Kicking Back

Friday evenings are always sweet, aren’t they?  My son is watching League of Legends next to me on the couch, I’m back from visiting a poet friend and her writer husband, my husband’s cooking dinner, and the evening stretches wild and free before us into a long weekend.  We even have the windows open to an unseasonably warm October breeze.

For my final stop on the Promised Blog Tour, I’m talking with Bailey at IB Book Blogging. Her important questions cover the zombie apocalypse and what else… Continue reading

Stealth Reading in School

Ms. O'Brien, Room 204

One of my favorite things about teaching was Independent Reading.  No matter what grade I was teaching, or which level, whether it was regular English or Creative Writing or Intro to Journalism and Broadcasting, we would stop for half an hour every Friday to read in silence. The students would bring books of their own choice and we’d just kick back. The only thing you’d hear was pages turning.  Sometimes we’d get to the end of our thirty minutes and take a vote to… Continue reading

A Happy Launch for Promised

I had such a nice time at the UConn Coop last night.  Thanks to Suzy Staubach and Sharon for putting on such a nice event, and thanks to my friends and family for coming by to help celebrate the release of Promised.  I really love living in a small town with my buds and our own, familiar bookstore.

My next stop on the Promised Blog Tour is with Usagi at Birth of a New Witch, where we talk about how women’s rights figure in the Birthmarked… Continue reading

Promised Comes Out Today!

I’m happy about Promised coming out today and hopeful that readers will enjoy finding out where Gaia’s adventures take her next.  This trilogy was not a solo effort, that’s for sure.  Special thanks to my editor Nancy Mercado and the team at Roaring Brook for all their brilliant ideas and help over the past four years.  Thank you to Kirby Kim, my agent.  I’m grateful to my family and friends, too, for ongoing support.  My novels would not have happened without you!

Today I’m writing,… Continue reading

The Walls and the People

Several years back, I lived with my family in the walled city of Ferrara, Italy.  The Castello Estense with its dungeons and moat dominates the center, and the medieval wall still surrounds the perimeter.  For me, however, the real barrier was my stumbling Italian and my lack of friends.  I joined a chorus, and as long as we were singing, I was unified with the others.  The moment we stopped and the conductor began speaking in Italian, I was cast out once again by my inability… Continue reading

Mind the Gap

The short gap between Books 1 and 2 of the Birthmarked trilogy lasts about two weeks, but the break between Books 2 and 3 lasts nearly a year.  The main reason I let so much time pass is because the action at the end of Book 2/Prized was leading into a lot of grueling, painstaking work, not dramatic problems.  Tension and negotiations were likely, and plenty of quiet, happy scenes, but a book needs real conflict and these productive episodes wouldn’t have had enough.  So I… Continue reading