To Write, to Do, to Be

This year was an external year. I was more public than ever before. I did so many things in front of people. I talked about my book in front of strangers more times than I can count. I spoke on stages, from podiums, in front of classrooms and bookstores and libraries, in circles of chairs. … Continue reading To Write, to Do, to Be

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 The two unpublished novels I wrote before I almost gave up writing, and then discovered ghostwriting, and, soon after, YA.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

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 course … Continue reading The Surprises, the Failures, the New Chapters in This Author Life

Filling the Well

I hear this advice often—I think I read it first from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, one of the books I borrowed from my mother’s bookshelf way back when. Artists need time to “fill the well,” or replenish our creative resources, especially after we’ve completed large, all-encompassing, energy-draining projects such as novels that … Continue reading Filling the Well