YOUR SECRET’S NOT SAFE WITH ME Aesthetics

In the days leading up to Pitch Wars, mentees posted various novel aesthetics on Twitter, and I thought it would be fun to compile them all here on my blog. I’ve mentioned this before, but my idea for this manuscript started with the setting in the middle of the novel. We were on our annual…

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YA Interview & Giveaway: CATALYST & FORGOTTEN by Kristin Smith

As promised, today I’m featuring an interview with the second of my Pitch Wars mentors, Kristin Smith. Her debut, CATALYST, came out in 2016, followed by the sequel, FORGOTTEN, just last month. I’m thrilled to be giving away e-books of both CATALYST and FORGOTTEN, and Kristin is adding swag–signed bookmarks, a postcard, and a magnet!…

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6 Reasons You Should Critique for Others While Revising

Did you miss me? I know I threw that four years of querying post out there and then deserted the blog for a couple of weeks. My family went to the Lake of the Ozarks, and then I had a week of craziness catching up with some deadlines. But I’m back! So, I’m in the…

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Capturing the Details

Yesterday my four-year-old daughter discovered my old digital camera sitting on my desk and asked if she could have it. Since we’ve replaced it with a newer camera and our son already has a camera, I said, “Sure.” She immediately went off and started snapping pictures. What caught my attention wasn’t the fact that she…

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Before the Draft: Research

It’s always interesting to me to read about other writers’ processes for getting ready to draft. Ever since I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2011, I’m firmly in the fast draft camp. I don’t necessarily finish a draft in a month, but I have set word goals every day, and I don’t revise anything until I’ve…

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Some Stories Never Get Old

Last week I had some down time and decided to check out a phenomenon I’d heard about on Twitter: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I was immediately hooked. What an innovative way to retell this timeless story! I totally neglected my reading the past week, instead watching 10-12 episodes every night after my kids went to…

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Missouri SCBWI Conference Recap, Part 1

I attended the Missouri SCBWI conference on Saturday. I drafted a single post with my key takeaways, but it was too long, so I’m splitting it into two. You’ll get Part 1 today and Part 2 tomorrow. The first keynote speaker was the very entertaining David Harrison, a prolific author who’s been publishing since the…

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

It’s interesting to hear where writers get their story ideas. My first novel was a conglomeration of a bunch of different things I liked to read. I couldn’t nail down the genre, and that’s a big part of why it ultimately didn’t work. The second one came out of a dream that wouldn’t leave me…

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