when it’s a… Read more »

Words Have Power

What’s in a name? I’ve been thinking about names lately – character names, place names, book titles. Connotations are important. The right name can generate emotional responses, can elicit visceral reactions. When I was writing THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE, I wanted to come up with a name for my castle, something that created… Read more »

The Author World, Part 2

Let’s talk stats Hopefully from the previous post you have a general idea of why most authors aren’t rich and what happens once a book is written. Here are a few more things I’d like to add. I’m going to be personally open and honest here, because I think it might be helpful for both… Read more »

The Author World: How It Works

Many times when I’m talking with folks who are not authors and have no connection to the world of publishing (other than reading – but, yay you readers!) I realize that the arcane publishing model is not understood. This isn’t surprising (note the word “arcane”). For one thing, most lay people think authors are rich,… Read more »

Announcements

I’m truly delighted to be able to announce that VOLCANO DREAMS has been shortlisted for the Reading The West Award of the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association. The books on this list in all categories are stellar, so it’s particularly gratifying to find my debut picture book in such company. Voting is open to… Read more »

Managing Your Stuff, Part 3

All that paper!! We are drowning in paper. Unwanted mail flyers (admittedly a lot better than it was right before the November election, but just wait a year), multiple catalogues, cards we can’t throw out, etc. etc. Here’s the good news. Paper is the most recyclable of all products. But the kicker is, we have… Read more »

On Shedding Light In Dark Corners

Lately I think we all have felt confronted (if not bludgeoned) by humanity’s darker nature. Between what we hear in the news to what we read online to the inexplicable horror of mass murder to the cruel taunting and trolling that pervades social media it’s hard to believe in pure human goodness. As an author… Read more »

On Ethics

This blog post will stray a little bit from usual subjects and into current events but bear with me. Or don’t. That’s okay, too. As an author of books for children – and as a mother, and a former teacher – I feel a particular responsibility toward representing ethical and moral behaviors. When I write… Read more »