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May 2, 2019

My dad loved to read the obituaries. He used to sit in his broad wing-back chair with a gin and tonic at his elbow and peruse them like some fathers would peruse the sports page. This always disconcerted me. Stories of death are disconcerting. We only want to know what someone died of so we know what to avoid. And his reading all those stories of death was depressing. 

When I told him maybe he should try a nice human interest piece from the Bay Area section, he said: I’m already reading the most interesting h...

June 17, 2016

If you're a children's book writer and you're serious about your craft, you've probably been to SCBWI conferences where there are Q&As, panels, or talks about The Perfect Query Letter. And yes: you should have a good query and if you need information on that you can find it on The Knight Agency website or you can just google Awesome Query and you'll find millions of pieces of advice. But it's not all about the query.

It's about persistence.

I felt like giving up sooooooo many times. If it weren’t for...

June 10, 2016

I've heard many male authors say that they write like a job. Nine-to-five. Or, eight hours a day. I find that amazing--that they can do such a thing. It isn't that I don't want to, I'd love to. But I have a job as a professor, I'm the mother two two children, and childcare costs are very high. I would love to write all day. But most days--I can't. 

But since high school when I read Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, I knew I needed just that. I still don't have it--not in my home. But I do have a room of my...

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designed and illustrated by danika Corrall