Blog

Writing Question Answered: Should Your Characters Be Based On Real People?

I get asked a lot about whether the characters in my stories are based on real people, and the answer is yes… and no, and for most writers, that’ll be true. A little piece of me is inside every character I write. It’s inevitable, because the characters are coming from me. As a writer, I’m…
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Book Birthday Bash: Goodnight Ganesha

  Happy Book Birthday to GOODNIGHT GANESHA! This debut picture book is a gorgeously illustrated goodnight story that celebrates the nighttime rituals of two young children visiting their grandparents in India. As nighttime falls over the city, two children find there’s so much fun to be had! A young girl and her brother kickoff their…
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Book Birthday Bash: ARROW

  Happy Book Birthday to ARROW! In this middle-grade novel, Arrow, a 12-year-old boy with a limb difference, has grown up as the only human in a lush, magical rainforest that’s closed off from the rest of the world. He was raised by the Guardian Tree, the protector of the forest, which uses the earth’s…
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TreeFolks Loves Trees as Much as Arrow – Plus GIVEAWAY

I’ve got some really special blog posts coming up that I’m super excited about. With the release of my new novel ARROW, I’m interviewing a bunch of people who helped me make the book a reality and celebrate its release. First up is Andrew Smiley from the fantastic TreeFolks, and I’m giving away an ARC…
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4 Ways to Use Setting As A Writing Tool

Setting is one of my favorite things to write in a novel. It’s like being a set designer for a movie or play, and it can add so much to your character and the tone of the story. Here are a few tips on how to use setting well in your own stories. Choose Locations…
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5 Tips to Create Worlds Readers Want To Live In

Did you ever finish a book and just want to dive back in, so you can stay in that world longer? Yeah, me too. A good book creates characters and a world that readers want to spend time in and return to again and again. There are so many fun parts of making up stories,…
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To Outline or Not: A Novel Writer’s Story

One of the questions I’m asked most is about writing process and the *best* way to write a book. The honest answer, though, is that there is no best way, only whatever works for you, and it’ll most likely change the more you write. Outlining is considered a dirty word by many writers. Some say…
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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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