Selected Works

A Rather Adult Young Adult Novel, 2014
A Young Adult novel, 2012
Adults and Young Adults
A 2010 Green Earth Book Awards Honor Book
Younger Readers
A new twist to a very old story. Beautifully illustrated by Heather Solomon.
A tall tale from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Winner of the 2002 Charlotte Zolotow Award for best writing in a picture book. Available in hardcover and paperback.
Works in Progress
A middle grade novel
A collection of essays about Fairy Tales

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Transformations in Writing


June 28, 2013

Tags: writing life, new novel, Four Secrets

revising a new novel
I have been thinking a lot about conclusions and concluding chapters and final paragraphs and final sentences as I mentally prepare to revise and polish what will be my next novel, published by Carolrhoda Lab in 2014. I read a fine and feisty blog review of my novel FOUR SECRETS; the reviewer said, as many reviewers have said, "I could not put this one down." She also says in the review that "the ending wasn't 100% satisfying."

This got me to thinking about HOW MANY TIMES in my 30-year writing career I have heard this sort of remark about my novels. I would have to say that at least every one of my now nine novels has had a reviewer or a reader express reservations about the way I conclude a novel--saying that not every issue in the novel is clearly resolved. With this goes an assumption that I have somehow been careless about my ending(s). When in fact I obsess and revise and rework my final chapters to the word, making the story's ending EXACTLY as I want it--suggestive of resolution and transformation but not hard and fast. Not crystal clear. For some, not 100% satisfying. I find myself wondering if this will also be said about my new novel. It doesn't matter. My favorite novels always end mysteriously, suggestively, with subtle arrows pointing toward hope and new awareness. And this is the way I write them. This is they way I conclude them. This is how I roll.

A Happily Scattered Writer

June 3, 2013

Tags: Folktales, writing life, Clever Beatrice

Wonderful Author Visit
Sometimes I do feel that I wear too many hats as a writer. I have so many different in-progress projects--it's one of the reasons that my office is always stacked and piled with different materials. I flit from project to project, moving this or that along a little further, only rarely finishing something. Sometimes I look at this tendency in myself and wonder what is has cost me to be a creative person whose energies are always scattered.

In May I did several end-of-the-year school visits to talk about Folktales in general and my own original folktales in particular. The kids were so terrific. Putting together these presentations, and presenting them , took a tremendous amount of planning and preparing. Not to mention the traveling, searching for schools in other parts of Michigan. It took me far, far away from what I am doing now--the new novel, my editing tasks, my essays about my childhood. Far, far away. But I wouldn't have missed being in those schools for the world. Look at these beautiful children. Their smiles. I am so happy that this is still part of what I do--share folktales, and my love for these traditional stories, with young readers.