Today I’m thinking about chasing long-held dreams and finally stopping all the excuses and the, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Or “Next year.” Or the vague but still hopeful “One day.” You see, this is a thing I do to myself, and have been doing for years. I have dreams of writing certain novels. Of moving … Continue reading Chasing Dreams, Literary Magazines, and Why Not Now?
Look, it has been difficult to write much of anything that feels worthy lately, living in this world. This morning the news is a child suicide bomber who killed 50 people at a wedding. The suicide bomber was no older than 14. There is flooding, and people have lost their homes. There are fires, and … Continue reading Look
Paperback Release Day! The Walls Around Us available in paperback March 22! Once upon a time, there was a writer who was filled with doubt and questioning her every move. She was stuck. She had published three books, but now that she was facing what would be the fourth she didn’t know what to write or … Continue reading The Unstuck Story of THE WALLS AROUND US
This year was an external year. I was more public than ever before. I did so many things in front of people. I talked about my book in front of strangers more times than I can count. I spoke on stages, from podiums, in front of classrooms and bookstores and libraries, in circles of chairs. … Continue reading To Write, to Do, to Be
At the end of every year, I have hope for the new year. Every year, I think of all the things I could make happen… all the things I want to try for, all the ways I might do better, do more... I am extremely ambitious, many times blindly and to my detriment, and it’s my ambitions … Continue reading The End of an Extraordinary, Wordless Year; Some New Hopes for 2016
I’m struggling with something, an ongoing thing I’ve been struggling with for years. It’s about the novels that live under my bed. The two unpublished novels I wrote before I almost gave up writing, and then discovered ghostwriting, and, soon after, YA. Two novels totaling eight and a half years of my life. Two novels … Continue reading When to Resurrect the Dead Manuscript Under Your Bed?
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 start … Continue reading For the Girl Who Needs to Hide Her Diary, For the Girl Who Doesn’t Think She’s Worth So Much
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 course … Continue reading The Surprises, the Failures, the New Chapters in This Author Life
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 deadline … Continue reading Five Years After the Leap
I write this to you from a quiet moment in my publishing life. It is December 5, the year 2014, and I am in the room at the rear of the café at a table beside the outlet where I can safely sit with my back against a wall. I am all alone in a … Continue reading The Calm Before the Who-Knows-What: 110 Days to Publication