Humiliation in Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea Trilogy

I know, right? Humiliation? But I have been hunting for the right word as I try to explain to my husband what these books are like, and, really…the thing that is making them feel like something new is the way Joe Abercrombie humiliates his heroes. Or, if I’m looking at it from more of a […]

Roshani Chokshi: In Which I Go Down the Fantasy Genre Action & Philosophy Rabbit Hole

I was griping on Facebook the other day about needing some new fantasy novels to read, and a FB friend recommended Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes. I hadn’t realized until I looked up Chokshi that she is also the author of Aru Shah and the End of Time, the first book in her middle-grade […]

Shaking Things Up a Little

So I’m two weeks into the new job, and I’m loving it. I feel like, finally, I’ve found my day-job home. The job is also having some unexpected benefits on my other life, the writing one. In the past, or at least since I haven’t been driving the boy to school, I’ve scheduled my work […]

How Revision Sneaks Up on You: Case File #219

Here’s how it goes: You get a picture book idea in October. Halloween is in October. The story vibe starts with a gently spooky tone. The idea comes to you, of course, with a little black cat as the littlehero. You play with the idea for a while. The story becomes, on paper, less spooky. […]

Well, I Killed THAT Darling

It’s a special darling. It’s been in my mind for nine years and in a story almost that long. It was a darling in the first picture book I ever wrote when, as I was dreaming up imaginary picture books to “excerpt” in The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide, I dreamed up one idea […]

Post-Conference To-Do List

Yesterday’s SCBWI California: North/Central Spring Spirit conference was wonderful. All the sessions I sat in on were very good, and I got the best manuscript critique I’ve ever gotten from a publishing professional.  Best in two ways–the agent gave me excellent, concrete, and clear suggestions, and he also gave me some seriously positive and complimentary comments […]

BLOOD RED, SNOW WHITE: Not Your Mother’s Arthur Ransome

Well, not my mother’s, anyway. When I was young–maybe 7 or 8?–my family took a trip to Canada. The trip included at least one bookstore. And there, my mom–who spent some of her childhood in England–found new editions of books she had read during those years: Arthur Ransome’s SWALLOWS AND AMAZON books. She bought the […]

I Write Novels. Or Do I?

Spoiler alert: some whining ahead. Picture book writing status: Excellent. I have been on a roll. I’m loving the time I spend on them, and I’m getting what feel to me to be amazing compliments from the editor I’ve been working with. Novel writing status: I feel like I am getting my butt kicked. Over […]

In Which Pooh Has Fun with Picture Books

In Which Pooh Has Fun with Picture Books

Okay, not Pooh, me. I’m having fun with picture books right now. I’m not sure if I’m actually on a roll, or if I lucked out and landed on a couple of older ideas that suddenly turned into something, or if it’s in good part because I’ve been working with a wonderful editor. Whatever the […]

Tomi Adeyemi

I am going to finish the second Li Du mystery, but look what just landed from the library. After hearing Adeyemi’s interview on the Nerdette podcast, Children of Blood and Bone jumped to the top of my reading list. Take a listen and then take a look. Or, you know, the other way around.