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, HOLLOW DOLLS, is available now from Sourcebooks Young Readers!

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Happy New Year

A Year of Opportunity

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

2020 is shaping up to be a very exciting year! I get to launch two new series – including my first young adult one, which I’m super excited about – and edit the sequels for both Hollow Dolls and Twin Daggers. But once those are done, all my current contracts will be fulfilled. I have four books scheduled to release between 2020 and 2021, but after that, who knows?

That’s the wonderful/terrifying thing about publishing: every time you complete a contract, you start at the beginning all over again. There are no guarantees. Sometimes it’s the first option book proposal that sells. Sometimes it’s the fifth. Sometimes none of them do. It’s…a rather scary way to build a career, actually. But it’s also the nature of the business.

So, I’m approaching this as an opportunity. Once I’m finished with the sequels I’m working on, I can write anything I please. I’ve got several very shiny new ideas I’m looking forward to exploring, and several other older ideas that I’ve been tinkering with here and there between contracts. And I’ve been working with a co-author for the last couple of years on a really cool project. The possibilities feel limitless, and that makes me hopeful for what 2020 will bring!

Looking back at 2019’s goals, I completed everything on my Must Do list, but nothing at all on the Want To Do or Might Do Lists. With any luck, I’ll accomplish a little more this year!

MUST DO:

WANT TO DO:

MIGHT DO:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2020? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!

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2019 – Closing Out the Decade with a Bang

Photo by Wout Vanacker on Unsplash

It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of another decade! Time is very sneaky like that.

2019 was, overall, a good year. It was my first year with two books out, which was challenging, but also really awesome. And, thanks to those books, I had a lot of new opportunities and experiences for which I’m so very grateful.

But it was bittersweet in many ways too. Last year ended with several things up in the air that have now settled. My parents are both at care facilities, and while that’s sad, I’m grateful to the people who look after them day in and day out. My siblings and I had to clean out our childhood home and sell the house in order to help pay for that care, and it hasn’t been easy to let go of the place I’ve called Home for most of my life. But it was necessary and now I can put that phase behind me (I hope!).

Some highlights from 2019:

The Last Decade:

10 years ago, I wrote a looking back at 2000-2009 post, so I’m picking up the thread and doing it again. It’s interesting to see what I was excited about back then (writing more books! Past MK would be pretty pleased with Present MK) and how things have changed. So, here’s the last decade in a very tiny nutshell:

2010: Sold our condo, packed up our pug, and moved across the country to Phoenix, AZ.

2011: Realized we were miserable being 3,000 miles away from our friends and family, so we packed up our pugs (we gained a second one while in AZ) and moved back home to New England. Got new job in Boston – back to epic commute.

2012: Three BIG milestones: 1) Bought our first house! 2) Signed with super agent Suzie Townsend and 3) We sold my first two books to Harper Collins!

2013: Left job with a crazy toxic boss without another job lined up. Terrifying, but necessary for my mental health and well-being. (Was also very keen to stop working in Boston after being in the office the day of the Boston Marathon bombing only a few blocks away). Luckily, my last day was a Friday, and by Monday I had a job offer from my current employer, HILL for Literacy. Took the leap to working part-time.

2014: Paid off my student loans.

2015: Monstrous was published!

2016: Sold more books (Shadow Weaver duology! The Star Shepherd!)! Monstrous hit the NYT list…on the same day as the election results came in. Also, we finally took the honeymoon we always wanted to Hawaii. A few years late, but still amazing!

2017: Had my first child. Added 3rd pug to family, but lost our first pug not long after 🙁

2018: Sold two new duologies – Hollow Dolls + Sequel and Twin Daggers + Sequel! Parents both had sudden, unexpected health issues that left them in care facilities.

2019: Spent significant portion of year dealing with fallout from my parents’ declining health. Helped my siblings empty out and sell our childhood home. Wrote two sequels in one year while juggling multiple editorial deadlines for the first books in the series and somehow survived. Went on my very first legit book tour (probably will never happen again, but still a bucket list item)!!

All in all, it was a pretty decent decade. Lots of highs and lows, but I definitely can’t complain with where I’ve ended up. Here’s hoping the next decade is even better! 🙂

HOW DID 2019 AND THE LAST DECADE TREAT YOU? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEW YEAR?

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A Year for Renewal

2017 was a difficult year in a lot of ways, and I’m hopeful that 2018 will be much better. We have our newly expanded family to love, learn, and grow with, and I have lots of books to write (my “must-do” goals list is a wee bit longer than usual)! And if we’re lucky and all get out to vote in November, maybe we can correct the course the country is currently taking.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet this year (leaving me more time to write, of course), so without further ado, here are my writing goals for 2018:

MUST DO:

WANT TO DO:

MIGHT DO:

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2018? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!

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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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2016 – What A Year

Well, 2016 is nearly over. In some ways that’s a blessing, and in others it’s pretty darn terrifying. It’s impossible to ignore the impact of this year’s election. The hate and fear-mongering that plagued it managed to taint even happy, exciting events. So I’m keeping it short and sweet this time. Here’s hoping there are some rays of light in 2017 too.

Highlights of 2016:

How did 2016 treat you? What are you looking forward to in the new year?

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