February 12, 2018

Last week, I wrote about the concept of “radical empathy”—the idea of TRYING to “walk around in someone else’s skin” even when you know that true understanding might be impossible.

The treatment of those who struggle with active addiction calls for radical empathy, as o...

February 6, 2018

With winter term winding down, I’m currently wrapping up a unit on To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM). I rediscovered this gem last year, when subbing in a high school English class. In rereading the story as an adult, I found that I wanted to more fully explore the thematic...

January 29, 2018

In the January edition of my author newsletter, Writing by Heart, I wrote about how music inspires my creative process and shared links to the specific songs that inspired Eli, Red, and Libby. To hear these songs AND read a free sample of LIFELINE, subscribe to my news...

January 22, 2018

I am so excited about the upcoming release of my YA novel, LIFELINE. I was thrilled when I read the independent Kirkus review of my book. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read a synopsis or review, you can check out both here.

I've shared before that LIFELINE was insp...

January 15, 2018

I’ve been thinking a lot about stories lately—who writes them, who they belong to. When I spoke at Arcadia last month, one student, in hearing that LIFELINE was inspired by my family’s experience with addiction, asked, “How can you ethically write a story about someone...

January 8, 2018

Music has always been an important part of the creative process for me. When listening to music in the car or while running, it’s not unusual for the lyrics to inspire emotion that ends up turning into a scene. In fact, part of my prewriting process is to create a play...

January 1, 2018

Hope has always been a challenging concept for me. Having loved someone who has struggled with addiction for over eight years, hope can feel like a perpetual carrot dangled in front of the nose—nothing but a series of unfulfilled promises. Hope, when attached to a spec...

December 18, 2017

In LIFELINE, the character Libby finds peace and inner strength through art. Today I’m fortunate to sit down with my dear friend and PA painter, Bronwen Henry, to hear about her healing journey of self-discovery through painting.

Be sure to check out Bronwen’s paintings...

December 11, 2017

On this snowy day, I'm lucky enough to sit down with my friend and fellow children's writer, Bernadette Ziemba, to talk about her new project, "AMHA Dolls Made with Love and Soul."

A: Bernadette, tell us a little bit about yourself and this awesome new project.

B: I'm a...

December 4, 2017

When people read a synopsis of LIFELINE, one of their first questions is often, “What inspired you to write this story?”

They mean a story about addiction, about heroin abuse and overdose, about the slow and painful process of recovery.

What’s true is that there are very...

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