Amazing Whales–Amazing Book Report!

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in Book: Amazing Animals, Early Reader, Nonfiction | 0 comments

This charming second-grader did a video book report on Amazing Whales. Love her command of her topic and her self-possession on camera. Nicely done!

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Second Draft

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Book: Deadly Wish, Writing Process | 0 comments

The second draft of Deadly Wish (which will be the sequel to Deadly Flowers) just went back to my editor. I think only Edward Gorey has really captured what this moment feels like to a writer, in the immortal The Unstrung Harp, or Mr. Earbrass Writes a Novel:

Holding TUH [The Unstrung Harp, or The Novel of the Title] not very neatly done up in pink butcher’s paper, which was all he could find in a last minute search before leaving to catch his train to London, Mr. Earbrass arrives at the offices of his publishers to deliver it. The stairs look oddly menacing, as if he might break a leg on one of them. Suddenly, the whole thing strikes him as very silly, and he thinks he will go drop his parcel off the Embankment and thus save everyone concerned a good deal of fuss.

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Trick or Treat! Smell My Stories!

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Halloween, Horror, Promotion | 0 comments


My own sweet tarantula and her friend Medusa are terrifying Trick-or-Reaters!

Pretty soon hosts of tiny demons and witches and princess and superheroes will be showing up at your door. Want to give them something that will strengthen their brains instead of rotting their teeth*? Check out this fabulous new promotion from Curious City: Trick-or-Reaters! Give kids spooky, scary, suspenseful, and delightful stories for Halloween as well as yummy treats!


* Or in addition to rotting their teeth. I am not opposed to teeth-rotting Halloween goodies!

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Review of Deadly Flowers

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Book: Deadly Flowers, Reviews | 0 comments

Deadly Flowers

Children’s Literature has a nice review of Deadly Flowers. Lovely to be compared to Lloyd Alexander! Do kids read him anymore? It seems like I spent half my childhood in Prydain.

Rather than trusting no one, [Kata] learns to decipher who is trustworthy, and instead of blind obedience to a master, she starts to wonder if freedom from any master is possible. This journey through feudal Japan and its hero folklore is reminiscent of some of Lloyd Alexander’s works. Ninja fans and others will fall in love with this daring, determined, and silent warrior.

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Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Book: Deadly Flowers, Japanese Demons | 0 comments


A nopperabo reveals its true nature at the appropriately dramatic moment.

Not a terribly threatening demon, but certainly disconcerting. The nopperabo often disguises itself very successfully as a normal human being. Your friends, colleagues, even husband or wife might well be a nopperabo in hiding. But at a well-timed moment (these bakemono have a keen sense of the dramatic), a nopperabo will wipe all of the features off its face, presenting a blank and empty countenance to the viewer (and later, presumably, laughing itself silly over the reaction it gets).

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Sometimes in the Grocery Store

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Author Visits, Book: Quick Little Monkey, Marmosets, Promotion | 0 comments

Almost exactly four ounces. But I went with a lime in the end.

Almost exactly four ounces. But I went with a lime in the end.

When you’re a writer of children’s books, sometimes it happens that you go to the grocery store and start weighing various pieces of fruit. You do this because you are searching for one that weighs between four and five ounces, which happens to be  the weight of an adult pygmy marmoset.

You need to know the weight of an adult pygmy marmoset because there is one in your book, Quick, Little Monkey. And you’re going to a library to do a book presentation, and you want to give the children something they can actually hold so they can really get how tiny these primates are.

So you weigh all the fruit, and you take a picture because this is kind of funny and maybe you’ll write about it in your blog. And you discover that a lime is precisely the weight that you need. And that’s about when you notice the couple next to you eying you and edging discreetly away.

You consider explaining that you are photographing and weighing fruit because you’re looking for something that is the same weight as an adult pygmy marmoset, but you decide that won’t help.

So you go and pay for your lime. And you get some chocolate too. Because.


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Planning an Author Visit?

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Author Visits, Book: Mercy: The Last NE Vampire | 0 comments

Islandport Press (who published my vampire novel, Mercy) has some great tips and suggestions if you’re a teacher or librarian hoping to bring an author or illustrator to your school or library.

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