Blog

Memorable Stories Need Memorable Characters

I’ve got characters on the brain. I’m preparing to teach my Throw More Stones: How to Build Character Through Conflict workshop for the Writers League of Texas next month, and it’s a subject I love to talk about. But developing characters was not always easy for me. The first novels I wrote had my characters…
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Book Birthday Bash: Life in the Balance

  Happy Book Birthday to LIFE IN THE BALANCE! In this middle-grade novel, Veronica Conway has been looking forward to trying out for the All-Star softball team for years. She’s practically been playing the game since she was a baby. She should have this tryout on lock. Except right before tryouts, Veronica’s mom announces that…
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Interview with Saadia Faruqi on A Thousand Questions

I’m a huge fan of Saadia Faruqi‘s work. Her books are as wonderful as she is, which is why I’m thrilled to be able to interview her about her newest middle-grade novel A THOUSAND QUESTIONS. Here’s the publisher’s description: Set against the backdrop of Karachi, Pakistan, Saadia Faruqi’s tender and honest middle grade novel tells…
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What To Do With Your Shiny New Story Idea

You’ve got an idea for a story. Yes! Congratulations? Now the fun begins. Ideas come in lots of different ways: just a title, an unusual character, a situation, or maybe even an entire story plops right in your lap (although this last one has never happened to me). When you get your idea, you might…
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Book Birthday Bash: Alone

  Happy Book Birthday to ALONE! Perfect for fans of Hatchet and the I Survived series, this harrowing middle grade debut novel-in-verse from a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet tells the story of a young girl who wakes up one day to find herself utterly alone in her small Colorado town. When twelve-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme…
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Book Birthday Bash: Summer of L.U.C.K.

  Happy Book Birthday to SUMMER OF L.U.C.K.! Summer of L.U.C.K., for middle grade readers, is about three kids searching for self-acceptance. Stuttering Darby is never perfect enough for her mother. Justin’s been silent since his dad died. Naz is struggling to learn English. But after they meet at summer camp, mysterious calliope music from…
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How To Fold a Paper Boat

I’m so excited that my publisher, Simon & Schuster, has asked me to do a Facebook Live Snack & Read on the Simon Kids page. I’ll be reading from THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, sharing a snack and doing a craft. We’re going to have fun! For the craft, I thought it would…
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Book Birthday Bash: Hello, Future Me

  Happy Book Birthday to HELLO, FUTURE ME! In this middle-grade novel, 11-year-old June is a problem-solver. Some people might call her a busybody, but that’s okay. Just look at all the couples she’s helped find love! (Grateful newlyweds Marlene and Big Vic have even promised June free hot chocolate for life at their café.)…
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Two-Year Birthday Giveaway!

It’s hard to believe, but THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST turned 2 a month ago! I was busy working on my next books and missed the actual birthday. When I came out of my revision cave, blinking in the sunlight, I realized, It’s Time For A Giveaway! Because, not only did my debut…
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Book Birthday Bash: The Secret Notebook

  Happy Book Birthday to THE SECRET NOTEBOOK! In this middle-grade novel, Riley Green is certain her lie detector pen will win this year’s Invention Convention, but her plan collapses when her invention idea is stolen, her teacher goes missing and she find the lost notebook of Nikola Tesla. Now Riley and her friends must…
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