Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


   Ever wondered how books are printed and what a modern printing press looks like? For most of us writers, we've never even been inside our publisher's offices much less where the books are printed. So, here's a quick and fascinating peek at the birth of a children's book, UK author Helen Ward's Snutt the Ift from Little Pickle Press.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


    My new picture book biography for Goosebottom Books, Sacajawea of the Shoshone, will be released in October 2012. I'm very excited to reveal a sneak preview of the cover.

   Check back here for announcements of my blog tour, book giveaways, discounts and more!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


   So, you have a book coming out? First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! That's a huge accomplishment. And you thought the hard work was done! It really is just beginning. Marketing and Promoting is not usually a writer's forte, but it's the reality in today's publishing climate. So, where do you start to get buzz? A blog tour is a good option. If you arrange one on your own, you can do it from your own home, and it's relatively inexpensive. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind:

1) Find blogs that mirror what you do. For example, I write children's books, so I'd look for blogs that blog about or review children's books.
2) Choose a schedule that works for you. Do you want to have a blog post every day for a month? That might entail finding 30 different bloggers to host you. Or maybe you just want to have a blog post twice a week.
3) Follow your targeted blogs for awhile to see if the posts/guest posts are in line with your expectations. Remember, anyone can set up a blog out there, so all blogs are not made equal. Do those blogs share the same philosophy? Goals? Are they well-written?Professional in tone or presentation (having a post on a sloppy, amateurish blog can reflect on your book and image as an author too)?
4) Offer something in exchange. A free signed copy of your book that the hosts can use for a giveaway. Promote their blogs on your social media sites and your website. Offer to guest blog for them or host them for any future book tours.

Here are some helpful sites I've found to get your blog tour started and for finding those bloggers:

The Quickest Blog Tour Guide Ever
The Book Publicity Blog
A Blogger's Books
KidLitoSphere Central
Dear Editor.com

Happy Blog Touring!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


   As a writer, sometimes what happens on the editor or agent side of things is such a mystery. Why didn't your submission get accepted? Do they really read everything that comes through? What do they look for? Here's one editor's inside view. By the way, my friend Sandie Sing, posted this on Facebook, and it's a gem of a blog with interesting musings and tips from authors and editors. So, I'm happy to pass along for your reading pleasure: The Blue Rose Girls blog.

Friday, February 10, 2012


   Yay! Finally inked my contract with Charlesbridge Publishing.We had done so much editing prior to acquisitions that there were only a few minor tweaks my editor Alyssa Pusey wanted to make. I'm currently working on some back matter (author's note etc.) and eagerly awaiting to see who the illustrator would be. The book is slated for a Jan. 2014 release.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


    I am a guest blogger on Elizabeth Stevens Omlor's blog Banana Peelin' today. It's about the trials and tribulations of getting Goldy Luck and the Three Chans through acquisitions to a signed contract (or contracts as it turned out to be). Publishing can be a long—very long—arduous road, but good things can come to those who wait. So, believe in your story, believe in yourself, keep working on your craft, and never give up!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


   For all you aspiring playwrights out there, the Redwood Writers Club (the Northern California branch of the California Writer's Club, one of the oldest writers' club in the nation), is having their 2nd Annual Playwriting contest. Submit a ten-minute play for a chance to see it produced and performed. It's short, it's fun, and there's nothing like seeing your words come to live on stage. My play "Offing the Witness" was one of 6 selected last year, and I am honored to say that I was asked to be one of the judges this year. Click here for rules and submission guidelines.
   Never written a ten-minute play before? Here are a few sites to get you started:
How to Write a 10-Minute Play
Ten Minute Play Structure
How to Write a Good Ten Minute Play