The Traitor King

The Manannan family secret is about to be revealed… *Colorado Book Award Finalist* Now available on Kindle and Nook for under five bucks! Or check out the new paperback edition. “You MUST read this book.”  —TeensReadToo.com (starred) “Humor, menace, and mystery suffuse this fast-paced tale… New surprises and plot twists keep readers enthralled, because nothing -librarians, skeletal pursuers, or hard-drinking dads-… [read]

The Secret to Lying

What happens when your life becomes a lie?  *2011 Colorado Book Award Winner* *Texas Library Association Teen Reading List Selection* *Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards Selection*  E-book, paperback, and audiobook (read by Nick Podehl, “Best voice of 2010”) now available! “Engrossing and entertaining…  a great read.”  —Publishers Weekly “An artful blurring between reality and fantasy, The Secret to Lying masterfully… [read]

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The Last Panther

What is a species worth? *A Southern Living “Best New Books for Kids” pick!*   “The Last Panther is poignant and lush—steeped in the mystical, while set in a future snared by devastation. Kiri’s story stuck with me long after I reached the end.”   —Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor winning author of Savvy “This is a… [read]

Backwards

Travel Backwards… A life-affirming novel about a teen dealing with death, loss, and love while traveling backwards in time. Available now from Candlewick Press! *Winner of the 2014 Colorado Authors League Book Award* *Finalist for the 2014 Colorado Book Award* *Finalist for the Crystal Kite Award* *LitPick 5 Star Book Review Award* It was Saturday, November… [read]

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A Flight of Angels

*A YALSA Top Ten Pick for Great Graphic Novels for Teens*  Now available in paperback, and it’s pretty flipping beautiful. Or stay classy with A FLIGHT OF ANGELS hardcover version. “Occasionally someone executes a standard storytelling device with such dazzling skill that it reminds you why that device became standard in the first place… [A Flight of Angels]… [read]

Angels cover

A Unique Gift: How to get a signed, personalized book

Want to give kids and friends a unique gift they’ll never forget? Get them a personalized, signed book! Here’s how: Order The Last Panther or any of my other books from Amazon, Indiebound, Barnes and Noble, or other booksellers, and have it sent to you. (Or better yet, support your local bookstore by buying the […]

The Last Panther Teaching and Book Club Kit

Looking for materials to enhance using The Last Panther in the classroom or book club? This is the place to find and share those.  Although my first goal is always to write an entertaining story, it’s my hope that The Last Panther will help students creating vivid, personal connections to several areas of interest for 4th-7th grades, including: —Understanding […]

Do Something Good (and get a Protector Pendant!)

Ever wish you were living in a fantasy book, fighting monsters and questing to save the world? (I sometimes do). Fortunately, there are plenty of real causes in need of heroes. BECOME A PROTECTOR! Being a protector is easier than you might think. You can: —Sell lemonade or homemade crafts to raise money to protect endangered species […]

Create a Comic Book in 10 (simple?) Steps

Comics and other graphic texts are one of the fastest growing areas of publishing, and they seem to be getting stronger each year. If you haven’t considered getting graphic, you might want to.  This post is for creators, especially writers, who are interested in graphic story-telling. Even if your art skills are limited to crooked, one-armed stick figures, […]

The One Thing I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Creating Characters

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about characters. Do you make them quirky and unusual (like Amelia Bedelia), or more ordinary  (like Charlie Brown)? Do you make them heroic (someone readers might aspire to be, like Atticus Finch), or deeply flawed (like FH in Jesus’s Son)? Do you make them raw and human […]

Writing Advice Part II (my top six other best pieces of advice)

The single best piece of writing advice I ever got was to write the book you most want to read (more on that here). After that, here are six other bits of writing advice that have made the biggest difference for me (and that I need to keep reminding myself of to keep on going). […]

This Month’s Protector Pendant Winner!

Meet Peter the Snake Protector! Peter saves snakes by catching unwanted garter snakes and relocating them. Not only that, he educates others about the importance of snakes in the ecosystem, and how helpful snakes are. I included Peter’s letter and some pictures he sent me below. For protecting animals, and for helping the environment, he’s […]