I write stories about friendship, redemption and hope for tweens and adults. My stories follow ordinary people on the epic journey of growing up, growing old, growing apart, and coming back together.
Why I write…
I read a lot when I was little, and dreamed, and spent a giant chunk of my time in my head, making things up. I studied English in college, then got a Master’s in Writing and Publishing. I always wanted to write down the ideas, images and characters I imagined. I dreamed of doing that. I talked about writing. I didn’t do it, though. Not regularly.
Then I started writing, and I kept writing every day, and it feels great.
What I’m writing now…
The Secret Life of Stuckie
Twelve-year-old Stuckie is an inventor, a game lover, and a dreamer who avoids conflict by slipping into daydreams where he can safely save the day. But when his best friend, Viv, ditches him and the invention club for volleyball, Stuckie needs to find some real-world courage to get her back. After failing at volleyball tryouts he hatches a scheme to invent a VolleyBetter app that will get Viv back and win him first place at the Invention Convention. With his smarts and a little magic from his daydreams, Stuckie’s making progress and new friends in the real world, but the evil Queen Beetle has the upper hand in his daydreams. He’s not in charge of the daydream script, Viv is still kidnapped, and dangers are slipping from his dreams into Star Valley Middle School. As the showdown with the Queen Beetle draws near, will Stuckie summon his daydream hero to fight for his best friend, or will he discover the real courage is showing up as scared sixth grader, Shiloh Stuck, and facing the fact that sometimes best friends change.
A Treehouse Mystery
After losing her husband, Linus, and hitting rock bottom, Ronnie Dove discovers she’s inherited a treehouse bed and breakfast in an odd little town from Linus’s fire-side ghost stories. She’s eager to leave her pain behind and live a peaceful life in this sleepy town with the 7th-best-stargazing-in-the-world. Business is slow, except for the long-time tenant she inherited with the treehouse. To pass the time Ronnie finds some puzzle-loving friends and starts a club where they solve puzzles and riddles all day, and occasionally check in a guest. Each night she gazes up at the stars through the treehouse skylight and thinks of Linus, who loved the stars as much as she does. She’s beginning to heal.
But when Ronnie’s stubborn tenant, a philanthropist intending to re-develop Ronnie’s neighborhood, is found dead, Ronnie has to solve the crime to prove her innocence. She’s a puzzle-solving master, but she’s also terribly disorganized, and easily distracted. Luckily with a little help from her puzzle club, and assistance from Linus’s ghost stories, Ronnie Dove just might save the day.
Manhattan Has No Stars
Twelve-year-old Strella knows stars. Raised at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, stars are like sisters to Strella, and astronomy is her destiny. But when Mama mysteriously loses her dream job at the observatory and moves them to the starless skies of Manhattan to live with a grandpa she’s never met, Strella decides it’s up to her to fix things.
What I like to read…
My favorite books make me feel along with the characters – joy, loss, fear, hope – I like to feel it all. I love when I am whisked into another world, whether it is based firmly in the reality of our world, or in the odd quirky reality of the author’s imagination. I love to meet eccentric characters, to spend time with funny characters, and to have my heart broken by lonely characters. I enjoy learning something that I didn’t know, about science, or the world, or people.
Some of my favorites for kids:
- Jennifer Richard Jacobson’s Small as an Elephant
- Anne Ursu’s The Real Boy
- Meg Medina’s Mercy Suárez Changes Gears
- Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by Sevens
- Rebecca Caprara’s The Magic of Melwick Orchards
- Louis Sachar’s Holes
- Kate diCamillo’s The Magician’s Elephant, Because of Winn Dixie, and Louisiana’s Way Home
- Amy Makechnie’s The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair and Ten Thousand Tries
- Janae Marks From the Desk of Zoe Washington
- Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book
- Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me
- Nicholas Gannon’s The Doldrums
- Laurel Snyder’s Seven Stories Up
Some of my all-around favorites:
- Anything by Fredrik Backman, especially Bear Town, Britt-Marie Was Here, A Man Called Ove, oh, just all of it. Every single one.
- Matt Haig, especially The Humans, How to Stop Time, and The Midnight Library.
- Richard Powers’ The Overstory
- Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus
- Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and his short story Click Clack the Rattle Bag, particularly when he reads it aloud
- Charles Dickens for his peculiar characters and themes of redemption. My favorites are A Tale of two Cities for the heart-ripping sacrifice of Sydney Carton, and A Christmas Carol, especially the Muppet version 🙂
- Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time for how it opened my imagination
What I like to watch…
- I love Dr. Who for its wit, wonder, heart, and bow ties.
- I love Alfred Hitchcock’s surprising but inevitable endings.
- When I was young, a long time ago, I stayed up late into the night watching episodes of The Twilight Zone, Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories and Ray Bradbury’s Theater. I still love the twists and the feeling that anything can happen.
- I love Studio Ghibli films, like Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro for their imagination, their heart, and their strong heroines.
What blows my mind…
Black holes and dark matter and the science behind how plants communicate with each other and with us. Also I am stymied by a magic trick that my daughters do with a little box that holds a little cube painted with a different color and design on each side. I can’t figure it out. It’s been years. I’m not giving up, though. Don’t tell me if you know. I want to figure it out on my own.
What makes me laugh…
Lots of things make me laugh; goofy faces, silly voices, dumb jokes, the Ha-Ha game. When I really get going, I have a wild laugh. It can startle.
What makes me cry…
A lonely child. Any lonely person. I’d like to write stories that travel all over the world, and across time if possible, just to tell each lonely child, each lonely person, you’re not alone, and you’re amazing.
Me as a Kid…
Goofy, grumpy, happy
Have a question or a comment? Email me at: email@example.com.