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In the pause: I’m reading a chapter of my book for you from Central Park’s boat pond

I’ve got a treat for you this Halloween. I’m reading a chapter of my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, to you from Central Park. The park plays a key role in the book with many of the scenes taking place in and around it.

Davina and Samantha Dixon, the sisters who operate Books on the Run, interviewed me a few weeks ago and they asked me to record myself reading a chapter of the book so that they could share it with their readers. I loved doing that recording so much that I decided to record a few additional chapters to share with all of you.

I’ll be releasing one recording a week for the next few weeks from different locations. This week, I’ve got a chapter reading from the hill above the boat pond near 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

Pub Day is tomorrow so there will be lots of fun goodies in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

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In the pause: I’m on the Reading With Your Kids podcast

Emerson at the MetReading With Your Kids podcast just published their interview with me about my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, and the importance of young adult literature. Thanks to host Jed Doherty for the feature! Listen to this episode by clicking here.

In the pause: Giving away 2 signed copies of my book on Goodreads

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 6.04.08 PM.pngI have a giveaway running over on Goodreads for my novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, and two signed copies are up for grabs. Here’s how to enter:

1.) Go to this link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/259791-emerson-page-and-where-the-light-enters
2.) Either sign in to Goodreads or quickly create an account
3.) Click “Enter Giveaway” button

Good luck!

 

In the pause: A Love Letter to New York

Though I didn’t move here until after college, living in New York City has been the dream of my life since I was a kid. And as difficult (and expensive!) as it can be to live here, there’s not a day that I’m not grateful for the creativity that lives and breathes around every corner. In my book, I showcase a lot of that magic found on, above, and below these streets. That theme will continue through Emerson’s series. Her story began here, blossoms here, and will end here (8 books from now.) She’ll travel to far-flung lands, find herself in wild situations, and meet dozens of people who can best be described as true characters. And as much as she’ll love those travels and adventures, she’ll always find her way back here to New York like so many of us do. Like a magnet, it draws us in. Once we’re in its orbit, it has us forever.

In the pause: What does Pub Day feel like for authors?

My Pub Day is fast approaching. People have been asking how I’m feeling. Honesty, I’m curious and hopeful. I’m curious to know how her story helps others. My great hope is that she inspires people to live the lives they imagine. She’s brave, powerful, and kind. I hope she makes a difference in the lives of others who get to know her. She’s certainly made a difference in mine.

I’ve lived with Emerson in my heart and mind for 8 years now. She’s a part of my every day living. I’ve protected her, nurtured her, and prepared her as best I can. Next Wednesday, she’ll belong to the world, and she’s ready for that.

On the day the book launches, I’ll begin NaNoWriMo 2017 and write the first draft of Emerson’s second book by the end of November. No rest for the weary, and that’s fine by me. Emerson and I have a lot of ground to cover so we better get moving. We have to make the most of the time we have.

In the pause: Combatting loneliness with literature – a lesson for writers and readers

This week, former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy talked about the loneliness epidemic. By his estimation, the stress of loneliness is a national health crisis, especially for our young people, and will be a leading cause of disease if we don’t take steps to alleviate it.

We’re hyper connected and surrounded by people and pings all day long. How can we be lonely if we’re not alone? Loneliness and being alone are not the same thing. In my opinion the worst kind of loneliness occurs when you feel it but aren’t actually alone. Loneliness is when we feel that no one understand us. As a child, I felt very lonely. One of the main reasons I wrote my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, is that I want all readers (especially kids) to feel less alone. I want them to know that someone somewhere is rooting for them and believes in their ideas and abilities. Emerson is the friend I needed when I was younger.

Nothing replaces a human presence in our lives though I do believe that books connect us, authors to readers, and readers to readers, across geographies and generations. As authors, they are our contribution to humanity. Books surface issues that matter and help us to walk in one another’s shoes. They help us see points-of-view that we don’t have the experience to see ourselves. They generate understanding, compassion, and empathy. They inspire courage, strength, and the ability to take a chance for something in which we believe. Books are powerful. And as authors, that power isn’t to be wielded lightly. We must work in service of the people who will one day read our words, the people who may one day need a friend and reach for our story.

In the pause: We all need books – a lesson for Writers from New Zealand’s Homeless

I’m giving you a tissue warning with this post…

This article from Atlas Obscura piqued my interest, as an author, a community member, and a person who cares deeply about providing inspiration and encouragement for others, particularly to our most vulnerable neighbors.

A library in New Zealand was experiencing a strange circumstance – books would vanish and then reappear. They did a bit of digging and found out what was happening – the homeless who used the library as a place to go during the day would read books and hide them in place where they were unlikely to be found so that they could continue reading them the next day. If that doesn’t make your eyes tear up, I’m not sure what would. I’m happy to report that this library in New Zealand got to work providing new programs for the homeless in response to this situation.

Stories and books matter to all people in all walks of life. They carry us away. They teach us. They help us see the world through a different set of eyes and walk in a different pair of shoes. That kind of escape and discovery is needed by everyone. Writing is a service, and as writers it’s important for us to remember that. It’s a responsibility we can’t take lightly. What we write matters more than we realize.

In the pause: Science shows hope is quite a good strategy

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it? How it all hurts but we never give up.” ~The Word Virus

New scientific studies show that hope can shield the mind from damage caused by anxiety.

I know the world as of late seems like a discouraging place. I understand that life—work, family, relationships, stress—can take us down a peg (or a 100 pegs) sometimes. It’s important, for our health and the health of our communities, that we keep going. That we work through the hurt, disappointment, and difficulties of every day life. That we continue to pursue the dreams that make us feel alive no matter the degree of our progress toward them. That we keep our minds and hearts open. We never know when it could all turn around. I have hope. And I want you to have hope, too.

In the pause: Book trailer for Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters

I’m so excited to share the book trailer I made for my young adult fantasy novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters. Let me know what you think!

In the pause: The book Wishtree by Katherine Applegate is what we all need to read right now

unnamedA story of acceptance and community told from the perspective of a wise 216-year-old northern red oak tree named Red, I read the book Wishtree in one delicious (or is it deciduous) sitting. I laughed, I cried, and I was happy / sad when it was over. This is the book the world needs now more than ever. Pun-filled tree humor provides the laughter than opens the way to understanding that diversity is the key to a healthy, thriving society. Nature knows that. Nature has always known that. And it’s time for us to embrace it, too.

A new Muslim family moves into the neighborhood and faces the ugliest side of human nature. The power of friendship, bravery, and history are woven together in this tale, part magic, part science, and all love. In Applegate’s own words, there is a special kind of power in being able to stand tall and reach deep in all circumstances. Leave it to children’s literature to teach us (adults and children alike) to be the very best people we can be.

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This little guy and I wish everyone safe travels that end with delicious food. Happy Thanksgiving!

RSS Breaking Bread Podcast on Soundcloud

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