Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Throw nothing away. Really. Honestly. Nothing.

When I first decided to try my hand at a YA, I mined my old notebooks and journals from high school, rereading old descriptive paragraphs, poems, short stories, and character sketches in order to reconnect with my teen voice.

As soon as I realized just how much the fifteen-year-old me sounded to the (by then) almost thirty-year-old me, I was off and running. Those old notebooks really gave me the fuel to write the first draft of A BLUE SO DARK. A few of the poems I wrote as a teen even made their way into the manuscript (though I tweaked them a bit to fit the goings-on of the novel).

Those old spiral-bound notebooks were really just indispensable. Really. I can’t imagine starting that first YA novel without them…

Now, though, I’m at the point that I look at my old stuff and think, There’s gold in them thar hills…And I wonder how I can manage to hang onto it all and avoid being on an episode of Hoarders

Friday, January 22, 2010


Okay, this is just cooler than cool: Sam, a Nixa High aspiring writer who runs the blog One Sparkling Star, recently contacted me for an interview.

(For those of you not in the SW Missouri area, Nixa's literally spitting distance from my home in Springfield.)

I'm just so thrilled to know local readers are getting revved about A BLUE SO DARK!

Here's a taste: When asked to describe A BLUE SO DARK, I told Sam:

I have to say that when Crissa-Jean Chappell (author of TOTAL CONSTANT ORDER) sent a blurb for A BLUE SO DARK, I was really proud that she used the word “funny” to describe the book’s voice. I think that really proves that I managed to fully round-out Aura’s character. I mean, if we see bits of her humor in a book that deals with such a serious subject, then we’re seeing the full picture of Aura’s life…she’s more than just an artist or the daughter of a schizophrenic. She’s her own person.

For more, head on over to One Sparkling Star...

Monday, January 18, 2010


…Yeah, realer. Oh, what a vocabulary I have…

Seriously, though, get this: my bio and author photo are up on the Flux website, along with a synopsis, blurbs, etc. for A BLUE SO DARK. Oooh, I swear, this whole published author bit actually does keep getting realer and realer.

(Flux Author Photo, By John Schindler II)

I can only imagine how I’ll respond the first time I walk through a bookstore and see A BLUE SO DARK on the shelves. I hope the store will have nice, cushy, soft carpeting to catch my fall when I pass out…

...And by the way, didn't my brother do a fantastic job with the author photo?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Okay, you've got to check this one out...My interview at Bart's Bookshelf, that is!

You know, I drag my feet so terribly about technological advancements...I still love my vinyl. And typewriters. And doesn't the quiet of films like Revolutionary Road seem so incredibly appealing? No TV squawking, no phones bleeping from purses and pockets...Ah, the good old days...

Except, I gotta admit, it's pretty incredible that writers can interact with readers, reviewers, etc. from anywhere in the world all with the click of ye olde mouse. Yeah. Okay. So maybe I'll have to quit dragging my feet quite so much...

Head on over to Bart's Bookshelf for the latest!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Looking for the perfect gift for your writer friends? Try out these Guatemalan Worry Dolls, which I got for my own b-day this weekend. I’m not joking. Deadlines, subplots, staying in voice will no longer be a source of worry with these little guys under the pillow…Of course, making significant progress on a revision does tend to cut the worry out, too, so….well…

Other cool stuff I got for my birthday? 100 followers on this blog! I just wanted to let everyone know how incredible it’s been getting to know you through your comments and by reading your own blogs. What can I say? Book bloggers rock…

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I so love these interviews. Got a fantastic interview that's just been posted at MarjoleinBookBlog!

What do I like most about writing for young adults?

If I could be a character from my books for a day, who would it be?

To find out, get yourselves on over to Marjolein's blog!

...By the way, is anybody else feeling like 2010 is going to be the year? You know...the year, as Charlie Brown might put it, that you finally do kick that football?????

Monday, January 4, 2010


I thought for a while I might be becoming a winter person. Yeah, well, that’s over. Five inches of snow over the weekend makes me want to snarl like a Rott at an approaching mailman.

…And, sure, I’ve got too much stuff to do for the weather to matter. I know—so A BLUE SO DARK is going through proofreading. Okay. And so I need to revise PLAYING HURT. Sure. So I’ve discovered, over the past few months, that anybody who thinks writing is a leisurely occupation is (as we’d put it here in the Ozarks) a complete and total idgit.

Right. So I’m tied to my keyboard. But couldn’t I be tied to my keyboard just as easily in Turks & Caicos???
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