Friday, September 28, 2012

How I Became a Teaching Author

Today I'm over visiting April Halprin Wayland at the Teaching Authors Blog talking about how I became a teaching author. Here's a peak at the interview...

April: What's a common problem your students have and how do you address it? 

Me: It's easy to get stuck staring at a big white page or a blank computer screen. I can't tell you how many times I hear the words, "I don't know what to write."  I reply, "writing isn't about knowing. There is no magic right or wrong answer as there is in other subjects.

Writing is about choosing, about considering the infinite possibilities and picking one." To this the student inevitably replies, "I still don't know what to write." Then I usually give the stumped pupil a whole list of suggestions which he or she usually doesn't like because that blank computer screen is still just so darn intimidating.

To read the rest of the interview visit Teaching Authors

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The History of Novels in Verse

Join Me over at Cynsations for a piece I wrote about the HISTORY OF VERSE NOVELS.

Here's a sneak peak:

With authors like Ellen Hopkins, Sonya Sones, and Lisa Schroeder, there has been a virtual explosion of verse novels in the past decade, but do we really understand their place in literature?

Are verse novels a YA or middle-grade fad, a new art form, or something else? Are they even really poetry? Were there verse novels before Out of the Dust won the Newbery in 1998?

In truth, verse novels have quite a long history.
Looking back just a few years, we find that before Out of the Dust there was Soda Jerk by Cynthia Rylant in 1990 and Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff in 1993.

And if we go back just a litter further in time we find Homer (not Simpson), who lived around 850 B.C.E. – the presumed creator of "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey," two Greek epic poems. Two of the oldest surviving works of Western literature happen to be written in verse. ...

For the rest of the post head over to Cynsations

Saturday, September 22, 2012


It's ten days until the release of FORGET ME NOT on October 2.

Check out a preview of the GHOST TOUR which will begin Oct. 3.

And if you haven't seen the BOOK TRAILER check it out and pass on the link on Twitter and Facebook and email, etc.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


The release of FORGET ME NOT is 17 days away (and counting).

Last week, in between working at three different high schools, attending soccer functions, arriving late at our monthly SCBWI meeting, and going to craft stores on three different occasions to find 14 t-shirts (all the same shade of neon green - at which time I discovered that an XL youth is the same size as a S adult), I met the gals who are making the jewelry for my October Ghost Tour and Bookstore Book Launch and found something exciting from UPS waiting on my doorstep...

It was the box containing my author copies of FORGET ME NOT.

Earlier in the week I was absolutey stunned when I met Sherri Erler, Shauna Mellady, and Debi Hennigen at Alamosa Books to work on the display for the book launch and saw the amazing pieces they had created. Here is Sherri showing off her many different styles of forget-me-not bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.

And here are some pieces created by Shauna and Debi. Each piece is linked to a stop on the blog tour and has symbolic significance in the book. Ravens figure prominently at Raven Valley High School and there is an allusion to Odin, the Norse god of death and poetry. He had two ravens called Hugin and Munin, also known as Observation and Memory, who travelled the world and returned to report what they saw... exactly what a writer does, by the way.

There are also allusions to Shakespeare, Dante, Poe and 2Pac, so come back October 2 when the Ghost Tour begins, right here on my blog. In the meantime, if you live in Albuquerque, mark your calendars for the book launch at Alamosa on Saturday, October 27th at 6:00pm.

See you there!