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Visualizing Your Characters

Visualizing Your Characters

It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when characters depicted on the cover of a book don’t match the author’s description of them in the story. Part of the fun of reading is using your imagination, but we can’t help being influenced by artwork associated with a […]

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Preparing For the New Arrival

Preparing For the New Arrival

I’m preparing to welcome a new ink-and-paper child into the world, and just as if I were awaiting a new arrival of the flesh-and-blood variety, I feel the need to nest. Resist, the second book in The Resistance Series, will be joining its older sibling, Counteract, this […]

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Choreograph Your Characters: 6 Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Choreograph Your Characters: 6 Tips for Writing Action Scenes

I’m a dance teacher and choreographer-turned author. I’m retired from teaching in a studio setting, and writing is my primary focus now, but I satisfy my passion for dance by choreographing middle school and high school musical theater productions. My daughter recently observed, “Mom, your choreography has […]

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Dystopian Humor

Image from Toothpaste for Dinner.com  

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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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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