Selected Works

A 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 new YA novel
A collection of essays about Fairy Tales

Quick Links

Transformations in Writing

Conclusions

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.

Valentines Day

February 14, 2012

Tags: new novel, writing process

What is there to say when you are writing the way I have been writing? There is no way to make it interesting--it is solitary, introspective, internal; it moves underneath ordinary life. All I can say about my work this month is that sentences are becoming paragraphs. Paragraphs are becoming pages. I am grateful (more…)

Digging In

January 11, 2012

Tags: writing process, Four Secrets, new novel

Currently I am awaiting the galleys for FOUR SECRETS, also awaiting a response to my novel THE BEETLE BOY and working steadily on the short stories that will comprise the novel HOW SHE LEFT. January is proving to be a month during which I can write every day, even it it is only for (more…)

Dreams

July 30, 2011

Tags: new novel, writing

Epigram for the new novel: "Dreams are the touchstones of our character." Henry David Thoreau

I am nervous about my newly finished novel relying so heavily on the character's ongoing nightmares. It seems a tricky conceit, and one that is easy for writers to abuse. However, it is crucial to the plot that my (more…)