The Magic of Libraries

Like so many writers, libraries hold a special place in my heart. From the time I was a little girl, a trip to the library meant entering a magical world filled with countless delights—all those inviting books that could take you to different places and lives, some similar to your own and some so different…

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Comfort Food for Writers and Other Humans

The writing life has plenty of ups—those days when the words tumble out like Niagara Falls, the moment you type “The End” on a manuscript you’ve labored over for months, and that “yes” from a publisher. But there are also some downs—when it feels like your word faucet is on the fritz, or a rejection…

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Even Book Fairs That Are a Bust Have Their Benefits

At six AM last Saturday morning, I packed up my suitcase of books and SWAG (bookmarks, cookies, etc.), loaded my car, and travelled eighty miles to participate in a book fair. The fair coordinator told us authors she was expecting a big turnout. We needed to have at least ten copies of each of our…

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Sending LEISHA’S SONG Into the World

When I became pregnant with my second child, the obstetrician asked me how my first delivery went. I said, “Frankly, I found it to be one of life’s more horrifying experiences.” His face dropped, and he cleared his throat. I’m quite sure he didn’t like my answer. But what he didn’t ask me was how I…

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Confessions of an Anxious Writer

Don’t get me wrong. I would never choose not to have gone to see my amazing NYC grandkids, followed by a Boston reunion with my super sisters. Getting to hug the people I love felt like such a gift after this year of not being able to be with them face-to-face. But like anyone who’s…

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How You Felt Versus How You Appeared

I’ve been doing lots of reading about writing young adult fiction in connection with a talk I’m giving next week to my local Sisters in Crime chapter. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest pieces of advice is to avoid writing stereotypical, flat characters—the nerdy geek, the shallow blonde cheerleader, the macho jock, etc. For one…

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Hatching an Idea for a Novel- And Then What?

Are there writers on the planet who haven’t been asked: “Where do you get your ideas?” If so, I’ve yet to meet them! The easiest and perhaps least helpful answer is: “Anywhere and everywhere.” As Lisa Cron points out in Story Genius, her craft book for writers, the wisp of an idea could come from…

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What I Needed to Hear

Have you ever read or heard something and thought, “Wow, that’s just what I needed to hear”? That happened to me this week reading Elise Bryant’s delightful debut YA novel, Happily Ever Afters. Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson loves writing romance stories and sharing them with her best friend, Caroline. But when her family moves to a…

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