Heading back to school . . .

May has been a whirlwind month! I ended up back in Northern California last week and had a great opportunity to do some school visits—one of which was at my very own elementary school, where my fourth-grade teacher still teaches! The kids were fabulous, with so many great questions and great answers to my questions. Totally loved geeking out over Harry Potter fanfiction with a couple of girls from Franklin, and I loved seeing so many of the kids come to the signing on Saturday night! Many, many thanks to Kim for getting it all organized so quickly.

Here are a few fun shots from the schools . . .


At Lincrest with my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Nakashima. Love this woman!


I went with a Prezi instead of a PowerPoint, in case you were curious.


Aaand over to Franklin, where they had the COOLEST touch-screen whiteboard. I’ve gotta get me one of those. There were some super devoted writers in this bunch, and I loved talking with them afterward!


Some of the Riverbend crowd waiting for the show to start. Sharp kids here with some insightful questions!


Setting up at La Unica’s. Great food and wonderful employees! Thanks for hosting the signing!

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Aaaand my buddy who set up all the books and kept the table neat. Thanks for hanging out with me all evening!


Cast from Fiction!

Okay, maybe it’s 9:00pm, but I’m going to get this writing challenge out on Monday this week. Story behind this week’s writing challenge: ever since I got a contract to publish Demon’s Heart, I’ve had people asking me if it’s going to be a movie. My inner response to that question is a subject for another day. But one of the things that has come up in this relentless drive to push another novel to Hollywood screenwriters is who would be cast in various roles. I’m totally clueless when it comes to actors, so I came up with my own casting call that I thought I’d extend to you and your works in progress:


Cast fictional characters as actors in the “movie” of your book.


Make sense? Here’s my example:

Rustav: Jonas (The Giver by Lois Lowry)
Dantzel: Skye Penderwick (The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall)
Cabel: Fink (The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen)
Anton: Abbe Faria (The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas)
Ayre: Loki (Norse mythology–although I must say that Tom Hiddleston is the only actor I’ve ever thought of as portraying one of my characters)
Tay: Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien)

Okay, give me your casts!

A peek at the old bookshelves…

I’ve been a delinquent blogger. I know. But guys, the past two weeks have been jam-packed helping with last-minute moves, scribbling down spur-of-the-moment story inspirations, organizing school presentations in California, enjoying these rare sunny Washington days, and using PowerPoint for the first time since college.

Which, by the way, I’m still questioning. Should I use PowerPoint or Prezi for my school presentations? I love the eye-catchiness of Prezi, but I feel like PowerPoint is easier to organize. Thoughts?

So for my presentation, I finally took pictures of my bookshelves. The pictures don’t include the random stacks of books lying throughout our house, or the books still in boxes, or the bookshelf that’s not in our “library.” But they do hold a significant portion of our books.

May I present for your perusal: the books.




Stitch hangin’ with the classics.


YA, MG, PB. Why yes, I have Harry Potter in German. Doesn’t everybody?


Pretty books, a machete, and more MG.

Hope you enjoyed the tour! I’d love to see your bookshelves–if you post a picture on your blog, send me the link!