Back to School

It’s that time of year again: Back to School! And because I run an elementary school library, it’s back to school for me, too! I’ve been very productive this summer with my writing, completing the first three books in my new series for girls, ages 8-12: Evie and the Volunteers. I will miss the extra summer writing time but look forward to seeing all of the little faces at school. Next week several children’s book authors will be participating in a back to school blog tour. More information to come. Until then, check out the first book in the Evie and the Volunteers series.


Favorite Tear Jerker Books



When I receive reviews from the readers of my YA novels, I admit that I get giddy when people express that the books made them cry. I mean, like I’m high-fiving with myself and doing backflips down my hallway. Well, maybe I’m being a tad bit melodramatic, but I do like to induce emotion. When that happens, people are connecting with the characters. So, my thought for today is this:  What books have induced you to a fit of emotion so strong you babbled over with enough tears to fill your kitchen sink?  Yes, I have a problem with that melodrama thing again….

For me, there are three books I read in my childhood that I can distinctly remember sobbing through:

1. Where the Red Fern Grows

2. Little Women

3. Bridge to Terabithia


Please share your picks.

Accountability: What Every Writer Needs, Otherwise Known as a Good Kick in the Pants

Accountability…Unless you are a writer under contract for a book needing revisions, there really is little accountability for the writer who is still at the beginning of her writing career.  While I have a picture book under contract and submitted all necessary revisions, I don’t have any current book deadlines looming.  I don’t want to be a one book author.  I have other stories to tell.


I have a young adult novel, completed, sitting in a drawer after getting nowhere with publishers or agents, though I beat out 4000 people in last year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition to make the top 1000.  It needs major rewrites, which is quite daunting considering the novel is 65,000 words (roughly 250 pages).


I started a middle grade novel over a year ago.  It is literally in the last chapter of the rough draft, and I daily think, “Today’s the day I will finish the rough draft.”  And every night I say, as did my favorite literary character Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”


Time marches on.  It’s amazing how I find time to blog, time to check facebook, time to twitter, time to do laundry (sometimes), time to make dinner, time to be with my family… You get the picture.  So, why don’t I just finish the last chapter?  Because of accountability.  I have none.  That, and I am afraid.  Afraid that I will finish the novel and the rewrites that follow, that I will send queries to agents and publishers, who will, in turn, send me curt rejection notices that say, “This is not for me.  Please don’t take this to be a reflection of your work, but…”  Blah, blah, blah.


And just like my young adult novel, this new middle grade novel will be destined to use up office drawer space, buried away for no one to ever read.  Yes, I know, if you never try, you’ll never succeed.  Right?  After all it took 99 rejections before my picture book was offered a contract. So, tomorrow is another day.  And tomorrow I will finish this novel.  Well, maybe by the weekend.  And now you all know, so please hold me accountable.  Ask me about it.  Make me squirm with embarrassment if I don’t finish.  Be parental.  You have my permission. Thank you.