Page Through The Parks: Yosemite!

I've never been to Yosemite National Park. This is something I'm longing to remedy. In the meantime, I can live vicariously, along with all of you, through Barb Rosenstock's THE CAMPING TRIP THAT CHANGED AMERICA. This lovely picture book, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein, tells the story of how John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt saved an American treasure for all of us to enjoy. I asked Barb a … [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, and it is one of the most marvelous places on this … [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 bottom. Giveaways!! If you are a reader, each of us is giving away books on Goodreads. And … [Read more...]

Karen Romano Young & HUNDRED PERCENT

I'm delighted to have a guest on the blog today - Karen Romano Young. Her debut middle grade HUNDRED PERCENT is out this week, and it's getting wonderful buzz, including a Kirkus starred review! Here's a bit about Karen: Karen Romano Young has dived to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in a tiny submarine, crunched through Arctic ice in an icebreaker, and visited labs, museum workshops, and … [Read more...]

Page Through The Parks!

August 25, 2016, is the 100th anniversary of our country's National Park Service. Come with us as we celebrate our great treasure! I am a huge fan of our national parks. I've had the great good fortune to visit a number of them, and I set my first novel, FAITHFUL, in Yellowstone National Park. I believe that every child should have the opportunity to visit at least one Park, and that it's truly … [Read more...]

Librarians, Teachers, & ROOKSKILL Fans: A New Website!

Attention fans of Rookskill! In two days, I'm excited to announce, we'll be launching a new website dedicated to THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE. The website contains a trove of information, with some reveals and other "extras", but most importantly, it contains a game that can be played in schools, libraries, or by readers anywhere. Here's a description of the game: THE … [Read more...]

Bury the Backstory

Recently I watched one of my all-time favorite movies yet again, A Knight's Tale with the late Heath Ledger. I love it for its quirky characters, its wry humor, its evocative dialogue, its historical twists, and its way of making history relevant by the use of contemporary music. But I also love the way the screenplay unfolds the story. Many beginning writers (*raises hand*) make the mistake of … [Read more...]

News, News

I have some more fun news to share. First, I've joined The Booking Biz as a client! I'm delighted to be part of their very professional team, as this will allow me to concentrate on my writing while they can attend to the details of any school visits from me. If you are a teacher or librarian, please contact them if you'd like me to visit your school. Second, with the help of Kirsten Cappy … [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 the reading is finished. To write such a story you must be willing to push outside your comfort … [Read more...]

My Summer 2016 Reading List: Middle Grade

What are you reading this summer? I've got a towering pile. Here's a list of new books I've got on my long list of middle grade: In no particular order, the novels on my list are: Sara Pennypacker, PAX - actually, I just finished this novel and loved it. A boy, a fox, separated by war. Will they be reunited? Kathi Appelt & Alison McGhee, MAYBE A FOX - I'm reading this one … [Read more...]