Coping with Rejection

During World Read Aloud Day, a student asked me: Have you been rejected before and how did you deal with the disappointment? First of all: Unfortunately, rejection is part of life as a writer. It’s extremely rare for an author’s first published novel to also be the first book they’ve written, particularly in traditional publishing….

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Why Characters’ Traumatic Experiences Sometimes Feel So Real

Imagine planning your vacation for months, counting down the days. You set your alarm bright and early, take an Uber to the airport, check your bags, and settle in to wait at the gate. The flight’s a bit delayed, but then you board. The pilot comes on and says, “Folks, there was a lot of…

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I See What You Did There (With That Twist)

Happy Spring! At least it feels like spring to me, since spring break starts in about six or so hours. It’s a bit dreary here in Missouri at the moment, but if we wait a few days, that will change. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait for it, as I’m heading to Disney World! (Cue…

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Choosing the Right Words for Your Novel

Happy February! Last week, I participated in World Read Aloud Day for the third consecutive year. For the unfamiliar, World Read Aloud Day is an annual celebration of the power of reading aloud sponsored by LitWorld and Scholastic. Authors offer free virtual school visits during this one day of the year. Typically the visits include…

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So Many Ideas, But Which One Do I Write?

Happy November! It’s my birthday month, and all my favorite stores have already been making me feel special with an influx of coupons and rewards. If you’d like to do something nice as well, check out my November newsletter, out today, for a list of 10 ways you can support authors. I’d love for you…

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Will Teen Readers Recognize that Movie/TV Show Reference?

Happy October! I hope you’re enjoying the fall. I’m still hard at work revising my current manuscript. It’s taking a bit longer than I expected–probably because of that total restructure. But maybe also because I keep getting distracted. As a result, I’ve been taking another social media break. I’m just popping back on this week…

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How I Restructured My Work In Progress Using Save the Cat

Happy September, friends! You may recall a few months ago I talked about tackling a self-edit for my current manuscript. One thing I didn’t get into during those posts is that I had tried something rather ambitious when I drafted the book–and I already knew it might not work. In the first step I mentioned…

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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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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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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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