The Editor is Out… The Writer is In

The Editor is Out

UPDATE: The Lost Branch is finished! See the amazing cover and read more about the story over on my author site. Right HERE, baby. Thanks for your patience as I finished the book. The editor is back in. In case you’re wondering where I’ve gone, I’m back just long enough to tell you. I’m deep in the final edits of my next book, The Lost

Don’t Tell Me What NOT to Read

Don't Tell Me What NOT to Read

(Note: I originally published this blog post on my author blog back in November of 2014. The topic was worth repeating here.) The highlight of my experience at the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books was two panels, both with Laurie Halse Anderson. The first was “Don’t Tell Me What NOT to Read: Teens and Censorship.” The second was “Edgy YA: Confronting Difficult Decisions.” Not surprisingly,

Do You REALLY Have to Write Every Day?

Do You Really Have to Write Every Day 3

We’ve all heard the advice: write every day. Heck, I’ve repeated that advice. But I’ll be honest. I don’t write every single day. And I’m past thinking you need to. I know I’m not alone. I can affirm there are successful, accomplished writers who don’t write every day. If that’s the case why do we so often hear this advice? And why do I still

The 4 People Every Writer Needs

The 4 People Every Writer Needs 2

We writers can be a solitary lot, but if you’re going to undertake something as daunting as writing a novel (let alone building a viable writing career), you need a solid team to back you up. I’m not talking about your cover designer or marketing guru. Those are people you need after the next Great American Novel is finished. I’m talking about the four people

Stop Telling People to Write Strong Female Characters

Stop Telling People to Write Strong Female Characters 2

Kameron Hurley wrote an enjoyable and thought-provoking blog post about challenging the false narrative of women in history and literature and what we writers need to do about it.* I read articles like this with mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s important to be educated about the false ideas created by narratives (both real and fictional) that portray women in a stereotypical and/or belittling

5 Great Quotes from an Evening with Markus Zusak

Book Thief Reading Event Donna Cook

I recently had the privilege of attending The Cabin’s Readings and Conversations with Markus Zusak. The Book Thief is one of my favorite novels. One of those rare books that’s brilliant AND tells a compelling story (versus the kind of novel so caught up in its own brilliance, it completely forgets to tell an actual story). Including Max’s illustrations in the book was a stroke

The Pros and Cons of Critique Groups

Pros and Cons of Critique Groups

There’s some debate about the merit of critique groups, especially for novelists aspiring to write at a professional level. Some people are eager advocates of critique groups; others have added critique groups to the “don’t waste your time” list. I am neither a critique group proponent nor opponent. Whether or not I recommend joining a critique group to a particular writer depends on the situation.