BOXES & BOXES & MORE BOXES!

Toy boxes, pencil boxes, music boxes, tool boxes, cigar boxes, sewing boxes, candy boxes . . . I love boxes! But for many years, I didn't truly realize how much I loved them, how many I had shelved in my bookcases. But my favorite box is a wooden Velveeta Cheese box that I've had FOREVER. This box appears in my coming-of-age, YA-novel, HONEYSUCKLE HOLIDAY. It holds the main character's -- Lucy's -- most prized possessions: a brass skeleton key, a cracked doll's head, a heavy pink lead toy pig, a rusted pocket watch, and a red velvet toy clutch. Lucy takes it with her everywhere she goes. And everybody wants it! Do you remember the treasures that Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird carr

THE EVOLUTION OF A DEBUT NOVEL

Nearly three years ago, after having completed my first YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday, I began the arduous task of querying literary agents who represented that genre. And while indeed arduous, it was also rather exhilarating. Researching agents who represented YA-fiction, composing the perfect query email, and tapping the send button fueled a continual repeat of that cycle which, in time, gifted the certain excitement of a reply. Until the query is sent, there can be no response. Incidentally, I unequivocally believed that the manuscript was in its finest form. It had benefited from readings and critiques by well-read book aficionados and, most importantly, by my fourteen-year-old ni

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