• Three Book Recommendations for a New Year

    Recently, a friend asked me if I had any good book recommendations. My brain started to shut down as I was left to wonder: “Books? What are books? Can I read? I have no idea.” So, now that I have the time, and I’m not in “deer in headlights” mode, I happily offer the following three […]

  • My Characters and a Q&A with the Artist Who Drew Them

      I’m so excited today. Why? Because I finally have a visual representation of my work-in-progress’s main characters, Oscar and Mary Drake. This picture is so beautiful. I love the lighting, particularly how it streams through the trees. I love how you can get a little glimpse of Oscar and Mary’s personalities just by seeing […]

  • Four Great Female Friendships From Classic Literature

    Literature is full of great, timeless friendships. Currently, however, there is a scarcity of really great female friendships circulating publishing these days, especially YA. This is sad, because with all the great heroines we’re getting, it seems a massive oversight. Look at The Fault in Our Stars, a great YA book with a female heroine […]

  • Villains Part II: Crafting the Ideal Foe

    Last week I discussed a few of what I see as the key archetypes for villains in literature and pop culture. I had a lot of fun researching it, but the discussion left me wondering what separated my favorite villains from the rest. In other words, what makes a good villain.

  • Villains Part I: The Archetypes

    Villains are a great storytelling tool. Not only do they usually fulfill the role of antagonist, the opposing force to the protagonist, they also serve as a source of bad or evil in the world they inhabit. Without a villain, our hero’s morals would never be tested.

  • Seven of My Favorite Songs for Writing

    Not every writer wants to or can listen to music while they write. I know there are some days where any form of sound, music or otherwise, will distract me or throw off the natural rhythm of my typing. However, there are times where I really do need music to help me set the scene […]

  • 5 Ways To Become a Better Writer (what worked for me)

    I never used to seek advice from other writers. In fact, I actively avoided it. I was afraid of criticism. However, someone at some point gave me three very powerful words to chew on: grow up, Hannah. So, I did. The only tricky part was finding the advice that worked for me.  Luckily, we live in […]

  • A Haphazard Introduction to Young Adult Fiction

    When people ask me what kind of book I’m writing and I respond, “it’s a young adult fantasy novel,” I assume they know what I mean. I think their blank looks and silence are signs that perhaps they don’t care and would very much like to help the next customer in line, ma’am (what? you […]

  • NaNoWriMo: The Birth of an Idea

    I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo four times, but only won (finished) two times. For those of you who don’t spend one month out of the year hashing out a novel, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s an annual event that takes place in November, when thousands of people try to write 50,000 words. It’s a […]