Welcome! Please sit down, make yourself comfortable, and have a brownie or three...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What season is it?

View from my front porch this morning.

I love a good snowfall. I really do. I love the frosting it puts on the mountains and I love the holiday-ish feeling that the sight of snow always gives me. And I know that I'm a lucky lady to be in a situation where my family has a home and cars that the snow can fall on. I know all of that.

But this is becoming tiresome.

No, I do not want to build a snowman.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour (and 2 MG titles you don’t want to miss!)

Pirate Pens: Essential for Drafting

This blog tour is where writers/authors answer questions about their writing process. Anna Schumacher, author of END TIMES (out from Penguin in May) posted hers last week and tagged me to participate. You can check out her writing process HERE.

What am I working on?
I’m working on edits for NOOKS & CRANNIES (coming summer 2015 from Simon & Schuster), a middle grade novel set in the Lake District of England that was pitched as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Clue.  With lots of characters and a mystery-in-a-manor-house vibe, it’s been a fun one to work on. I’m also drafting a new idea set in 1830s Ireland.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I love all genres of middle grade and have to assume that all those voices/stories/plots have seeped into my writing approach over the years, so I wouldn't necessarily say that my writing differs distinctly from what’s been written in the past or what’s out there now. In terms of historical fiction (my stories so far tend to be set in the past), I think I try to straddle the line between straight historical and something more playful—my ideas are set during specific times and I do research to add certain details, but then I end up having a somewhat exaggerated  bent to it. There’s no real fantasy or magic in my writing (yet!), but I think it generally borders on something that could garner reader responses of “Hey, this isn't realistic!” to which I might respond, “You’re right! That’s what’s so nice about writing fiction~ sometimes you get to break rules and be a little bit ridiculous or fantastical, even when writing within a historical time/place.”

Why do I write what I do?
I write middle grade because those are the books that initially solidified a love of reading for me and I’m nostalgic for that time in my life. As for why I write in the genres I do (mainly historical time periods), I don’t know. Though contemporary and fantasy MG books are among my favorites, I can’t seem to follow through with writing ideas in those genres (at least not yet, but I’ll keep trying).

How does your writing process work? 
Come up with query-style summary paragraphs for an idea, draft most of a novel, get stuck, resort to actual outlining, finish/polish draft, send to critique partners, revise, send to CPs again, revise again. 
And now, here are two middle grade debut authors who've written novels that I love. Please stop by their blogs and become a follower (they may be posting about their writing process next week and you won’t want to miss any stellar advice they have).

Louise Galveston-
 Louise Galveston is the author of BY THE GRACE OF TODD (Penguin/Razorbill Feb. 27, 2014). She and her husband live in the Midwest with their eleven kids and a parrot. When Louise isn't writing or folding laundry, she directs her local children’s theater, where she’s playwright in residence.

Check out her blog:

Tara Dairman- Tara Dairman 
is a novelist, playwright, and survivor of the world’s longest honeymoon (2 years, 74 countries!). Thanks to her travels, parts of her debut middle-grade novel ALL FOUR STARS (Penguin/Putnam, July 10, 2014) were written in a mall in Brazil, a guesthouse in Morocco, and coffeehouses in Argentina, Cameroon, Gabon, and Tanzania. Revisions took place in the slightly less exotic locale of her parents’ basement in New York.

Check out her blog:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Eternal Winter...

This is a picture of our backyard this morning.

It is APRIL 7th.
(Update: it is now April 13th and our weather forecast calls for 5-8 inches today with 5-9 inches of new accumulation tonight. That's a possible 17 inches of snow.)

I'm fairly certain that the weather has something to do with my daughter listening to the Frozen soundtrack over and over and over and...

She has set off an eternal winter.

Help me, Olaf. I need a warm hug.