Pulling Back the Curtain

Sometimes our assumptions don’t jive with reality. Today, my twelve-year-old neighbor stood next to me as I signed a copy of Writing New Adult Fiction to mail to the winning bidder in the Quest for Queen Auction. I explained what I was doing, why, and the purpose of the bookmark-that-doubles-as-a-business-card that I’d tucked into the book. I then fought to […]

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Reading and Debating

The boys and I finished reading The Giver together. Friends of mine had asked me how I think ten-year-olds would do with that book. It’s got some challenging themes about humanity and courage and compassion, but the storyline is clear and accessible to young people and I felt my guys were ready to tackle the issues it brings up.  I […]

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Watch Where You Sit!

One reason I buy bound books for my sons instead of e-books is because books laying around the house become books discovered by other brothers. Last night I threw EL DEAFO on the couch last night to see who would discover it this morning. Turns out the strategy works on grandmas, too.

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My Interview for Adventures in YA Publishing Blog

I’m honored to be featured on the fabulous blog Adventures in YA Publishing this week. The blog covers Young Adult Fiction in general, gives away YA books (several giveaways going on this week!), features advice from YA authors, and shares writing tips, and publishing information. Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “With the current enthusiasm for contemporary realistic stories, I […]

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Happy New Year! (…18 days into that year)

Is it 2015 already? Golly, the end of 2014 was a bucket of crazy-busy. I’ve just finished leading a three-day intensive for SCBWI Central Coastal California, and that marks the end of a big push of work and retreats and holidays and school vacations for me. As a result, TOMORROW feels like my New Years Day. I’m excited to regroup, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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