For the last few years, I've ended every school year by giving students what I refer to as my "empathy" speech, a 5-7 minute attempt to contextualize the importance of the subject I teach (English). None of this is probably terribly new, but this year I felt like writing it out because this is my … Continue reading On Stories and Empathy
After the Shot Drops hits shelves today! Much love to the team that helped bring this story to life: To Kathryn—thank you for pretty much everything. I am a better writer and a better human being because of you. Thank you for reading so many drafts of everything I write, for board game date nights, for … Continue reading ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
According to Goodreads, I read 83 books on this past revolution around the sun. Of those, here are my 17 favorite in no particular order. To be clear, these are not "THE TOP 17 BOOKS OF THE YEAR!!" or anything like that. They're simply the books I liked most of the ones I read. Some … Continue reading MY TOP 17 OF 2017
A few weeks ago, the publishing industry came together to raise over $200,000 for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico through auctioning books, critiques, Skype visits, etc., so the good folks behind #USVIPubFund are trying to do it again to help the U.S. Virgin Islands. Check out their site here and if you feel so inclined, please … Continue reading RAISING FUNDS FOR US VIRGIN ISLANDS HURRICANE RELIEF
A little over a week ago, Paste Magazine hosted the cover reveal for my next book, After the Shot Drops which comes out on March 6, 2017 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I might be biased, but I'm all about it! The designer (whose name I don't know yet) did an amazing job of creating some beautiful imagery … Continue reading AFTER THE SHOT DROPS COVER REVEAL + CHAPTER ONE!
I put on my teacher hat last night and talked to my friend CJ over at his vlog, Real Rap With the Reynolds, primarily about getting kids into reading. One of the questions we were asked at the end of the livestream was how does one know what good YA books are out there. This … Continue reading KEEPING UP WITH YA
In what I believe is the first photograph of me that exists, there is a woman standing behind me who is neither my mother nor my lola (with whom I lived with for the first year of my life). Instead it was a woman casually referred to as the “maid.” In my visits to the … Continue reading SHIFTING THE SPOTLIGHT
Today, YA Books Central is hosting the cover reveal and a giveaway for WELCOME HOME, the adoption-themed anthology edited by Eric Smith in which I have a story! The other contributors include Adi Alsaid, Nic Stone, Dave Connis, Helene Dunbar, Libby Cudmore, Lauren Gibaldi, Matthew Quinn Martin, Mindy McGinnis, Sammy Nickalls, Shannon M. Parker, Karen Akins, Erica M. … Continue reading WELCOME HOME COVER REVEAL
I've been home for a few days now, and I think I've just about recovered from the 17-day trip with our school's junior class to Israel. Since returning, a lot of people have asked me, "How was the trip?" I usually say something like, "It was really good!" and then scuttle away like a crab … Continue reading ISRAEL RECAP
Greetings, friends. I know I haven't been blogging much lately, so I wanted to give you a quick update on what I've been up to in order to reassure you I haven't fallen off the face of the earth... I finished revisions and edits on After the Shot Drops! This took a couple rounds and … Continue reading WHERE’S RANDY?