Category: Blog

THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST is a Winner!

Something AMAZING has happened. THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for the Texas/Oklahoma region! It’s always excited to know that your work is appreciated by readers, but this award in particular means so much to me for many reasons. Firstly, SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Awards are the only peer-voted…
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From Writing Conference Attendee, to Volunteer, to Faculty

Next week, I will be faculty at my first Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators writing conference, and it feels like a milestone. The first SCBWI conference I attended was in 2007. I was living in Los Angeles then, so attended the huge annual Summer Conference organized by SCBWI headquarters. As a wallflower who…
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Celebrity Meetings and Thanks to the Austin Public Library

I feel like I leveled up as an author recently. I got interviewed by a puppet! None other than Van of Austin Public Library’s The Van Show. I chatted with Van at the Texas Library Association convention in April about books, THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, and zombie ants. So fun! The video…
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Tough Issues, Deep Impact at TLA

One of the highlights of this year’s Texas Library Association conference for me was my panel on Tough Issues – Deep Impact: How Middle Grade Books Can Inspire Empathy and Empower Young Readers. The topic is important to me, but the reason why this panel was a highlight is that the issue came up time…
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Going Local with Authors at TLA

The Texas Library Association convention was in my home town of Austin this year, and I was absolutely thrilled to attend as a speaker — and published author for the first time — speaking on topics that are dear to my heart: local authors and tough issues. Last year, I was on a panel for…
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Remembering a Mentor – RIP Brian Uzzell

Last week, I received the sad news that one of my mentors passed away, Brian Uzzell, former owner and publisher of the Caymanian Compass newspaper. I owe a lot to Brian, and can honestly say that I would not have my career if it wasn’t for him. When I was 19, recently returned to Cayman…
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Beast is in its Second Printing! Thank You, Readers

This Thanksgiving week, I’m incredibly thankful, becauseĀ THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST has gone into a second printing! When I was writing this book, I thought it would never get published. It received a LOT of rejections along its journey. But it’s a story from my heart and I was so thrilled to finally…
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Celebrating Spooky Middle Grade Books

I’ve always loved spooky stories. Give me a monster, a pair of old bones, or a cracked grave stone, and I’m hooked… as long as I can close the book if I get too scared. šŸ˜‰ When I wrote THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, I didn’t set out to write a spooky book.…
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Election Giveaway!

It’s election time, and I’m thrilled to join other authors to support voting. Voting numbers are often far lower than the population, but democracy can’t run properly unless people are making their voices heard. This is why throughout history people have fought for the right to vote. It’s OUR world, OUR country, and everyone should…
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How to Silence the Bully in Your Head, And Other School Visit Questions

This month, I’ve been lucky enough to visit schools and talk to students about THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, and each visit has been wonderful! But as much as I enjoyed talking to the hundreds of kids in each group about my book, the most precious moments have been the ones where kids…
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