Monday, January 9, 2017

Ruby Lee & Me Is A Finalist for the 2018 Nebraska Golden Sower Award

Making the Nebraska State list  may be the coolest thing that's ever happened in my writing career. It's especially sweet since I lived in Omaha in the early 1990's. My son was even born there--Go Huskers! The complete list of nominees can be viewed here:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Middle Grade Book Panel #MSBookFest

This past August, I participated on a middle grade panel at the Mississippi Book Festival. We were moderated by Deborah Wiles, and the other authors who took part were: John Claude Bemis, Augusta Scattergood, Esta Spalding, John David Anderson, myself, and Kathi Appelt.

I posted about this panel back in August, but now the folks at The Mississippi Book Festival have put a video of it online. You can hear each of us read from our books and answer questions by clicking on Middle School Book Panel:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Yesterday the ladies from #MGGetsReal, participated in a twitter chat. We discussed our books and tackling touch topics for a Middle Grade audience.

If you missed our chat, you can quickly read through the whole thing at Storify. 

Have you ever participated in a twitter chat? If so, was it a positive experience? Would you sign up to do it again? Tell me about your experience in the comments below.

Monday, November 28, 2016

An Author Podcast And #SHOPSMALL

On Saturday, I participated in my first ever podcast along with fellow Middle Grade author, Monika Schroeder. Our host was Ken Butcher, and you can listen to us at The Middle of the Air. Here's a picture, with Ken in the middle:

Immediately afterward, Monika and I signed books at Novels And Novelties, (Hendersonville, NC), for Small Business Saturday. My book is RUBY LEE & ME and Monika's is BE LIGHT LIKE A BIRD. Novels And Novelties has  lots of signed copies on hand, so please stop in, and consider giving books for Christmas!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bluffton Book Festival

Bluffton is the most charming low country town I've ever been to, and I was thrilled to participate in the first ever Bluffton Book Festival. I spoke for half an hour on school integration, the teacher who inspired RUBY LEE AND ME, and the book's journey to publication. Below are some pictures from the event:

Friday, November 4, 2016

SCBWI Book Blast!

When it comes to marketing, it's hard to know what actually moves the needle, but that said, SCBWI's Book Blast is fast and cheap. They provided a template; I filled in the information and paid $25.

At last check, more than fifty people had viewed the Book Blast Page for RUBY LEE AND ME. You can see it too by clicking here: 

Several of my friends also have Book Blast pages. Take a look at BEAUTIFUL by Stacy McAnulty and THE FIRST LAST DAY by Dorian Cirrone.

Do you have a Book Blast Page? If so, post a link in the comments below, and I'll check out your page too!

Monday, September 19, 2016


Fifteen books were selected to be part of TRIO 2017, and I'm excited for RUBY LEE & ME to be among them. You can see all fifteen books chosen at the SIBA website:

For each book selected, a songwriter penned an original song inspired by the book, and a visual artist created a work of art. The Trio exhibit debuted this past weekend at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance conference in Savannah.

Artist Jennifer NyBlom created dolls that depict the main characters of my book, Ruby Lee and Sarah Beth:

I couldn't love these dolls more! The musician Chris Clifton wrote a song inspired by Sarah and Ruby's story. I haven't heard the song yet, but am really looking forward to it.

A big thank you to Shari Smith, the heart, soul, and mastermind behind TRIO!