Sunday, December 30, 2012

Courage - Honor - Valor

My small village lost a hero this week. He was a regular guy, who could pull off a good joke. He had a car repair shop in this bedroom community of about 1,400. Although you wouldn’t get your oil changed in an hour, the mechanic was an honest guy who wouldn’t try to upsell you unless he did notice something that was direly needed.

When he wasn’t under the hood of someone’s vehicle, he was in a fire truck. This week, my village lost the man who was our fire chief for 38 years.

Faith doesn’t travel much faster than in a firetruck, the pastor said at his funeral. This guy helped people at their worst, when their cars weren’t working or when fire took their possessions, and possibly some lives.

His life ended after a call, while trying to get cars fixed for folks needing them for holiday travel. He died with his boots on, they said.

They did a final call to the chief, calling him home for a rest he didn’t take in life. He was escorted to his final resting place by a fire truck, and honored along the way by the community he served for more than 40 years.

Courage, honor and value were printed on a plaque laid next to his coffin, as a dedication to all firefighters. Few people wear these words in life. The longtime chief of a volunteer fire department in a rural village lives those words, while being just an ordinary guy. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Divided Moon - now available in paperback


I know some of you have been waiting for this news along with me.

Divided Moon is now available in paperback.

Find it here....

DIVIDED MOON in paperback

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Bunny

Every few days this bunny comes and sits by my magnolia tree. He comes in the morning and settles into the same spot where he sits, motionless all day long. Then he leaves sometime in the night and we don’t see him until one morning when he comes to visit again.

He doesn't notice that he is hiding in plain sight. He doesn't know that scrawny magnolia tree couldn't provide shelter for a bug. He doesn't care that children are crashing in and out of my front door just a few feet away from where he sits. Some days, like today, he even closes his eyes. How often have you seen a wild rabbit sleep?

This has been going on for months. At first, I thought the rabbit was stupid. Then I worried he had something wrong with him and told the children to stay away. Now I see him as a gentle presence. If a wild rabbit can sleep on the bare front lawn in a suburban neighborhood filled with children, then there is a chance the rest of us can find peace in this chaotic world we live in.

Peace on Earth. Goodwill toward men.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The eReader Revolution

I bought a Kindle this year, although I resisted for years. I insisted that the feel and smell of a book were crucial to the experience of reading.

They aren’t. Not really. I still love cracking the spine of a new book, but it isn’t that important. I still get a thrill powering up my Kindle to see what is new on my virtual bookshelf.

Sometimes it is better, because there is some instant gratification to electronic publishing. I can get a book in seconds, without driving anywhere.

So today, when I heard a young, reluctant reader was eager to download books to his new iPad, I wanted to applaud this new technology. People love to stare at their little (and big) screens. The younger generations may not remember life without these handy hand-held devices. They may be more comfortable with Kindle for the iPad than they are with hardcover books. Perhaps the traditional book is intimidating and old fashioned. Perhaps they are hiding their bookish tendencies for other reasons. Or maybe it is that a hand-held device you carry with you is more convenient than remembering where you put that library book.

Whatever it is, I hope the digital revolution in literature encourages more reluctant young readers to get lost in a story. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review: The Wednesday Wars – Gary D. Schmidt

I’ve heard about this book for years and always avoided reading it since I am not a fan of war novels.

Turns out it isn’t about a war, at least not outright. The Wednesday Wars is set in 1967, and the Vietnam War is going on in the background. While the war does affect some of the characters, it is mostly setting (and a darn fine job of it). The real story is about the misadventures of Holling Hoodhood. This unfortunate boy is convinced his teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him. Even more unfortunate for Holling, he is now the only kid in class who isn’t Catholic or Jewish, both of which leave school for religious studies once a week. Holling is left alone with Mrs. Baker on Wednesday afternoons, trying to prove he isn’t a complete screwup.

There is a great comedic edge to Holling. You can't help but pull for a guy riding public transportation wearing yellow tights with feathers on his butt or being chased by huge, yellow toothed rats.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Out! The Book is Out!

My debut YA novel, "Divided Moon" is now available!

"Hey, I just met you
And this is cra-zy
But here's my cover
so read me maybe...."

on Amazon
at Barnes and Noble
on Smashwords
at the publisher's website

Available as an e-book for now, coming out in paperback in about a month.

Monday, October 15, 2012


What are you doing in November?

I am going to hole up with a brand spanking new project for the month, thanks to the inspiration and peer pressure of National Novel Writing Month.

If you don’t already know about NaNoWriMo, you can find out more here: In a nutshell, NaNoWriMo challenges writers of all stripes to write a novel in 30 days. Forget perfect prose and plot holes, the goal is to get words on paper (or, more likely, on a Word document). You win by penning 50,000 words by November 30.

I have never won NaNo, and I probably won’t this year either. There have been many great novels that were born from the project, including Cinder, the popular YA debut by Marissa Meyer. (She actually wrote 150,000 words that year during NaNo).

While I won’t win in word count, I will in focus.

That is what I love about November. For one month, I set aside everything else to concentrate on a WIP.  Sometimes that is a rough draft, other years, it is revisions. Creative writing is king during the month of November. By the time I emerge in December, with disheveled hair and a messy house, I hope to have created something awesome. 

Good luck fellow NaNo writers!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: Al Capone Does My Shirts

The school librarian recommended this book to my fifth grade son. I can see why. After browsing the internet, I see this book and its follow up, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, both by Gennifer Choldenko, on recommended lists for boys who don’t like adventure stories.

Not that there isn’t adventure in this book. Young “Moose” Flanagan braves breaching a fence of the yard in a maximum security prison to look for a baseball. That takes guts.

The heart of the story is the relationship between Moose and his autistic sister, Natalie. The meat of the story is the setting. They live on Alcatraz Island in 1935, when the renowned criminal Al Capone is in residence.

Moose is like most kids I know, or maybe he is just like my kids.  He loves his independence and begrudgingly takes on responsibility, which he takes seriously. Yet he is still a kid and drawn into the plots of the cute warden’s daughter and the appeal of the infamous.

Al Capone does not actually appear in the book, but makes a significant impact nonetheless, in a very powerful Al Capone way. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Readers Want....

It is the perennial question for authors, editors, agents, booksellers and librarians. What do readers want? What are the elements of a satisfying read?

I am a lucky member of a middle school book club. I joined this book club with my son when he was in fifth grade, and he has since decided being in a book club is not something that interests him anymore. (Killing me softly, these boys of mine who don’t read enough.)

Lucky for me, there are eager readers in this bunch who allow me to stay without my child in tow. As an author for the young adult and middle grade audiences, I feel privileged to hear what they have to say about what they are reading.

Tonight, I heard these young readers appreciate neat storylines that tie up at the end of a book. Quiet stories “where nobody dies” are sought out by some. Surprising news is that these particular young readers do not like character growth in minor characters. In one case, the mother in the story gives up her obsession with horoscopes, realizing she cannot predict her life from those words on a page. The young reader told me she didn’t like it when the mother gave up her horoscopes, because that was something that made her love the character.

The idea that not all characters need to change is new to me, and I appreciate this input from readers. Most of the advice I hear is from professionals ensconced in the business or writers who broke in or hope to break in. I enjoy the fresh look of a reader looking at the genre for the first time.

I can’t wait for this group to get to YA novels. I hope they don’t kick me out before we get to Cinder. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Author Photo Outtake

I got in front of the camera in my latest attempt to get some decent author photos. (Thank you, Michael Sabina for doing such a great job while trying to beat sundown).

I am not very comfortable in front of the camera. When I am uncomfortable, I talk a lot.

Sometimes I talk with my hands.....

.....or to my hand....

.....and sometimes I don't know what my hand is doing.

I won't be using that photo on the back of my books, but it was too funny not to share.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello, Chicago

The last weekend of summer, before I put away the white shorts and drag out the backpacks, we took a trip to Chicago.

My family is lucky enough to live where Chicago is an easy train ride away. Once we get there, nothing is easy. This small town girl was overwhelmed by the crowds and impatient with the traffic. Glad I didn’t have to drive in it!

We met a Forrest Gump impersonator at Bubba Gump’s. He only comes twice a year, and although he has the accent and costume down, he is no Tom Hanks.

Still, my kids were absolutely star stricken to meet this impersonator of a fictional character. They looked at him with wonder lighting their eyes. It reminded me of what we, as storytellers, give to the world if we are good at our jobs. We give them a world so believable, that people are honored to meet other people who look and act like the characters we created. It is an enormous task, yet a privilege to do this. It is, essentially, what built Disneyland and Disney Worlds. People go to these massive theme parks and come home with star struck children and cameras filled with pictures of awestruck offspring with Disney characters.

We all can’t be Walt Disney, but sometimes even Forrest Gump will do. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I love a walk through a garden. Getting outside and seeing beautiful things relieves stress and inspires creativity for me. I must be aesthetically inclined.

I recently took a guided tour of the Allen Centennial Gardens in Madison, WI. This is a garden in the middle of the university campus (but not supported by university funds, I am told).

It was quite beautiful, and unusually serene against its urban landscape. 

This tree made me think of secret places with that opening that looked like a doorway to wonder. 

These had to be painted plants in this "natural" garden, because I could not get over their color. 

Who wouldn't want to ponder plots and characters on this bridge?

One last piece of garden as inspiration. This French garden is supposed to mimic a tapestry. I loved the idea of a garden imitating such permanent art. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Point of View – Pick One (some exceptions allowed)

A plea to authors, especially the aspiring kind: choose one point of view. I promise, it will do your book a world of good.

I spend a lot of time reading and critiquing and reviewing books at various points of publication. One of my biggest pet peeves is when the point of view shifts. I get nice and comfortable in the head of the protagonist, and I am bulleted to another head. Most often, the shifts are unnecessary and detract from a good story. They chop it up.

Now, I know it can be done well. "Flipped," by Wendelin Van Draanen, is famously written from two different character's perspectives. "Little Women" is written from an omniscient point of view, dropping in on each character in turn (although it should be noted this was published so long ago, it may not be relevant to today's market). 

These are fine examples of doing it right, and if your story demands more than one point of view, study the masters on how it was done before. Most of the time, chapter breaks help the reader get in the right head. Changing the speaker by scene breaks gets messy. Really messy. You don't want your reader wondering who is in charge while reading your book. 






Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

I would like to thank John Green for writing this book, “The Fault In Our Stars,” (Dutton, 2012) because it saved my summer. I have been on a string of disappointing reads, which I won’t bother to tell you about on this blog. I have no reason to write about books I wouldn’t recommend.

“The Fault In Our Stars,” does not disappoint. Although there are examples of delicious vocabulary and deep thoughts instilled in the narrative, it does not impede the rate at which I could consume the story. Extremely readable with a tragically likeable main character, Hazel, Green’s newest novel captures the state of being for teenagers. Hazel has terminal cancer, but has survived for a surprising number of years. Her trauma isn’t one of insistence, but a state of perpetuity living with a terminal illness she literally carries with her in the form of an oxygen tank. Her years are short, but her days are long.

I laughed, I cried, and then I wanted to read it all over again.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The 7 Cs of Success

My family recently attended a program at Northwestern University on Careers of the Future. The intent was to inspire my middle schooler to look beyond study hall and consider his future. I hoped he would be inspired to better strategize his academics toward getting into college. 

The surprise keynote speakers for the hubs and I turned out to be a highlight. Drs. Virginia H. Burney and Kristie Speirs Neumeister gave us a recipe for success, and there are only seven ingredients….

  1. Critical Thinking – (learn to formulate questions, evaluate your source, organize the information, analyze the relevance, synthesize it into your own words and reflect on what you learn) There are many steps to critical thinking. It is no wonder it is the #1 key to success.

  1. Communication – written, oral, body language. Clear communication is necessary.

  1. Confidence

  1. Content knowledge – specifically, they said upper level math courses were important and predictive of college completion. You don’t just go to college, you should come out with a degree.

  1. Commitment – this includes all those key words for success….resilience, persistence, working hard, work ethic

  1. Collaboration - learn to work with others. The village raises the child. The village can do a lot of things.

  1. Creative Thinking – different from critical thinking. We are moving from the Information Age to the Innovation Age. Creative thinking is vital for survival in an Innovative Age. Everyone is looking for something new. Technology is constantly changing and folks have to adapt and work with it.

Now that I have these keys to success, I should be a millionaire soon, right? If only I took more math classes. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

In Editing

Many of my friends and family have been asking about the book. Publishing takes a long time, and it probably seems like forever since I announced I had a book deal. It really hasn't been that long. Being a writer requires a lot of patience. I don't have a lot of patience, but I have learned to exercise this when it comes to my writing life (while getting immediate satisfaction elsewhere, like defeating the zombies in Plants vs. Zombies).

I am happy to announce that we are in editing. Right now, as I type this, I should be reviewing edited material and send changes to my editor. 

Somehow, the editor turns this working copy into a master copy that gets edited again (and maybe again, I don't know). This becomes the book. 

I am enjoying dipping into "Divided Moon" again. I can’t wait to share it with the world. I think it will give readers a wonderful ride. The hard part of editing it is slowing down. I still get carried away by the story. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Book Review: The Year the Swallows Came Early

"The Year the Swallows Came Early" by Kathryn Fitzmaurice (The Bowen Press, 2009) is the perfect summer read. Set in California, one can almost smell the salty air of the ocean breezes in this quiet tale about the year Eleanor “Groovy” Robinson turned 11, and the swallows came early.

The book opens with Groovy’s father being arrested in front of her. The next 100 pages is her trying to find out why.

The book has a vivid theme of forgiveness, and reminds the reader how harmful it is to hold onto anger and draw too quick conclusions. There is always another side of the story, which may not seem any better, but should be heard. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cover Art

I would like to unveil the cover art for my debut novel, which will be available soon from Solstice Publishing. I am pretty sure this will be the final version. The cover artist is Kelly Abell, who may no longer be speaking to me after all the tweaks I suggested. Mastery is in the revision, that is what I always say. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Soundtrack of the Story

I have recently heard that novels come with soundtracks these days. They aren’t widely publicized, but can be found on blogs and other places in the internet world.

I don’t typically write with music. I write amidst chaos. If it isn’t the kids, it is my half deaf husband watching a movie at 10 decibels beyond ear splitting in the next room.

Maybe a little music would be nice.

“Divided Moon” takes place in the 90s. Its readers may be too young to remember “the grunge” years. They might like the music. I think Kurt Cobain (“Smells Like Teen Spirit”) needs to make this playlist. MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” seems fitting in parts. Prince needs to be there too, along with some soulful songs by Sinead O’Connor.

I am not sure how a soundtrack works for a novel. When I think of a soundtrack, I think movie. However, I often hear the book is better than the movie, so maybe making a soundtrack before selling movie rights is even better.

Do you read with music in your head? Does a soundtrack enhance the reading experience?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sold! Childhood Summers

When I was a teen, my family owned a trailer home parked in a court at Popp’s Resort near Crivitz, WI. This isn’t the trailer park you are thinking, with groups of trailers separated by wooden decks and awnings. Oh wait, it is what you are thinking, but this trailer park backs up to the north woods. There is a boat dock at the end of the road and boat trailers parked in front of every other trailer. Fire pits are works of art and there are friendly neighbors on those wooden decks.

This is where I spent every summer from age 10 to 18. This is where I learned to water ski. This is where I tried my first cigarette. This is where I kissed a boy for the first time, and where I learned things change from one summer to the next. One year S P is my friend. The next summer, he is a sexy guy with a condom in his pocket hoping his stories about bears in the woods will make me scared enough to run into his arms. :o

As if a bear is more threatening than a teenage boy with a condom.

Life was pretty isolated at the trailer. 

Cell phones didn’t exist yet. The only phone was at the park office. The owner had to find us if there was an emergency. There was only one channel on tv, and all it showed was NASCAR racing, anchoring my dad to the living room most of the time. I had wooded trails, water and a smattering of friends to keep me busy. I gathered wild blueberries, learned to swim by avoiding drowning, discovered poison ivy and once saw a cougar from “the rock.”

My last stay at the trailer was days after my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We sat around the fire for one last time, talking about life, and endings. He died two weeks later.

This weekend was another ending. Mom sold the trailer. She held onto it for a long time, but the upkeep was too much for her. It seems none of the kids took a strong liking to the trailer in the woods, although at least one of my brothers really likes NASCAR. I prefer my vacations in the city, far away from wood ticks, leeches….and bears;).

I took one more trip north to say goodbye to the trailer, and to the summers of my youth, to clean out the trailer. I came home with a van full of 1980 circa radio alarm clocks and fans of every shape and size, and a head full of memories. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Need Inspiration? Take a Shower!

I have had more plot problems solved in the shower than I can count. The entire premise of my current work-in-progress was hatched while shampooing my hair. I had a different book mapped out - characters sketched, outline written, key scenes done - but the book was too depressing to write.

Then, under the warm spray of the shower, comes an idea that invigorated my work….a completely different character with a completely different problem, but under the same theme. It was brilliant.

And it came from the shower.

I hear the shower is equally inspiring for other writers. Maybe it is inspiring for people in other professions, but I don’t ask them about their processes. If accountants discover budget holes in the shower, they don’t talk about it much.

What is it about a shower? They are comfortable places. We are isolated from the rest of the world, unless you have a baby or toddler in the room. Even then, the water muffles the sounds (not that I ever let a baby cry while I took a shower….without calling out comforting words from time to time from behind the refuge behind the curtain. Hey even busy moms get dirty.)

Maybe it is the repetition and lack of thought put into a shower. It is so routine, it has become the subject of punch lines…..lather, rinse, repeat. This routine frees our minds to think deeper. The isolation gives us a lack of interruption.

Hmmmm, too bad my laptop isn’t waterproof. I could get some serious work done in there. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

10 Great Reasons to Read

#10 – You can do it anywhere. Whether you read a paper book, or on an e-reader, tablet or phone, books are very portable. Bring one along to pass the time while standing in line, riding in the car or sitting through study hall. Don’t read while driving though;)

#9 – Reading relieves stress. The act of reading is relaxing and an escape for the mind.

#8 – You can visit far away places without leaving home. Stories take place everywhere and anywhere. Perhaps even on Mars.

#7 – You can travel in time. Stories capture a moment in time. Read about the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, Tudor England or the Civil War.

#6 – Books make you ask “what if?” by taking you places that never existed, with people or things that only happen because of the author’s imagination. 

#5 – Books can make you feel less alone. If you have a problem, there is probably a character with the same problem. Read about people like you.

#4 – Discover people who are not like you. Learn more about what it is like to be Amish, a runaway slave in the Underground Railroad, or a German princess who becomes the Empress of Russia.

#3 – Reading gives you interesting things to talk about. Readers are exposed to a variety of people, places and ideas. This gives them plenty to talk about.

#2 – Learn to write better. The act of reading helps improve spelling, grammar and vocabulary just due to exposure.

#1 – There is something for everyone. If you don’t like reading, you may not have found the right genre yet. Learn more about yourself by finding out what books you like to read. Perhaps you like an adventure tale, or historical fiction, fantasy or biographies. There are thousands of subjects and oodles of authors penning their stories for you to discover.

Happy reading!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Philippa Gregory Does YA

Philippa Gregory is one of my favorite authors. “The Other Boleyn Girl” brought Anne Boleyn alive in another light, through the eyes of her sister Mary.

History became a very real setting while I read that book. I never thought about Anne Boleyn’s family, or knew how steamy it was in the royal court of England. I read a few of Gregory’s other tales, and was impressed with her grasp of historical characters and her ability to tell their stories in a believable and engaging manner. Too often historical fiction reads like a history lesson. Not so with Gregory’s character driven tales.

I was over the moon excited to hear Gregory has written some books for the YA audience. Finally we get to see some real princesses, and not the kind created by Disney.

“Changeling” is the newest in the Order of the Darkness series, authored by Philippa Gregory for the YA audience and scheduled for release at the end of May. 2012. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there is a princess in there, but a girl accused of witchcraft and sent to a nunnery in Italy in 1453. She meets Luca, a boy who is cast out of his religious order, but involved in a secret mission from the Pope to find evil.

I can’t wait to read it. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
James Dashner
Delacorte Press (2009)

My teen recommended this book to me. I could not wait to get my hands on a book that so enthralled my kid, he got in trouble for reading it in class.

I can understand his love for “The Maze Runner.” This is the book for a preteen/teen boy. All the characters but one are male, and the token female character is in a coma for half of the book. They are left to live in a maze inhabited by deadly mechanical monsters called Grievers. The boys are called Gladers, named after the gathering area inside the maze with high walls that close at night, keeping them mostly safe from the Grievers. The boys create a society, with jobs and strict rules about order. They also invent their own street language, allowing these teen boys to swear while the book retains a PG rating.

The main character, Thomas, arrives in the Glade confused about his surroundings and ambitious about his role in it. The girl arrives the next day and becomes a catalyst for change. Her arrival, Thomas’ ambition and the change makes some suspicious of Thomas and others sure he is the key to solving the maze.

It is unclear what is so special about Thomas, why he can do and discover things more experienced boys haven’t in two years in the maze. His character is likeable for his compassion and his determination, which make the reader believe Thomas could be the boy to solve the maze before the Grievers destroy all of them.

The pace starts out as a slow jog through a mist of confusion and ends in a gallop toward a new cloud, presumably addressed in the sequel, “The Scorch Trials.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Summer Reading List

A cold, rainy day in April is as good as time as any to create a summer reading list. The last of my long list of library requests came in today. It is "Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman" by Robert K. Massie. I requested it in January. Now that I hold this tome in my hands, I can see why I had to wait so long. It is 500 pages with small, compact type. Although it is a new book, the library gives patrons a month with this one rather than the usual 14 days. I will probably need a month. I read relatively slowly.

It looks good though. I only read the cover copy, and the readability of the voice and tone made the massiveness of this book instantly more manageable.

Before I start reading that, I need my summer reading plan. These are the books I have on my summer reading list. Many of them are YA. This list is a work in progress and I am looking for more suggestions!

The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

This book looks filled with imperfect characters with a theme of forgiveness. It is hard to forgive people who have wronged you, especially for an 11 year old girl whose father has gambled away her future. Molly O'Neill at HarperCollins suggested this book in an interview about great middle grade fiction.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I am not a fan of dystopian worlds. Well, that is not always true. I did like the Hunger Games trilogy. I have heard that level of buzz about this book. Seriously. I am going to read it just to see what the fuss is about. Stay tuned to hear my thoughts on it when I get to it. 

This was recommended to me by my favorite Canadian reader. It sounds like an extraordinary book about a child of two teenagers, half orphaned, coming of age in a haze of drugs, foster care and juvenile detention. 

I need to catch up on these lauded tales from Jeffrey Eugenides.

What is on your summer reading list? Please share. I need some more ideas. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Elevator Pitch

When you tell people you have a book coming out, they tend to ask you what it is about. Then I have to explain the people I made up and the problems I forced on them while trying not to sound like a lunatic.

This is something I have avoided for some time. Although my critique group is intimate with the story, and one or two of my more forgiving and indulgent friends who let me talk out story problems have a vague idea, everyone else has no idea what this book is about. My own mother did not know until last week. When I finally told her, she asked me why I wrote about that, which I immediately took as criticism.

So I am working on my elevator pitch. This is one or two lines that sums up the story and gives the hook. It has to be well rehearsed and quick, in case an agent from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency walks onto your elevator and you have two floors to make her drop to her knees and beg to represent you.

"Divided Moon" sold before I got the chance to ride many elevators in New York City. Not that I would really stalk the elevators used by editors and agents. The Andrea Brown Literary Agency doesn't have an office in New York City. Now I have to write my elevator pitch to explain to my friends and family what I have been doing in obscurity the last five years.

Here is what I have:
"Divided Moon" is about arranged marriage in America. The main character is the 15-year-old daughter of Hmong immigrants. What her parents think is normal is not even close for a teenage girl who grew up in America.

Yeah, that needs some tweaking.

If my editor happens to be reading this, I promise to work on those other things too, right after I nail this elevator pitch. I still have to tell my brother about the book.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Premier Post

Hello out there! Is there anybody watching? Posting on a blog for the first time is something like a Pink Floyd song. If you are too young to know who Pink Floyd is, look them up on YouTube. It will be worth your time. Comfortably Numb is what I am hearing in my head right now. No, I am hearing it for real, because I had to check YouTube to see what comes up if you search Pink Floyd. Good stuff, right there.

If you are viewing this blog, you must be a very good friend or have a keen interest in publishing. I signed a contract this very day with Solstice Publishing to hand over my first YA novel, "Divided Moon." It is exciting and terrifying at the same time. I worked on this novel for years and have come to love it with an intimacy only a novelist who has revisited scenes 1,000 times can know. It truly is like handing over a baby, except that baby has grown to become a pretty cool manuscript that just might find its wings.

Enough about that, (buy it at Amazon), what do you think about the penny? Canada has recently stopped making the penny. I didn't know they HAD a penny, and I have been there numerous times. Wisconsin is not far from Canada. Just a little trip across the border.

Do you think the US should follow suit? It is true that the penny costs more than a penny to make, but each penny is used multiple times. ( . Still, I don't use many pennies. They just clutter the bottom of my purse and get annoying if you need multiple pennies to buy stuff. They are easy to save though. Maybe we need a penny savings campaign that will make us all rich in 20 years or so.