News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Archive for September, 2009

Fan Mail Wednesday #61

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 Posted in Fan Mail | 2 Comments »


Wow, I'm busy today. I really don't have time to mess around with . . . Oh, right. You don't care about that. You are a beast that needs to be fed, my monster under the floorboards, a fiery furnace that ...

When I Stood By and Did Nothing

Monday, September 28th, 2009 Posted in Bystander, Greatest Hits | 8 Comments »


As I write this, my bully-themed novel, Bystander, is due out in stores tomorrow, the 29th. There seems no better time to share John's story . . . During my work on the book, I naturally reflected on my own experiences ...

Music Video Weekend: Ryan Adams, “When the Stars Go Blue”

Saturday, September 26th, 2009 Posted in Music | 2 Comments »


"Where do you go when you're lonely? Where do you go when you're blue?" I think about music all the time. Always have. Listen to it, read about it, close my eyes and feel it. I hate to say this, but ...

A tribute to the dash in the poetry of Emily Dickinson — plus, yes — a reminder — it’s not too late to bake your cake for National Punctuation Day!

Friday, September 25th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »


I'm a day late on this one, as usual. And -- oh, rats! -- just as I feared -- a dollar short. Yesterday was National Punctuation Day. Sorry if you missed it. As an author, I tend to think of ...

Checkers, President Nixon’s Dog . . . in BYSTANDER

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 Posted in Bystander, the writing process | 4 Comments »


My new book, Bystander, hits the shelves on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009. And that's a strange thing for an author, because it's an anticipated date but also anti-climactic. A smile followed by a shrug: Okay, so? What now? Allow me to ...

What’s Going On?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 Posted in Around the Web, Music, Readings, the writing process | 1 Comment »


Some quick hits today: * "Ritual" would be too big a word for it, too religious; "tradition" doesn't feel quite right either. But when I begin a new book, I go to my local CVS and buy one of these bad ...

Come to Children’s Book Day @ Washington Irving’s “Sunnyside” in Tarrytown, NY: 9/27

Monday, September 21st, 2009 Posted in Current Events | 2 Comments »


When I was a kid, I used to watch professional wrestling on television. This was before it went big time, before Hulk Hogan and the massive popularity of the WWF and big events on pay-per-view cable. I watched during the ...

Stories Behind the Story: The Case of the Haunted Scarecrow

Thursday, September 17th, 2009 Posted in Jigsaw Jones, the writing process | No Comments »


Here's another in a series of "inside stories" about my Jigsaw Jones books, with the idea that it might be interesting and/or useful to teachers and students engaged in the writing process. Hopefully I'll work my way through all the ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #60

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 Posted in Fan Mail, Six Innings | 3 Comments »


Hot stuff, coming through -- watch your back, people! Before I share this note from Travis, I have to tell you about my dream last night. During the day, I spent some time at a grammarian's website, trying to learn ...

Dr. Stanley Milgram’s Experiments . . . and an excerpt from BYSTANDER

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 Posted in Bystander, the writing process | 2 Comments »


In high school during the late 70's, I became a fan of Peter Gabriel. I waited eagerly for his first solo album to come out in '77, after leaving Genesis in '75, and have followed his career with varying levels ...