Chasing Dreams, Literary Magazines, and Why Not Now?

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 movingContinue reading “Chasing Dreams, Literary Magazines, and Why Not Now?”

The Books of THE WALLS AROUND US

There is one thing—well, a few things… but here’s just one—that I’m often asked about The Walls Around Us, and it’s about the books mentioned within the story. The books that appear in the library of the Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center. The books that Amber wheels around on her book cart to each ofContinue reading “The Books of THE WALLS AROUND US”

The Unstuck Story of THE WALLS AROUND US

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 orContinue reading “The Unstuck Story of THE WALLS AROUND US”

To Write, to Do, to Be

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”

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”

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”