Cover Image for The Storm

Anatomy of a Character: Shep

Fun fact: The character of Shep was not always going to be a German shepherd. In my earliest notes, I thought my main character would be a pitt bull/boxer mix, or some other kind of young mutt. But as I thought more about my character, I knew he was a German shepherd. There’s something noble…

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A Quote from The Storm

Below, the dogs marveled at how the Great Wolf sparkled throughout the night.

Exegesis of my Childhood Canon: All Dogs Go to Heaven

If there was ever a banner day in the history of children’s film (at least for my generation), it was November 17, 1989: The day on which both All Dogs Go to Heaven and The Little Mermaid opened on the big screen. It might tell you something that though I saw The Little Mermaid TEN TIMES in the theater, I don’t…

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Not Your Parents’ Novel: Monster and the New Narrative

This month I’m blogging about what I’ve called “textual anomalies,” by which I mean the crazy stuff that writers are allowed to do in middle grade and young adult novels and pretty much nowhere else. Things like changing fonts to indicate a character’sdifferent states of mind or sticking a character’s artwork into the text or simply allowing a…

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“Climb High, Climb Far, Your Goal the Sky, Your Aim the Star.”

The title of this blog comes from the inscription on Hopkins Gate at Williams College, my alma mater. You walk through this gate and past these words after graduating—they set a pretty high bar for their graduates at Williams. The picture is of the coolest birthday present I have ever received (not to slight any…

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Putting the “I” in First Person:

Point of View in How I Live Now I start off, as usual, with an apology—this blog was supposed to post in November.  November it is not. I promise that I have spent the intervening weeks hard at work, writingwritingwriting like a thing possessed, and have emerged spent and happy and eagerly awaiting comments on…

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Wait, Where’s The Thrilling Robot Chase?: Revelation as Story in The Giver

Hello again, dear readers.  After a rather long summer (and fall…) holiday, the blog is back!  And, as promised, is back to discuss Newbery medalist, The Giver, by Lois Lowry. This was a big summer for me—lots of writing and revision and learning about the publishing process by living through it.  It was also a big summer…

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It’s All in the Details:

Creating Characters in When You Reach Me The last week has been a big week for everyone—for the pets, it marks the one year anniversary of the day they became the second cutest things in the house.  Peter celebrated by looking pathetic; Kerry, by looking even more pathetic than usual; Oscar, by throwing up on the…

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The Future is Now:

Use of the Flashforward in The Book Thief Here it is, my first ever blog entry.  The handsome gentleman pictured above is my best friend, Peter.  I feel like I need his support to launch this endeavor.  His snaggletooth gives me power… I’ve promised a discussion of a book and the craft of its writing….

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