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The only thing better than a book festival . . .

. . . is a book festival with writer pals! Which, honestly, is pretty much all book festivals these days. The Books by the Banks Book Festival was this Saturday in Cincinnati and with 150+ authors in attendance, well, yes, we do tend to know each other. I was so fortunate to share a table… Read more »

Coming in 2021 – Where We Used to Roam

I’m thrilled to share that I have another project in the pipeline. Where We Used to Roam, my fourth middle grade novel, will be published in spring 2021 by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster. On the outside, it probably looks like, wow, she has two books coming out in two years (2020 and 2021), she’s so speedy! Oh, how… Read more »

Write what you know? Or write what you *want* to know?

The old adage in writing is “write what you know,” and while I think there’s plenty of truth in that, I’ve found that lately, my writing projects have steered me away from areas of deep knowledge and experience. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think within every story there are emotional truths that surpass the… Read more »

A no-update update

Having just realized that I haven’t posted in many months, I decided to post a little update today. Unfortunately, I can’t get into too many details at the moment, but . . . that’s okay, right? Last week I signed a contract for . . . something. You’ll hear about it this fall. I promise! 😉 A… Read more »

2018, what. a. year.

As usual, as December draws to a close, I’ve spent much of the past few days reflecting on the year we’re saying goodbye to. I can’t imagine I’m alone when admitting I am very ready for 2018 to be over. And yet–for all that was hard and trying and just plain bad about this year,… Read more »

Last year’s Christmas wish, revisited

While decorating the Christmas tree last night, I took this ornament out of the box and all at once I was lost in the memory of where I was one year ago. Last year, I stumbled upon this motorcycle ornament at HomeGoods. It felt like a sign. The thing is, that year had begun with… Read more »

On reading your work aloud

After “read, read, read,” my second biggest piece of advice for aspiring writers is this: Read your work aloud. Here’s why. Sure, it’s the best way to catch mistakes. But what reading aloud really does is force you to slow down. It forces you to move through the story of your book alongside your characters,… Read more »

Some epiphanies from revisionland

For the first summer in the past few years, I don’t have a new book out. At first I was excited about this discovery. As you might guess from my books being set in the summer, summer is my favorite season, so I was happy to have my summer back. Well, until I realized that… Read more »

Answering student questions

[Spoiler alert: this post deals with some plot elements of The Distance to Home] Last month, I had the honor of visiting Sells Middle School in Dublin, OH, right after the entire sixth grade had read The Distance to Home. It was such a fun visit, but, as always, it wasn’t possible to answer every student question,… Read more »