The Writing Life

A Fun and Informative Writing Conference in Montana!

You’re invited to come to Montana for our Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators “Writing Forward Progress” Conference on October 13 – 15 in Billings, Montana! It’s a beautiful time of year here in the mountains – October is my favorite month. Billings is a short drive away from Yellowstone Park, and the airport has great… Read more »

How To Aid Hurricane Harvey Folks

The amazing Kate Messner has once again launched KidLitCares, in order to benefit those who have suffered through Hurricane Harvey along the Gulf Coast. A huge number of authors and illustrators and their agents and editors  – almost 200 total! – have offered services to those who make a tax-deductible donation to the American Red… Read more »

Exposing My Heart

After publishing five books with varying but largely good success I’m under contract for my sixth, my fifth novel. This is an enviable position to be in, but for the first time I’m struggling through the edits, trying to get it right. This is a book that began life several years back (and actually the… Read more »

Beckoning All Good Things

Some days are like that. You swing from one emotion to the next. And then you stop and take stock and realize there are lessons to be learned. Last Saturday was one of those. It was Indie Bookstore Day, and I was fortunate to be a guest bookseller for a few hours at my favorite… Read more »

Sometimes, Silence Is Required

I’m in the midst of a difficult revision. Difficult, because like many of you, I’m very distracted by the world’s goings-on. And difficult also because I’ve been challenged to amp up the work with this next draft. To go deeper, exploring characters and theme more fully, and adding tension to that dreaded middle. I’m not… Read more »

“How Can I Get Published?”

The number one question would-be and new-be children’s book authors ask authors like me is (no surprise) “How do I get my work published?” I understand, because I asked the same question when I was just starting out. Here’s the thing: the publishing industry is a bit of a different animal than most. There’s no… Read more »

Texas Book Festival & NCTE

Hi all! I have a couple of big events coming up this November. I hope to see you at one or the other! But first, the winner of my Rafflecopter giveaway (drumroll, please……): a Rafflecopter giveaway If you plan to attend the Texas Book Festival (in Austin, Texas), here’s my schedule: On Saturday, November 5,… Read more »

Page Through The Parks: Yellowstone!

Our Page Through The Parks adventure continues this week in Yellowstone National Park, the setting for my YA debut novel FAITHFUL. I first visited Yellowstone in my late twenties, and nothing could have prepared me for the wonder. The landscape would be amazing enough by itself, but add the wildlife, hot springs, geysers, and history,… Read more »

Page Through The Parks: Grand Canyon!

I couldn’t be more excited about our August “Page Through The Parks” plans! We now have a Facebook page, so please follow along for live updates. It’s fitting that we’re beginning our tour in the Grand Canyon, one of the most majestic places on Earth! But before I begin, please make sure you read to the… Read more »

Getting To The Story Heart

Today, a blog post for writers: getting to the emotional heart of your writing. This is one exercise in a series of exercises I’ve got planned for my talk at our Montana spring SCBWI retreat in two weeks. Readers want stories that touch them in a deep way. They want stories that resonate long after… Read more »