Blueberry is now Moonlight Secrets!

Major big announcement:

The Hotel of Blueberry Goodness has been retitled. The book is now called The Summer of Moonlight Secrets.

After revisions (which we're in the last rounds of), it became clear that the story had taken a path different from the proposal. We loved Blueberry, but we needed something that hinted more strongly at the mood and angle of the story. The hotel is still there, and so is the blueberry goodness, but now you know there's moonlight and secrets!

New Site with Writing Contests

Hi all! Kim Zook has opened a new site called The Motherhood Muse, which is set to not only have a bunch of great tidbits, but writing contests as well--with prizes! And yes, men are welcome to submit.

Check it out!

Is this True?

So I'm perusing my Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and I come across this one. (Writers, please sit down.)

The true writer has nothing to say. What counts is the way he says it.
Alain Robbe-Grillet

I staggered about my office, flummoxed and dizzy. Yes, yes, the way we say it--voice and all that--but having nothing to say?

It's true there's nothing new under the sun, BUT not all us have had the same experiences in life. We have stories to tell, secrets to divulge, mysteries to solve. And other times, it actually is the shared experience we wish to indulge in because it helps us to identify ourselves and to know that we are not alone.

In fact, I think that's one of the most important things a writer, especially a children's writer, can convey: you are not alone. Strong, fictional characters become our friends; readers become loyal to authors who can deliver that familiarity with genuineness. When I pick up a book by one of my favorite authors, I'm instantly all nice and cozy--they're such good hosts! (Then there are my favorite mystery/suspense writers who offer something entirely different. Instead of cappuccino, they toss me a gun and then there's all that running around and stuff. Still, I like the excitement.)

So, back to the quote: The true writer has nothing to say. What do you think?

Brandon Dorman is Illustrating My New Cover!

I'm thrilled to announce that Brandon Dorman has signed on to illustrate the cover of my new book, The Hotel of Blueberry Goodness. If you've seen the cover for Savvy or The Wizard, or The Slippery Map, then you've seen Brandon's work--it's awesome!

I can't wait to see what he comes up with for Blueberry Goodness!