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 The two unpublished novels I wrote before I almost gave up writing, and then discovered ghostwriting, and, soon after, YA.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?”

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”

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”