The Teaching, the Inspiration, the Chupacabra, the Not-Writing

This has been my most public year, ever, in my life. It’s been wonderful… and it’s also been somewhat of an adjustment for a shy person like me. So much of 2015 has been about teaching. I really made this goal a priority to have better balance in my life—the ultimate goal was to getContinue reading “The Teaching, the Inspiration, the Chupacabra, the Not-Writing”

For the Girl Who Needs to Hide Her Diary, For the Girl Who Doesn’t Think She’s Worth So Much

A truly amazing thing happened to me this year. The Walls Around Us was chosen as the first-year read at Salem College, a women’s college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which meant that all incoming first-year students read my book over the summer (and wrote an essay on it!). So many young women, at the startContinue reading “For the Girl Who Needs to Hide Her Diary, For the Girl Who Doesn’t Think She’s Worth So Much”

The Surprises, the Failures, the New Chapters in This Author Life

When I entered the YA world in 2010, with the impending publication of Imaginary Girls (before that I didn’t feel a welcome part of it because my debut was middle-grade), I looked around at all the authors and thought there was one single kind of career to aspire to, the Best Kind, and of courseContinue reading “The Surprises, the Failures, the New Chapters in This Author Life”

Filling the Well

I hear this advice often—I think I read it first from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, one of the books I borrowed from my mother’s bookshelf way back when. Artists need time to “fill the well,” or replenish our creative resources, especially after we’ve completed large, all-encompassing, energy-draining projects such as novels thatContinue reading “Filling the Well”

A Story a Day for Short Story Month

I’m in need of some untainted* inspiration… maybe you are, too? (*Untainted by industry noise and book worries and life stresses. Just something simple, and sweet, and able to get the blood pumping and the fingers moving on the keys.) One thing that does this for me is reading a good short story. I loveContinue reading “A Story a Day for Short Story Month”

AWP: The Writer (Not Author) Conference

I remember my first AWP conference. It was in the winter of 2008, before I had my first book out, and around the time I had racked up dozens upon dozens of rejections from literary agents for my second adult novel and was feeling pretty low about my publishing prospects. I still wanted to writeContinue reading “AWP: The Writer (Not Author) Conference”

What THE WALLS AROUND US Means to Me

My new book, The Walls Around Us, was published today! I would be so thrilled and honored if you considered buying it this week from your favorite independent bookstore or ordering it through your local library—first-week sales do help authors so much, that’s the truth. But most of all, however you may get your handsContinue reading “What THE WALLS AROUND US Means to Me”

What’s Happening with THE WALLS AROUND US

I wanted to share some things. My new novel, The Walls Around Us, comes out in March, which is getting closer and closer, and if you want to get a taste of the book—and this is a good, long taste—my publisher has just released a seven-chapter extended preview of the book… and you can download itContinue reading “What’s Happening with THE WALLS AROUND US”

The Obligatory Old Year / New Year Post

I came home from my writing retreat right before the New Year. I can’t spend that night apart from E. Yaddo is a secretive place. I cannot post photos or give many details, but I can say I shared some inspiring conversations, laughed and learned many things, and slept with the light on because I sawContinue reading “The Obligatory Old Year / New Year Post”

Five Years After the Leap

About five years ago, I was under deadline to complete the first draft of a contracted novel and stressing the hell out over how I would finish on time while working my full-time job as a senior production editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books. I had somehow sold my novel on proposal and agreed to a deadlineContinue reading “Five Years After the Leap”