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”

Writing in Retrospect and Talking in Front of People

This week I visited the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, which is a retreat center for children’s and YA writers, to be a special guest speaker at a Whole Novel Workshop. My task was to do a lecture on something craft-related (my choice), something hopefully inspiring, and then the next day read from my upcomingContinue reading “Writing in Retrospect and Talking in Front of People”