If you like to read, write, blog, talk or just share ideas and info about good books, welcome to my blog. Let your friends know about me and my books - and let me know what you'd like to read about!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Am revising my novel WELCOME TO THE VELVET ARMS and preparing to submit it to Boyds Mills Press. I think it is a much tighter story now!

Monday, December 12, 2016

A slight correction to my last post! The CATE convention at which I will be speaking is scheduled for February, not January. The event takes place in Santa Clara, which is very close, so I won't have to drive very far! I will be presenting at the Huntington Beach Author Festival in January.

Monday, November 21, 2016

I have been asked to be a presenter at the California Association for Teachers of English (CATE) this coming January. It will be held in January, so I won't have far to travel!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Had a wonderful time at the California Reading Conference in Visalia this past weekend. While there I attended an author meet and greet and spoke to a number of new teachers about ways to present my books in classroom or library settings.

Monday, October 31, 2016

I will be traveling to Visalia this weekend to be a presenter at the California Reading Association Conference. Keynote speaker is Myron Uhlberg, author of HANDS OF MY FATHER.

Monday, October 10, 2016

At the end of this month I will be presenting a story time of my books at the Pacific Grove Public Library Read-A-Thon. The event will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Just sent out my last manuscript to Lucky Marble Press. That's 26 submissions in one month. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 12, 2016

I sent ZOMBERELLA to Henry Holt and to Boyds Mills. Both are houses that I have worked with before, so I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Since I no longer have an agent, I took it upon myself to submit HOLES ALL AROUND, EXTRA! EXTRA!, THIS LITTLE TURTLE, PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS, and NONNA'S LADLE to twenty different publishers. I am hoping that at least one of the manuscripts will find a home!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Just sent my new manuscript ZOMBERELLA to three agents. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Just got back from a wonderful vacation in Kona, Hawaii! While there I visited the library in Kailua, and they had five of my books!

Monday, July 11, 2016

I am starting a new picture book manuscript entitled ZOMBERELLA. It's a zombie spoof on the Cinderella story. Should be fun!

Monday, June 20, 2016

I sent PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS to a new editor at Pushkin Publications, which is part of Bloomsbury Press. I also sent the manuscript to Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Just finished my rewrite of PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS and I am quite happy with it. In this new version, Nate (the older brother who went off to Canada to avoid the draft) writes letters from Canada to his younger sister Twig, although he can never send them to her. His chapters alternate with the ones told from her point of view - as a person living in the U.S. during the Vietnam War conflict. In this way, I can tell the story from both sides and the readers can see the sacrifices that both of them have to make.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I have begun a rewrite of PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS. In my new version, Nate writes letters to Twig that he can never send. In this way, we see what he is going through as an exile in Canada, while his family still believes he is MIA.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Just got back from a wonderful school visit. The children at Brookside elementary in Beaumont, California, were all so enthusiastic and they made the visit so enjoyable! I spoke to K-5 and was then offered a tasty lunch by the PTA. Many thanks to Debra Rappelt, the school librarian. She put together a fantastic day for me and the kids!

Monday, May 2, 2016

I have been asked to speak at the California Reading Association Conference in November. It will be held at the Convention Center in Visalia. My presentation will cover the writing process, ins and outs of publishing, and lists of books that teachers and librarians can use with their students.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Just sent PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS and EXTRA EXTRA to Bloomsbury for consideration. They worked with me on DESERT ROSE AND HER HIFALUTIN HOG, and the end product was fabulous! I am hoping for another collaboration with that wonderful house.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I have just finished a fun picture book manuscript entitled HOUSE OF CLOWNS. It is the story of a young girl who lives in a boarding house for clowns. When she discovers a stray kitten, mayhem ensues - but each of the clown's particular talents help save the day.

Monday, April 11, 2016

My agent at the Susan Schulman agency, Christine, has taken a job as an editor for a book publishing company, and will no longer be representing me. She has done a terrific job for me and I will miss her. Best of Luck, Christine!

Monday, March 28, 2016

I am beginning a new version of PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS  for my editor at Henry Holt. This rewrite will focus more on the brother's experiences as a conscientious objector in Canada than on the effect of his departure on his younger sister. The book will be aimed at a slightly older audience.

Monday, March 7, 2016

I have been invited to speak at the California Reading Association Conference in Visalia next Fall. While there, I will speak to teachers, librarians and reading specialists about the writing process and the development of ideas.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Can't believe that I just received a wonderful royalty check from Penguin for I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE!  The book came out nearly twenty years ago and is still selling strong! Let's hope for twenty more!

Monday, February 22, 2016

I have been invited to visit Brookside Elementary School in Beaumont, California next May. While there I will speak to all of the students about the writing process, editing, illustrating, publishing, etc. Should be fun!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Recently returned from the CSLA (California School Library Association Conference) and it was a wonderful experience. Along with presenting, I participated in an "Author Speed Dating" session with members of the organization and attended the California Young Reader Medal Awards Dinner. Featured speakers were Audrey Vernick and Jennifer Nielsen.

Monday, February 1, 2016

I will be a featured speaker this weekend at the California School Library Association Convention in San Diego. Other authors who will also be presenting include:

Kathleen Krull
Deborah Lee Rose
Patricia Newman
Jeri Chase Ferris
Audrey Vernick
Jennifer Nielsen
Caroline Arnold
Lisze Bechtold
Marcia Berneger
Mary Ann Fraser
Helen Foster James
Traci Chee
Audrey Coulthurst
Dana Elmendorf
Rahul Kanakia
Tara Sim

Can't wait!

Monday, January 18, 2016

A small correction to last week's post: LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET not only won the Newbery, but was a Caldecott honor selection! I can't wait to start reading all of the winners and honor books...

Monday, January 11, 2016

Well, the winners are in!

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Finding Winnie illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Trombone Shorty illustrated by Bryan Collier
Waiting illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Voice of Freedom, Frannie Lou Hamer illustrated by Ekua Holmes