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Twelve Writing Tips

Recently, a teen reader asked me to give her some writing tips, and after ruminating about what to send, I just started typing up some guidelines that hit me in no particular order. I didn’t get into the nitty gritty of line editing, such as–here are common placeholders or watch out for these flabby verbs. […]

The two books I’d read over and over again as a kid

If you were to ask me what are my favorite novels for children, I’d hem and haw. It’s a really, really hard one because there are so many wonderful books for this age group. People have written books just listing all of the great books. As an adult reader, I’m pretty stuck on this one. […]

Here’s a quick video tip for simplifying your WIP

Here’s how you can simplify your novel. Okay, not everything you need to know. Just one tip to start you off. And that tip is…drum roll please: collapse your characters. Watch the 30 second video (okay, I was cheating it’s 35 seconds actually) to find out how: Enjoy! Yours, Hillary p.s. forgive my presidential hairdo. […]

Defining Tween Books for Girls

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I write contemporary tween books for girls and I’m often asked–what is the difference between contemporary middle grade and contemporary tween books? Tween, while originally more widely used by marketers, has also come to mean literature that is aimed at kids ages, 10-12ish–in other words, the upper end of middle grade. It is considered a […]

Why I Need Silence to Write

Noise chases me. And when someone chases me, I run. Why? Well, I prefer silence in order to write. I know that this is not how everyone operates. Friends and colleagues post their playlists as they write. Wow. How do they do this? When I hear music my mind is pulled away from my own […]