Category: Blog

10 Days to Release: ARC in the Wild

One of the most fun parts of this publishing process is seeing ARCs of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST out in the wild, which is why I’m so glad that’s the topic for day 10 of #18DaystoMGDebut. There have been a lot of wonderful sightings, with authors, teachers and librarians sharing their photos…
Read more

11 Days to Release: Novel SWAG

For Day 11 of #18DaystoMGDebut, I’m looking at my book’s SWAG, and I do love it. When I was working on the many revisions for THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, I had an idea for an item I would give readers if this story ever became an actual book. In 11 days, that…
Read more

12 Days to Release: Rejected Titles

For day 12 of #18DaystoMGDebut, the prompt is rejected titles for THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, and that means I have to make a confession: I’m terrible at coming up with titles. The original title for this story had a spoiler, so I won’t share the whole thing, but it started with The…
Read more

13 Days to Release: Snack That Fueled Writing the Book

I don’t know what it is about snacking and writing, but they go together so well. It’s a good thing I also like to write on the treadmill, because for day 13 of #18DaystoMGDebut, my preferred snack that fueled the writing of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST are extra dark chocolate chips from…
Read more

14 Days to Release: Strangest Place I Worked on the Book

When I saw the prompt for day 14 of #18DaystoMGDebut, strangest place I worked on THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, the answer came to me straight away: the Lodge of Death. Twice a year, a group of writer friends rent out a lodge on a lake and spend a weekend silently writing, with…
Read more

15 Days to Release: Place Where I Wrote Most of the Book

I began writing THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST when we were living in Houston, but to answer the day 15 prompt for #18DaystoMGDebut, I finished the first draft and wrote most of the revisions here in Austin in the same house where I’m typing this now. I’m not much of a coffee shop…
Read more

16 Days to Release: Place That Inspired the Book’s Setting

For day 16 of #18DaysToMGDebut, I’m talking about what inspired the book’s setting. THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST opens in one of my favorite places: a beach, golden sand stretching out against a never-ending blue ocean, with waves creeping up then retreating, creeping and retreating. I grew up in the Caribbean, and the…
Read more

17 Days to Release: Favorite Comp Title

For day 17 of #18DaysToMGDebut, I’m talking about my favorite comp title for THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST. When I was first pitching this book, my comp titles were HATCHET by Gary Paulsen meets TV’s LOST. Pretty accurate, I think, and I love both of these. Gary Paulsen’s HATCHET is about a 13-year-old…
Read more

18 Days to Release: Novel Aesthetic

THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST comes out in stores in 18 days! And that means I get to start my own #18DaysToMGDebut countdown. If you haven’t seen it, the #18DaysToMGDebut hashtag was developed by the lovely Laurie Morrison, a fellow 2018 middle-grade debut author whose book, EVERY SHINY THING, co-written with Cordelia Jensen,…
Read more

Beast Comes Out in 1 Month — and I Never Thought It Would

Saturday marked the one month pre-versary of the release of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST and there are so many thoughts running through my head and emotions in my heart. I’ve loved stories since I was a kid. I was obsessed with spending as much time as possible at the library. No amount…
Read more