Monday, September 2, 2013


The kind and talented Naomi Kinsman invited me to participate in a children’s blog hop.  I love both Naomi and the questions, so of course I jumped right in!

What are you working on right now?

A new middle grade novel.  Earlier this summer, I turned in the copyedits for my debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY (which is set to release on February 6, 2014).  I’m honestly having a blast writing the new MG, but I have to admit, I also really miss Auggie (the protagonist of THE JUNCTION).  I initially drafted that book in ’05, and it’s hard to let such a sweet character go.

How does it differ from other works in the genre?

Right now, the MG genre as a whole seems pretty keenly focused on magical or fantasy-oriented books.  Books that feel like or play with the conventions of fairy tales.  THE JUNCTION is contemporary realistic fiction, no magic, no fairies.  Just a girl and her own smarts, talent, and moxie.

Why do you write what you do?

When I got my MA in ’01, I dove headfirst into my writing.  To pay the bills, I started teaching music lessons out of the house.  It was the perfect setup: I’d write all day, then start teaching in the afternoons when the kids got out of school.

I was really surprised to find that the kids were just so…familiar.  The technology and fashion had changed, but the struggles hadn’t!  I tried my hand at writing in the juvenile market—my first two published books were YAs, and I have a third YA forthcoming with HarperCollins. 

I thought those music lessons were going to give me a little extra cash—I never knew they’d actually give me career direction!  Just goes to show that living your life is as important as putting your fingers to the keyboard.

What is the hardest part about writing?

For me, the hardest thing is reining in my metaphorical / descriptive writing.  I’m a junkie for literary writing, descriptive writing.  As I’m drafting, I often don’t realize how much description I’m piling on.  I’m really forcing myself lately to cut it back.  So often, less is more.  I don’t want to turn so many authorial tricks that I keep my readers from connecting with my work. 

...It's not a blog hop if you don't tag other authors!  I've invited Darlene Beck-Jacobson, a writer I met through my own blog; she sent me fun prompts for a flash fiction challenge some time ago.  Her own MG, a piece of historical fiction titled WHEELS OF CHANGE, will be out with Creston Books in '14.  

I also tagged the fabulous Jody Casella, whose debut YA, THIN SPACE, releases this month!  I adore Jody, and literally cannot wait to get my hands on THIN SPACE.  I've already got my copy pre-ordered.  

Aaaand, because one of the best part of blogging is meeting new people, I put out a call for participants on Facebook, and was happy to meet Jennifer Anne Davis.  I'm looking forward to getting to know her more...

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