The Writing Life

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 »

Holiday Break

For the next two weeks, I’ll be taking a holiday break, and I hope you will, too. But before I go… If you haven’t pre-ordered The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, there’s still time to get a signed copy and “charming” gift, if you go here. The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle is garnering raves,… Read more »

Setting Writerly Goals

Yes, I know. It’s summer. You are lounging on a beach, or hiking in the mountains, or fishing a great creek, or…or…anything except writing. Goals are not on your mind. I’m not here to jerk you away from a much-needed rest! I’m just here to inspire you so that when September rolls around (and it… Read more »

Books With Diversity: Cross-cultural Relationships

In this moment when diversity is finally getting the attention it deserves, and publishers and readers are discovering books that represent diverse cultures, I’d like to make mention of young adult novels that feature cross-cultural and/or interracial relationships. My interest in the subject stems from my own work. In my backstory construct of FORGIVEN, I… Read more »

To Market, To Market To Buy a Fat Book

A few weeks ago I was asked to give a lecture on how I built my author platform to create a market for my books. Well…okay. I didn’t set out to build a platform; actually, I didn’t know I was standing on one. So I talked about how I have a website and this blog,… Read more »

AWP Conference Minneapolis

For a number of years now, I’ve been attending and speaking at the annual AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference, and this year is no different. I’ll be participating in two panels – one on magical realism in YA and children’s literature with Laura Ruby, Samantha Mabry, Nikki Loftin, and Nova Ren Suma… Read more »

On Being A Writer

ON BEING A WRITER Writing is my passion, and if you share it, then I think you are truly blessed! Here are some thoughts I have about being a writer: Noted children’s author Jane Yolen has a slogan for writers: BIC. It stands for “butt in chair”, and it helps to remind me that I… Read more »