About Me

I'm an author and arts administrator living in New England with my family and pugs. I'm also a caffeine addict and voracious reader. My latest middle grade fantasy novel, SHADOW WEAVER, is available now from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky!

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Next Event

Dec
12
Wed
2018
7:00 pm The Heroes Return Launch Party @ Barnes & Noble
The Heroes Return Launch Party @ Barnes & Noble
Dec 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
I’ll be joining Monica Tesler for the launch of her latest book in the Bounders series, THE HEROES RETURN!

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2017 – A Year of Endings and Beginnings

To say 2017 was an eventful year is an understatement. In some ways—especially the current political climate—it was catastrophically bad, and in others very good.

In my little corner of the world, we had ups and downs too. In April, we adopted a third pug, Teddy, but in September we lost our beloved Tootsie. It was a difficult month and it’s been hard to talk about it online, though I imagine some may have noticed her absence from my Instagram. She was our first dog and such a sweet little girl. We miss her every day. But the most wonderful part of the year was the birth of our son Logan. He’s brought so much joy to our lives and he’s such a good little boy. We can’t imagine our lives without him now and can’t wait to grow with him!

On the writing side of things, we announced a new book deal in the spring! THE STAR SHEPHERD is a heavily illustrated middle grade fantasy co-authored with the awesome Dan Haring (it will be out in Fall 2019!). And I reached all of my “must-do” goals but none of my “want-to-do” or “might-do” goals. Hopefully next year I’ll accomplish a little more!

Some highlights from 2017:

HOW DID 2017 TREAT YOU? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEW YEAR?

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A Year For Words

2017 is going to be an interesting year. In 2015 and 2016, I had new books coming out but this year, I do not (I know! Sad!). However, I do have a new middle grade series beginning in early 2018 which I’m very excited about and a couple surprises in store for 2017 too (sorry, you’ll just have to wait and see :P). So this year my focus will be on looking head and laying the ground work for the great things on the horizon in 2018.

Which essentially means writing lots and lots of words. Words in books (at least 3!), but also words in letters to my state representatives, house and senate committees, etc. about issues that are important to me. 2018 is also a year for midterm elections and a pivotal opportunity to gain ground for the rights the incoming administration threatens. I know a lot of people say that writers should keep politics out of their books and online presence — personally, I think that perhaps they don’t quite understand the nature of writing. Writing is a conduit for freedom of expression. It is a thing we are able to do freely in this country due to the protections of the First Amendment. Writing is an inherently political act, and like it or not, we (at the very least) subconsciously imbue our works with our own moral, ethical, and political undertones. Ignoring that, denying that, feels dishonest to me.

I think recognizing this is particularly important when writing for children. Teens and tweens are much smarter than they are often given credit for being, and they’re aware of what’s going on in the world. Avoiding those issues is doing them a disservice and denying them the chance to process their fears in a safe space: within the pages of a book. Themes of being bullied, parents getting a divorce, family members battling a disease are seen in all types of fiction from contemporary to fantasy to post-apocalyptic. Tackling any of the many potential issues from the incoming administration is no different — it’s about to become a real part of our lives. Looking the other way will not change that. So, I’ll be doing my part in the ways that I can. Writing stories and writing letters and doing what I can to help create positive change.

Anyway, it’s tradition for me to post my fiction writing goals on my blog each year to keep myself accountable. Last year, I managed to complete all the “Must Dos” and all but one of the “Want To Dos” which is not too shabby. Maybe this will be the year I’ll finally cross everything off this list!

MUST DO:

WANT TO DO:

MIGHT DO:

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2017? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!

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A Year to Maintain Momentum

2016

2015 was quite the whirlwind, and I can hardly believe my second book will be out in a mere 6 weeks. I can’t wait for everyone to meet Greta in Ravenous come February 9, AND for the prequel novella Precious to be out too (it’s a 100-page story about Rosabel that will be published as bonus content in the back of Ravenous)!

If you happen to be in the Boston area, consider yourself invited to my launch party on Sunday, February 21, 2016, 2pm at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA (it has parking and it’s T-accessible). If you’re not local and you’d like a signed copy of Ravenous, you can pre-order one from Porter Square Books here. AND if you’ve already pre-ordered Ravenous, you rock and I’d love to send you a Swag Pack!

When I set my goals for last year there was the unknown quantity of time to be spent promoting Monstrous, but now I have a better idea of what that will take for Ravenous in 2016. And I have a better sense of my limits of what I can reasonably accomplish without stressing myself out too much 🙂 I feel really good about Monstrous and how launching it went, so here’s hoping we can maintain that momentum into 2016 for Ravenous, too! Really though, my primary resolution is the same as last year’s: to do the very best I can on those things within my control. Worrying about things I can’t do anything about will only drive me nuts, so focusing on what I can do is something I’ve found helps considerably.

Last year was also a decent year for writing (which is nothing less than a miracle) and I managed to accomplish about 2/3 of my goals and even drafted a random young adult fantasy novella and a sizable chunk of two additional middle grade projects on top of that. (Can you tell I never sleep? Sleep is for the weak!). This year, I really hope I’ll be able to do all of my Must Dos and Want To Dos at the very least – they’re all projects I’m really excited about! Again, I hope to build off the writing momentum I had going in 2015 to keep my writing projects all on track!

MUST DO:

WANT TO DO:

MIGHT DO:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2016? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!

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2015 – Year of Saying Yes

YearofYES2It’s hard to believe 2015 is already over (seriously, where did the year go?!). I spent most of 2014 preparing for 2015 and it did not disappoint! It was a year filled with firsts and fun and stress and saying Yes to as many opportunities as possible.

I’m very lucky to be in a place where I have a part time day job and a flexible schedule that allowed me to do as much as I did. I think I actually said Yes to every invitation I got for a book event, blog post, school or library visit, etc on top of all the other opportunities I pursued myself. I went to several new places and met a ton of awesome booksellers, readers, librarians, teachers, and authors. In short, it was a flat-out AMAZING year.

But saying Yes to everything also has some drawbacks. To be honest, I took on too much and spent most of the year feeling overwhelmed and behind on everything.  So while it was incredibly fun and rewarding, it was also very stressful. Plus I’m an introvert, so being “on” so often can give me anxiety. However, 2015 was a great learning experience on how to fake being an extrovert for a short time…as long as I got to have a day or two of hibernating afterwards. And that hibernation meant I pulled back from non-book related activities without really realizing it. I’m kind of a workaholic, so when I feel like I have ALL THE THINGS to do, I get so focused on it that occasionally that means I may not reach out to family and friends for a lot longer than I should. While I love writing and making up worlds, it isn’t healthy for me to spend so much time alone in my own head. I unintentionally pulled away from my support system, and that’s something I definitely need to remedy in 2016.

Long story short, 2015 was a very exciting year, and now I need a nap and to include more non-bookish activities on my docket for 2016. I also want to say THANK YOU to those of you who came out to my events, bought Monstrous, read Monstrous, supported me in any way shape or form – you are awesome and helped make this year one of the best in a long time! 🙂

These were some of my favorite highlights of the year:

 

HOW DID 2015 TREAT YOU? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEW YEAR? HERE’S TO A FABULOUS 2016! 

 

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2014 – Year of Too Much To Do, And Not Enough Time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile 2013 was a rough year, 2014 was all about DOING ALL THE THINGS. And I did manage to accomplish most of them, though I can’t help wishing there was more TIME. Most of those things were writing-related, but not all.

One of the non-writing related “things” I’ve been doing over the last couple years is helping to care for my elderly parents. They’ve had some health issues and many hospital visits in the last few years, so helping them out has become a weekly ritual on top of my part-time jobs, my writing time, and  in 2014 the addition of planning and preparing to promote Monstrous.

This year it became a bit overwhelming. Unfortunately, my parents have been living in a hotel (all year. seriously. they just moved back home this week.) while the house they’d lived in for 30+ years was gutted to remove deadly mold.* This + having to eat takeout every day for a year + the health issues they already had, ended with my dad checking himself into the hospital to have lots of tests and eventually heart surgery right before Thanksgiving.

This also happened to be right about the time I got my edit letter for my Winter 2016 book.

I love my parents (Obviously. Even if they do drive me batty sometimes), so I’ve been wrestling a lot with the desire to help and the need to take care of my own responsibilities. It’s a juggling act to say the least–one I’ve been doing more or less successfully all year–but the last couple months have been tougher than usual with the addition of a deadline. The good news is, my dad is recovering from surgery, my parents no longer have to live in a hotel, and I’m just about finished with my revision and on track to make that deadline. So, all’s well that ends well 🙂

Though there was a lot of crazy family stuff going on in 2014, a lot of awesomeness happened too. Here are some of my favorite highlights from 2014:

HOW DID 2014 TREAT YOU? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEW YEAR? HERE’S TO A FABULOUS 2015! 

 

*Really Random PSA: The mold contamination is nothing new in my parents’ house. I have fond childhood memories of fishing my Barbies out of the water in the basement as they floated by the stairs. I also have not-quite-so-fond memories of having to wet-vac the basement before slumber parties, and wondering why everyone always woke up the next day feeling sick. The cause of the flooding was a crack in the foundation, and it wasn’t addressed until recently. Instead, the mold spread throughout the walls and was tracked throughout the entire house. Not a pleasant situation!

Seriously though, mold contamination in a house is no laughing matter. Long-term exposure can have serious health effects – so if you think you might have a mold problem, don’t ignore it. Check it out and resolve the root cause. If you just treat symptoms, it will come back.

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