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Dystopian Humor

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The Accidental Activist

The Accidental Activist

When my fourth-grade class began a unit on current events, math was the only thing that interested me less. That feeling hasn’t changed. I don’t watch the news. I don’t support political candidates or claim a political affiliation. I only get interested in what’s going on in […]

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Here We Go Again!

Here We Go Again!

A year ago, I was almost a novelist. Counteract, the first volume in the Resistance Series, was in the queue for editing at my publisher, and another author (well-meaning, of course) told me I should write as many books as I could as fast as I could, […]

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Guest Post: Dystopian Book Therapy by Jenna Grammer

Guest Post: Dystopian Book Therapy by Jenna Grammer

I had the pleasure of meeting Jenna during a school visit last October. She’s a 7th grader at Plains Junior School in West Chester, Ohio, in Mrs. Kniffen’s Language Arts class, and hopes to be a writer or journalist when she grows up. Today, Jenna’s post shares […]

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Classroom Visits? Yes, Please!!

Classroom Visits? Yes, Please!!

Like many authors these days, my book tour for Counteract has been largely of the virtual variety. The book launch back in August featured a 10-day blog tour, during which Counteract was featured on blogs on three continents. I’ve been actively soliciting reviews from book bloggers since […]

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Looking Back on Other Drafts of Counteract: Deleted Opening Scene

Looking Back on Other Drafts of Counteract: Deleted Opening Scene

Since Counteract’s release, I’ve been giving a lot of talks at middle schools and high schools, and I’m often asked how Counteract changed through its various drafts. Today, I’m going to share the next-to-last version of the opening chapter, which gives a little more insight to Careen’s […]

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Glenbard is Lisa’s Galt’s Gulch: The Girl Who Owned a City

Glenbard is Lisa’s Galt’s Gulch: The Girl Who Owned a City

At a recent talk, I cited The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993) as the first YA dystopian book, but at the time I hadn’t read The Girl Who Owned a City by O. T. Nelson. First published in 1975, it has been in the curricula in elementary […]

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Meet My Character: Careen Catecher of Counteract and Resist

Meet My Character: Careen Catecher of Counteract and Resist

When I was writing Counteract, my protagonist Careen Catecher wasn’t shy about speaking up and sharing her opinions about the narrative. In fact, she was adamant that I deviate from my carefully-planned outline and re-write a scene the way she thought it should go. Bossy? Maybe. But […]

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That Could Never Happen: A Look at The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

That Could Never Happen: A Look at The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

When “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson first appeared in The New Yorker in June 1948, people averted their eyes. Many canceled their subscription to the magazine. Jackson received hate mail. People wrote to ask if the short story were fiction—and if not, where did these outlandish rituals […]

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Meet My Character: Wes Carraway of Counteract and Resist

Meet My Character: Wes Carraway of Counteract and Resist

Wes Carraway is a twenty-one year-old member of the Quadrant Marshals, the quasi-military police force that keeps the population safe from terrorist infiltration. Wes is tall, dark, and intimidating. He’s been trained to use his physical prowess. He’s no stranger to guns and cars, thanks to his […]

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Resist: Book Two of the Resistance Series won a Silver Medal in the 2016 International Wishing Shelf Book Awards
Resist was named Best YA Fiction 2016 by the Texas Association of Authors Book Awards