The Writing Life

New Author Visits For New Times

Teachers, librarians, and parents of homeschooled kids – I’ve revised my “Speaking” page to reflect the fact that I won’t be traveling for a while. I hope you’ll check out my offerings to breathe a little “authorly” depth into your school program. It seems that life has changed for us all, and isn’t going to… Read more »

Books Have Never Been More Essential

Books are essential. I’ve always felt this way. I was an avid reader as a kid – it was a family joke. If I couldn’t be found it was because I was hiding with my “nose in a book”. I’ve wanted to be a writer since third grade, when my teacher sent a poem I’d… Read more »

We Can Change the World*

Last week I wrote about how artists struggle to work in the face of something terrible like this global pandemic. This week I want to write about a broader artistic issue. And don’t worry, I’ll get back to the minutiae of craft soon! But the world feels too…big right now. So please forgive my “big”… Read more »

Out of Balance

When things are so out of balance, what happens to creativity? And what is the role of the artist? On the Edge of Nowhere Nothing like this pandemic has happened in our lifetime. In our country, 9-11 is the closest we can come to such social upheaval, or New Orleans after Katrina in the way… Read more »

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 »