On Dedicating Prized to Nancy Mercado

This entry is cross-posted on MacTeenBooks and MacKids today.

Nancy Mercado and I talk to each other rarely.  We’ve had fewer than a dozen phone calls over the past three years, and we’ve met in person three times total.  In a way, I know my editor most vividly as a disembodied voice in the margin of my manuscripts, and yet, because of the focused nature of our relationship, Nan has surprised me countless times by how completely she gets how my mind works.  It’s almost uncanny, really.… Continue reading

Prized is Out Today!

My blog tour wraps up today at The Book Muncher, where Rachael and I came up with playlists for Birthmarked and Prized. My daughter contributed some of the songs, too, and I found it interesting to see how different songs evoked the characters, their struggles, the settings, and the themes.  Rachael has the solution for the code, too, which came about because of her suggestion.  Today’s live chat on Goodreads appears to be having technical snags, but we can hope for the best.

My warmest thanks… Continue reading


Tomorrow PRIZED comes out

I loved school when I was a kid, but even so, I had a gnawing belly every single day when my dad drove me to school.  The Convent of the Visitation School had a long driveway that sloped steadily downward, so I could see the building growing larger over the dashboard as we approached. The gnawing increased as we veered right around the playground fence toward the big doors of the Montessori Level II wing.  I’d have my bookbag, my shoe bag, and some… Continue reading

Smart Girls. Pretty Girls. Slender Girls.

Why did I give Gaia a scarred face?  Much as I would like to say my book is not about beauty, I don’t think there’s a girl alive in America today who can get away from the issue of beauty.  Not for more than five minutes.  I played volleyball poorly as a high school student, and one of my friends took a grainy, black-and-white photo of me in action.  At the time I thought, oh, I look fat in that picture.  When I saw… Continue reading

The Bell in the Woods

At my parents’ cabin, deep in the woods of Northern Minnesota, a cast iron bell was rung every evening to call us in for dinner.  The distant sound came resonant and clear to us across the lake, or back in the raspberry patch, promising a gathering of cousins and the rote muttering of grace over hot food.  We knew it was also my mother’s chance to count heads and account for everyone, so we would hurry back to keep her from growing anxious.  A special bell figures… Continue reading

Local Access

This morning, I dropped by my local access station to be a guest on Artists & Authors, hosted by Stephanie Summers. It was a friendly, fun interview which will be aired several weeks from now.   Thanks to Stephanie, and to Maidie, Scott, and Ian for running it all so smoothly.

The Prized blog tour takes me to The Book Cellar today.  Birthmarked was the first dystopian novel Erica ever read, and I find it cool how she came to it fresh, with no pre-conceptions.