A few weeks ago I learned that one of my high school English teachers had passed away at age 55. Initially I was shocked; classmates and I exchanged texts and Facebook messages, trying to make sense of this sudden, unexpected loss. Then, just as quickly, the world moved on. I kept meaning to write something… Continue reading In Memoriam
In September I wrote about Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn book, The Final Empire, and what it taught me about introducing a complex magic system in fiction. Today I want to examine how Sanderson builds his fantasy world. When you're devising a fantasy world, you're filled with so many ideas that it's so tempting to throw in everything but… Continue reading Lessons in Fantasy World-Building: Creating the Magical World
I had my very first author visit yesterday! The wonderful fourth grade at The Learning Community Charter School in Central Falls, RI, hosted me to talk about how I write book reviews. They'd read my August review of Passenger in preparation to write their own reviews, and they asked fantastic questions about writing, reading, and inspiration. I shared...… Continue reading Author Visit!
Josh is a HUGE fantasy fan. As in, we call the books he reads "brick-a-books" (because they're all doorstoppers). As in, he's keeping a list of all the series he's in the middle of (because the writers take an understandably long time to finish the next installments of said brick-a-book series). So now that I'm working on… Continue reading Lessons in Fantasy World-Building: Introducing the Magic
In July I wrote about how I research for historical fiction projects, using my latest WIP, a historical fantasy, as an example. One of the biggest things on my mind is efficiency, especially with a new baby. I want my research to double as story planning so I can construct an outline for my book as… Continue reading How I Balance Planning and Research
We are still waiting on that baby over here. Meanwhile, I'm scrambling to fit in as much work on my new WIP as I can before she arrives (while taking breaks to catch up on the latest season of Sad Detectives, a.k.a. Endeavour). This project is a YA historical fantasy, which means I get to indulge… Continue reading How I Research
My husband Josh and I are both middle school teachers, and this means that we spend a lot of time talking about teaching. (Sometimes this drives my sister crazy.) We teach different subjects (him: English; me: history) at different schools with wildly different populations, so most of the time this leads to productive, interesting conversations that… Continue reading What Workshop Taught Me about Writing