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?
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 as … Continue reading Facing The Handmaid’s Tale Today
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
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 of … Continue reading The Books 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 or … Continue reading The Unstuck Story of THE WALLS AROUND US
My career has felt like a long series of searches, and nothing is ever illuminated until I am practically standing right on top of it. Trying to get published, to get an agent, in the beginning, was crushing. I slipped back in my archives to see if I should share a post, found something painful, … Continue reading Finding My Place
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