Sunday, January 17, 2010


I want to say thank you, and send hugs to the Eva Perry Mock Newbery Book Club for making Jane in Bloom one of your 2010 Honor Books. I loved reading your comments about my book--it's the best part about being an author, to hear what your readers think. Here's a link for anyone who wants to check it out. My friend, Ellen Jensen Abbott also received a 2010 honor from the group for her debut novel Watersmeet. Congratulations, Ellen!
Jane in Bloom is about a lot things--it's about grief so deep that you can't breathe, it's about feeling invisible, it's about seeing yourself for who you really are, and it's about relationships. Relationships with parents, with friends, and mostly, with a sister. I have a sister. She's three years younger than I am--and we are very different in many ways, but we are also connected. In that way sisters are connected. I wrote about that connection in Jane in Bloom. Sisters understand you like no one else, they know your story intimately, because they have lived each moment with you. And they see the world in a similar way, even if they approach it differently. Readers who have written to me have told me that they, too, have sisters and that they related to Jane and Lizzie. Reading the book made them appreciate the relationship they have, it made the readers grateful for their own sisters. I am grateful for my sister, too. She has been there for me in the best of times to celebrate, and in the worst of times to dry my tears, and when I need help, she is the first person I call. I invite any readers who have sisters to send in a comment. Tell me what you love about your sister. What is your favorite thing to do together. What makes your relationship special. I'd love to know. And don't forget once in a while to tell her how much she means to you.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fuse #8

Elizabeth Bird at Fuse #8 ran an end of the year poll to determine the last 2009 book she would review. Jane in Bloom was one of the contenders. And thanks to all of you out there who voted, Jane in Bloom came in second! Thank you to Elizabeth for including me in the poll, and for mentioning me in her blog--and linking to a great review of Jane in Bloom (which just happens to be one of my favorites!). I really appreciate all the support from my friends who voted for Jane in Bloom. It means the world to me!

Here is the link to Fuse #8--and the blog about the poll results

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, January 4, 2010


This weekend, I started a new novel. A book about a 15 year old's experience with true love. It is a story about the one person in the world who can reach this girl, and how he changes her life forever. When I write, I find I am far more creative if I reach for inspiration from other artists. Sometimes I find that inspiration in paintings, sometimes in photographs. Other times, it is in music or poetry. For this new novel, I have been reading the love letters 19th century poet John Keats wrote to the love of his life, Fanny Brawne. Jane Campion has just made a stunning film about their romance, called Bright Star, and she writes the forward in the book. I have found, as did Ms. Campion, that Keats' passion is palpable. His love is so ardent, so rich, that one feels almost intrusive reading the letters, almost like one is eavesdropping on them. We don't get to read Fanny's responses, because her letters were destroyed, but we can figure out what her responses must have been by his addresses to her. In our world of emails and texting and twitter, I think we are losing the beauty and power of the written word. When you have a limited number of characters you can use, you can't really say all that you want to say, and certainly not in eloquent terms. Instead, it is the expediency of language which rules our current society, rather than the beauty of it. It is the beauty of language which inspires me. And the sentiments behind it. Reading Keats' letters is truly an inspiration. I think I will read Romeo and Juliet next.