children's writer

2012 Middle Grade Releases

Feb 28, 2012
I don't talk much about middle grade novels on this blog, but that is going to change starting with this post. Lately, I've spent  a lot of time on Goodreads salivating over all the shiny new novels, and from time to time I'll come across a novel that has an amazing premise. A premise that takes my breath away.

Here are a few middle grade novels that I can wait to get my hands on. 2012 couldn't be a better year for books.

I follow Shannon's blog, and I know a lot of you do too. Keeper of the Lost Cities has to be one of the most anticipated MG novels coming out this year.
I've had my eye on this one for awhile. I love fairy tales and a novel where the main character get transported into one through a book is no exception. This one sounds like it's going to be a really charming read.
The cover was just revealed for this one today over on The Story Siren, and I just knew I had to add it to my wishlist. It's supposed to be a very creepy tale and creepy is right up my ally. I love the cover.

Some others I have my eye on are:

Sway by Amber McRee Turner
The Storm Makers by Jennifer E. Smith
One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

I'm going to be honest and say I don't read a ton of middle grade, and the ones I tend to pick up are almost always contemporary. I want to change that because there are a great selection of middle grade books out there just waiting to be read.

Do you read middle grade books?

The Dragonfly

Feb 23, 2012
Yesterday I worked on a new flash fiction piece, which I haven't done in awhile. I was thinking about subbing it, but truthfully I've never subbed a flash fiction piece before. This is only a snippet because posting the entire thing would be a bit much. I know it ends kind of abruptly, but let me know what you think.

* snip*

Thanks for reading. 

When Inspiration Strikes

Feb 20, 2012
I've heard before that you shouldn't wait for inspiration to strike you should just write. But inspiration is a funny thing. It always seems to come around when you aren't looking for it.

I can remember exactly what inspired my novel ideas, or at least the ones that I am most proud of. I had just finished watching the popular 80s movie Heathers when I came up with the idea for Summer Spell. I was lying on my bed staring up at the ceiling when this scene popped into my head: two young girls standing on a cliff. They were going to jump.

Quickly, I opened up a new document and began typing. Of course that scene changed as I wrote, but the end result was much more satisfying than what I had originally planned. Just like so many of my other novel ideas, Summer Spell was inspired.

On a side note, I see now why so many of you love Pinterest. It is definitely a one stop shop for inspiration. After being on there for only a few hours already I have so many ideas. If you haven't joined you should. I promise you won't regret it.

Sometimes pictures capture so much that words cannot.

So tell me, do you just write or do you wait for inspiration to strike?


Feb 19, 2012
I've been having the urge to start a new blog, but I know that if I do I won't be able to keep up with it. I can hardly keep up with this one. So to satisfy my shiny new blog cravings I've joined Pinterest. I've heard a lot of other writers talking about it and thought that it sounded like something I might be interested in. So far so good. I've already started pinning.

Do you have a Pinterest account? If you do, happy pinning!

WIP Wednesday

Feb 15, 2012
I've never participated in WIP Wednesday, but thought I should since I haven't posted in awhile. So far I've finished the second draft of Love You Madly. If there's one thing I've realized with my writing it's that no matter how big I think my idea is in the beginning my novels always turn out to be pretty quiet. Love You Madly is a quiet novel. Not that it bothers me because I like quiet books. The problem is they are a hard sell, or so I've heard.

Last week I read an awesome post here on how to use Blake Snyder's beat sheet for revising your novel. I haven't attempted to use it yet, but I will in the near future. I want to make this the best novel it can be. I'm still so in love with the characters, Christine, Tommy, Matthew. They all have a special place in my heart as corny as that may sound.

On top of being quiet, Love You Madly is now at 42,000 words. I don't know what it is with me, but my novels are always short. I know I blogged about this in the past. Maybe it's because I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. Maybe I should try outlining again. Though, I find when I outline I always seem to get really bored part of the way through and give up.

I can't wait to finish revising. Truthfully, it's my least favorite part of the novel writing process.

What's your take on quiet novels? Do you love them, hate them?

Critique Partner Blogfest

Feb 10, 2012
Today I'm participating in Apathy's Hero Critique Partner Blogfest. If you would like to join you can find out more here.

Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: Love You Madly

I am currently revising this manuscript, and I would love if someone could give me their overall thoughts on it beta reader style. On the flip side I am also looking for another long term critique partner, someone I can speak to on a regular basis about writing, someone who will be able to give me chapter by chapter feedback when needed. I would be happy to do the same for them.


Her entire life seventeen-year-old Christine Taylor has always looked up to her father. Now that he’s gone, she’s grief-stricken.

People don’t usually go missing in the small town of Riverdale, California, where everyone knows your first and last name. Yet, no one has seen him since the day he left for work. At first, Christine blames her momma for her father leaving them. He always said that she was the stubbornness woman he ever met.

She soon realizes that even though her momma may be stubborn, neglectful, and cruel, she’s all she’s got now. Left to pick up the pieces and take care of her sick momma whose bad habit has finally taken its toll on her, Christine is forced to grow up quicker then she intended to. If it weren’t for her friends, her boyfriend, and sweet, sweet Tommy Baker, Christine doesn’t know what she would do.

More than anything she’s afraid that she might lose her momma to her illness, because of shame she won’t take any hospital care. Her only hope for redemption is by finding out what really happened to her father the day he left for work and never came home, and by making things right with her momma. Or she might lose both of her parents without ever getting the chance to say goodbye.

First 500:


Thanks for reading and commenting.

Guilty Pleasure: Man vs. Wild

Feb 6, 2012
Since discovering that I can watch all of my favorite shows online nowadays I don't watch much TV. I simply don't have the patience anymore to sit through commercials except, of course, for the very special shows like Supernatural and Vampire Diaries, which are both awesome this season by the way.

A show I've recently discovered though has both the entertainment and "eww" factor, and that show is Man vs. Wild. There's just something about watching Bear Grylls, the star of the show, hike through rain forests and deserted islands that always has me on the edge of my seat.

Now, this show isn't for everyone, especially those with a weak stomach because it certainly is explicit when meal time comes around. Watching Bear slaughter a wild pig will definitely have some squirming in their seats.

All in all, Man vs.Wild is a definite guilty pleasure of mine.

What have you been watching lately? Do you have any guilty pleasures?