Category: Blog

Benefits of critique groups

My friend and fellow blogger Donna Janell Bowman last week ran a series of posts about the benefits of critique groups and how to make the most of them. For her posts, Donna interviewed a bunch of writers inlcuding yours truly! (Yes, that’s me.) Among the questions we answered were: What are the biggest challenges of…
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Children need books

I read some really troubling news today. In the U.K., three out of every 10 children do not own any books — none! No bookcases in their bedroom with Where the Wild Things Are, The Little Prince, Harry Potter… No parents reading to them before they go to bed. I hope they at least borrow…
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Fear and keeping your head

My husband and I were talking about fear the other day and he mentioned the saying that’s painted over the player’s entrance to centre court at Wimbledon: “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same…” It’s a small section of poet Rudyard Kipling‘s poem If, and it…
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Rest in Peace L.K. Madigan

In January, I wrote about the wonderful community that children’s book writing has and how they were supporting young adult author L.K. Madigan, who had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Madigan passed away this week, and the support for her family continues. Fellow author April Henry has written that, if you want to…
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Self-publishing and ebooks

Going into the Austin SCBWI chapter’s annual conference this weekend — it was great, by the way — I was curious to find out how middle-grade novels are selling in ebooks, as that’s what I write. I’ve seen lots of articles in the Publishers Lunch enewsletter saying that ebook sales are rocketing in adult books…
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New Enid Blyton book uncovered

Being British — to my American readers, yep, that’s right, if I was talking instead of typing, I’d have a funny accent 🙂 — the first author I knew by name because I loved her books so much was Enid Blyton. I keep naming things in my books Nod after her Noddy! So seeing the…
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Book recommendation: If I Stay

I don’t write book reviews — I’m not a fast reader — but when I find a book that I really love, I like to write it. Today’s book recommendation is for Gayle Forman‘s young adult novel If I Stay. I discovered this book when Gayle was a speaker at the Teen Book Con in…
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Authors helping authors

When I joined the children’s book writing community, one of the things I was immediately impressed with was how supportive everyone was. Not all writing communities — or all creative communities — are like that, and it’s wonderful that children’s book writers are. On Verla Kay’s board yesterday, I saw another example, author Cindy Pon…
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Patience, perseverance and a whole lotta reading

Saturday was the monthly meeting of the great Austin chapter of the SCBWI at the awesome independent bookstore BookPeople, and all who attended got a healthy dose of inspiration. The speaker was author Jessica Lee Anderson, who taught about dealing with the ups and downs of publishing through songs — and yep, she even sang.…
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The writer’s journey is the best part

My husband and I watched the movie Peaceful Warrior last night — based on the book by Dan Millman, whose life is supposedly the basis for the book and movie — and I found myself nodding and smiling a lot. Not that I’m half as wise as the movie’s Nick Nolte character, but I understand…
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