The Long Ride Home

Maybe it is because I’m a high school teacher and spend my days surrounded by actual young adults that my standards for YA literature are so high. My favorite books for readers in their teens are full of characters facing real life problems with no clear solutions. The dialogue needs to sound like something an actual kid would say, or else I’m gone. No messages, please. No lessons to learn that could also be imparted in a thirty minute sitcom. No morals to the story allowed. Ever. If I’m going to recommend a book to anyone to read it has…

The Ghost Daughter Wants To Come To Your Book Club

In an hour or so I’m attending my first book club for The Ghost Daughter. I love attending book clubs as an author. How To Be Manly got me invited to a couple. It remains amazing that I write words and people read them. Someday I’ll get over myself and understand that people reading my books is what happens when I write them and find cool editors and publishers. Someday I’ll be used to it. Today is not that day. Other invitations to appear at book clubs to answer questions about The Ghost Daughter are already rolling in. It’s all…

Here

Catch the cool Q and A I did with the wonderful Catherine Warmerdam in the month’s issue of Sacramento Magazine. It was a fun conversation over tea on a blustery January day outside Tupelo in East Sacramento. Ever since I first moved to Sacramento, I’ve perused the pages of Sacramento Magazine looking for mention of people I knew. I usually know at least one person per issue in the society pages or within the features. I’ve always considered knowing people in Sacramento Magazine a good sign that I was connected to my community. Here’s the thing with Sacramento and me. This…

Cover Reveal: Without Benefits

 As a high school teacher, I am often looking out for books that will interest my students for our free reading days. Rest Publications is an indie press that never disappoints. I am a huge fan of their fairy tale retellings and fantasy, and am excited to announce a forthcoming contemporary title Without Benefits that Reuts is releasing in May. I am particular fan of Reuts’ covers. It’s pretty cool having the inside scoop on the latest beautiful design. Here’s a bit about the book: Emma will always be a New Yorker at heart, even though she has a perfect…

5 Ways I Find Time to Read

1. Read what I want Tell the inner smarty pants who is criticizing my book choice to go to hell. Dump books that aren’t capturing or inspiring me. I don’t have to give any book fifty pages before deciding whether or not to continue. Nobody has time for that. This isn’t dating. Books don’t have feelings. 2. Link the library with frozen yogurt Commit to frozen yogurt on the way home from every trip to the library. This is especially effective in the summer. Start reading the best book while eating a chocolate vanilla swirl topped with mochi bits. Don’t drip on…

A Great Yes: Geminid Press

When I was in grade school, I took the short bus once a week to a special day class for gifted children. The program was called MGM for Mentally Gifted Minors, and our MGM teacher was an evangelical woman named Mrs. Sturtevant who really hated my ideas. My nine-year-old Mentally Gifted Minor brain intuited the deliciously thin ice Mrs. Sturtevant’s sense of the appropriate skated upon. I broke through it during our art unit when we fashioned paper mache masks to go with creative stories we had written. The other children gooped strips of newspaper and flour glue into the…

What Are You Reading?

My favorite question in the world to ask and answer is, “What are you reading?” I stepped up my reading game as I finished my graduate school program last spring. For a long time my answer to my favorite question was probably an article about successful strategies for teacher mentoring in Australia. Australians are doing a lot of interesting research on this topic, if you want to know. My reading list since spring has been much more varied. My reviews are always four and five star because I don’t continue reading things that don’t interest me. I am a very rude…