December 18, 2017

Imagine telling Nobel & Pulitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison that, at age 40, it was too late to publish The Bluest Eye.  Or, telling Bram Stoker that at age 50 Dracula would never see print.  How about Laura Ingalls Wilder who, in her mid-60s when she published Little...

December 4, 2017

"I'm all for the scissors.  I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil."

Anyone who knows me -- family, friends, teachers, students, fellow writers -- knows that my love affair with Truman Capote and Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Christmas Memory i...

November 27, 2017

When I wrote my YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday, I knew it would take place in Memphis and in St. Louis -- two areas where I spent part of my childhood.  Each city would leave a huge thumbprint on my life, particularly as I grew older and moved with my family to West Vir...

November 13, 2017

For as long as I can remember, I've been a writer -- short stories, journal/diary entries, poetry, essays, and most recently, novels for young adults and middle-grade readers.  I've either had a pen in my hand or my nose in a book.  And sometimes, both at the same time...

October 30, 2017

When I was a young girl growing up in Memphis, a honeysuckle vine grew feverishly outside my bedroom window.  I awakened to its sweet, intoxicating fragrance throughout its blooming season.  And when the scorching sun of a southern summer seemed exhausting, all I had t...

October 23, 2017

So, how cool is the moss hanging from the trees on the grounds of the Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, SC?!  When I wrote my MG-novel, MARBLE TOWN, I searched and searched for the perfect title.  I came across an article that highlighted various names for...

October 17, 2017

Yes, they were real -- so very real.  So many readers of Honeysuckle Holiday have asked, "Were Aunt Dodo and Uncle Herman real?"  They were real & awesome & doting & intriguing -- and I wanted to be just like them.  I wanted the kind of marriage they had.  I wanted to...

October 9, 2017

The very first thing I think of whenever I hear the expression Boo! is the character Boo Radley from Harper Lee's classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.  And then I hear Scout's sweet voice, "Hey, Boo."  And, of course, thoughts then journey to Scout's eventual understanding...

October 2, 2017

When I was a kid growing up in Memphis, my family would travel by train every summer to visit relatives in St. Louis.  Every time I heard the phrase ALL ABOARD! I nearly stumbled getting to the train -- I was that excited!  And it was the enthusiasm and the drawing out...

September 25, 2017

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...