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?”

Facing The Handmaid’s Tale Today

I first read The Handmaid’s Tale when I was 12 years old in the late 1980s. I discovered it on my mother’s bookshelves, and I was fascinated by the story, not scared as much as I should have been but stilled by possibility, intrigued. I surely didn’t understand a lot about the book (much asContinue reading “Facing The Handmaid’s Tale Today”

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”

The End of an Extraordinary, Wordless Year; Some New Hopes for 2016

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 ambitionsContinue reading “The End of an Extraordinary, Wordless Year; Some New Hopes for 2016”

When to Resurrect the Dead Manuscript Under Your Bed?

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 The two unpublished novels I wrote before I almost gave up writing, and then discovered ghostwriting, and, soon after, YA.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 novelsContinue reading “When to Resurrect the Dead Manuscript Under Your Bed?”

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”