Writing a Novel Is

Writing a novel is a mess right now. I’m close, but I’m not done yet. I’m not done yet, I’m not done. I don’t know what I’m trying to say, is the truth of it. I don’t know what I should say. I don’t know what my words mean. I haven’t found the meaning yet, … Continue reading Writing a Novel Is

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 of … Continue reading The Books of THE WALLS AROUND US

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 The two unpublished novels I wrote before I almost gave up writing, and then discovered ghostwriting, and, soon after, YA.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 novels … Continue 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 get … Continue 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 start … Continue reading For the Girl Who Needs to Hide Her Diary, For the Girl Who Doesn’t Think She’s Worth So Much