Easy Words & Phrases You Can Cut to Tighten Your Manuscript

How’s everyone’s summer going? I just returned from New York with my family, where we filled the week with Broadway shows and all the major tourist attractions you’d expect. It occurred to me on our return home that both of my books have ties to New York. Jenny (Your Life Has Been Delayed) boards a…

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How I Self-Edit A First Draft

Happy summer! It’s in full swing here–at least schedule wise. The weather has been unusually cool the past few days thanks to a storm that came through over the weekend, but I expect the heat to return soon. Missouri is notorious for jumping from 60 degrees to 90 in a single week. On Friday, I…

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Introducing the My Second Impression of You Book Club Kit!

I’m excited to introduce the My Second Impression of You Book Club Kit! I know I’ve told this story before, but maybe you’re new here so it’s new to you… Several years ago, my son and a friend hosted a book club. As they were in elementary school, I assisted with planning. You can probably imagine that…

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Why I Stop Writing When I Reach My Daily Word Count Goal

Happy April! Spring is in full swing here in Missouri now–and it even feels like it! I took some visiting family downtown to the Gateway Arch yesterday, and it was lovely walking around, soaking in the sun. My April newsletter is out today, with a fun extra for My Second Impression of You readers. It includes a…

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Why I Love Writing Out of Order

Who’s ready for spring? I know I am. It may not officially be here yet, but as of the end of the school day, spring break is! I’m so ready. As a result, my March newsletter is out a few days early. In addition to the writing topic here, it also includes a sneak peek…

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Austen, Twilight, and Other Book-to-Screen Ramblings

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re celebrating with loved ones. I’m celebrating by sending out my monthly newsletter and talking about one of my favorite topics–book-to-screen adaptations. In addition to this topic, the newsletter also includes a “Who’s Your Character Valentine?” quiz featuring the main characters and love interests from Your Life Has Been Delayed…

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Don’t Get in a Rut with Your Writing Process

Happy New Year! Remember how I said last month that I always have to know where the story is going to get to the end? I mean, that’s probably still true. But this past month has also reminded me that I should never say I’m always going to do something a certain way, because then…

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What I Read in 2022

Happy New Year’s Eve! Per tradition, I’m wrapping up the year by sharing my 2022 reading list and statistics. My reading was a bit down this year, from 88 books in 2021 to 80 in 2022. Those 80 books broke down to: 12 middle grade 54 young adult 14 adult Most of those adult books…

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All About Brainstorming

What’s the first thing you do when you start working on a new project? Do you dive right into writing, do you let the idea simmer, or do you start somewhere else? For me, the starting point is brainstorming, then outlining, with research sort of wrapped into both of those steps. For the writers following…

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FLIRTING WITH FATE Plus a Few Other YA Books You Should Read

Happy Cyber Monday! Looking for some books to order? I have some suggestions! Of course, if you’d like to order mine, that would be awesome too, and signed copies make extra-awesome gifts! You can get signed copies of MY SECOND IMPRESSION OF YOU at The Novel Neighbor, Main Street Books, Left Bank Books or Parnassus…

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Revision Tip: Why You Should Read Your Manuscript Aloud

Before I get into today’s topic, I want to mention that my November newsletter is out today, and in particular, I have several events coming up over the next month. I have two signings at St. Louis Barnes & Noble stores, a virtual panel you can tune in to from anywhere, and will be participating…

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