Of Gingerbread Houses and Flying Dragons

When I think of Christmas, the first thing to come to mind isn’t Christmas trees—it’s gingerbread houses. My aunt and uncle used to send us gingerbread houses at Christmastime. My sisters and Ioved receiving that package in the mail, and even more than that we loved eating it. I have spent many Christmases as an adult trying to mimic the […]

Continue reading →

The Cat in the House

My son, who has taken to crawling on the floor and rubbing against family members’ legs like a cat because he so desperately wants to be a character from the Warriors books, just informed me that he has a sore throat and that in the Warriors books the cats drink honey when they have sore throats so I have to […]

Continue reading →

The Sweet Bliss of a Spooky Birthday

My birthday is the day after Halloween. That timing made for some awesome birthday parties when I was little.  Now that I’m a grown-up, I’m just not into celebrating with costume-themed sleepovers and the like. But that doesn’t mean my birthday doesn’t still have candy as its centerpiece. Today is my birthday. I spent it teaching a half-day writing intensive […]

Continue reading →

Blog Tour, Book Giveaways, & Free Full Manuscript Edit Giveaway

The blog tour celebrating the publication of Writing New Adult Fiction is under way! From October 6 – 31, bloggers will be posting reviews of the book, interviews, and guest blog posts that I’ve written about craft, promotion, and the business of publishing New Adult fiction. All of the posts have giveaways, and there’s a tourwide giveaway of a free […]

Continue reading →

Choosing the Right Alien Invasion

This week I had separate parent-teacher conferences, which led to three separate warnings: “Now, the challenge with having a fourth grader who reads at high school level is choosing books with appropriate content. You can always ask me or librarians for help.” That made me smile three times. I appreciate their concern and their wise referral to librarians, but, you […]

Continue reading →

Writing New Adult Fiction Blog Tour Coming Together

So it’s happening, my blog tour for WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION is coming together. I’m still welcoming hosts (sign up here), but I can tell you already the process has been a pleasure. Mid-way through this summer I cried, “Uncle!” in the face of my workload and joined forces with IndieSage PR, my first time teaming up with a PR […]

Continue reading →

New Article!

The Sept/Oct issue of SCBWI’s The Bulletin is out, and I’ve got an article in it! “NEW ADULT FICTION FOR THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER.” Excerpt: “Writers see an overlap between ‘mature YA’ and NA and wonder what it means for their own stories about older teens…. There are essential differences in story content, though, and knowing those can help you […]

Continue reading →

Charlotte’s Web Has Become a Glass Half Full

The first novel we ever read to our boys, who where four years old at the time, was Charlotte’s Web. They loved it, we bought each boy a copy of the book to save to read to their own children, and we’ve gone on to read so many amazing stories together. Now, five years later, those same boys groan at […]

Continue reading →

The Fun in Taking Your Book Launch Virtual

Way back in the Dark Ages before social media gave us Facebook, Twitter, and the ability to blog, writers would celebrate their book publications with big signings or launch parties involving food and libations. We can still do that—and often do—but thanks to the current state of social media we can party in a bigger way… a virtual way. I’m […]

Continue reading →

Happy Pub Day!

My crazy/busy/fun summer hit’s its zenith today: Writing New Adult Fiction officially releases today! I’m always urging writers to celebrate their milestones, and now I’m taking my own advice. Tomorrow, a night out—probably involving root beer floats—with my four fellas. For everyone else, a week of “Free Partial Edit” giveaways and a grand finale “Free Full Manuscript Edit” giveaway during […]

Continue reading →

It’s a book!

I came home from the SCBWI summer conference to find advance copies of my new book, Writing New Adult Fiction. It’s a book! Huzzah! It’s a couple of weeks yet till the official pub date of August 21, but some people have already contacted me to say they’ve pre-ordered it. Exciting! Now that the conference is over, I’m finalizing the […]

Continue reading →

Busy Summer

The next few months offer several opportunities to hone your writing with me, should you be so inclined. There are a couple still in the works; I’ll post those details when they’re finalized. Hope to see you! Aug 1-4, Los Angeles – SCBWI 43rd Annual Summer Conference “Market Report” Keynote 1-hr breakout “New Adult Fiction for the Young Adult Writer” […]

Continue reading →

Little Girls Dreaming Big

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a nice person, always have been. But as a girl growing up in the 1970s, the insides of this nice girl churned with anger. I was very conscious of the limitations society put on me as a girl, as I was also conscious of the struggle for gender equality raging around me. […]

Continue reading →

The Power of Audio

I forgot to put my three nine-year-olds to bed tonight. They were listening quietly to the audiobook version of Rick Riordan’s The Son of Neptune after dinner, and I’d seized the break in household chaos to do some work. I knew they’d continue being very quiet while listening, as they are easily mesmerized by audiobooks, and Riordan’s various mythology-based series […]

Continue reading →

Review Week 2014 – Great stories, great advice

Every spring on my writer’s advice website DearEditor.com, I host prolific authors for a week of revision tips, insights, and stories from the trenches. I call it Revision Week, and it’s truly a labor of love. Last week was the third annual installment. You can read those interviews (as well as past years’) here. There are so many great insights, […]

Continue reading →