BLUE has been named a 2022 Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite in Teen Fiction. Check out all the honorees here. Many thanks to the judges and to IPA for this honor – and for giving me the terrific first-world problem (and total humblebrag) of running out of room on my book cover. I am blessed.
If you’re reading BLUE (or getting ready to), here’s a list of songs that inspired me during the journey as I put BLUE together: Another Way Out by Hollywood Undead – BLUE first chapter. Blue begins her story feeling like she’s got nowhere to run from Maya, and from everyone who’s determined warn her about Maya’s return to school. You Need to Calm Down – Taylor Swift. This one I picked for Jules. Blue’s best friend isn’t doing much to help the situation, as she seems determined to stir up… Read more The BLUE Playlist – An Odd Mix →
It’s Pub Day Eve for BLUE! I’ve been here twice before in YA (and quite a few more times in other genres), but this one means a hell of a lot to me. You see, BLUE almost never was because I quite nearly ceased to be. Five weeks before DREAMER released in 2018, I was battling for my life against a devastating brain bleed in a hospital room far from home. I survived obviously, but lost the use of the left side of my body. As a single mom with… Read more Dream A Little Dream, Or Battling For BLUE →
In this excerpt, Blue and Maya are in their first afterschool detention with the school counselor, Mrs. Ramsey, and it’s not going smoothly. Blue is determined to get through this and avoid confrontation, but she has no idea what kind of pressure Maya has being a scholarship student at a wealthy, white private school. “Nobody ever treats her or her family like they don’t belong.” Maya grumbles. “So give her an example,” Mrs. Ramsey encourages. “When did you have to deal with someone treating you badly?” “I’ve been called names.… Read more Blue Excerpt: Blue And Maya →
In this scene, Blue receives a letter from her brother, Jack, who is currently serving a six- month sentence in a boot camp style program for his part in the accident that killed the father of her classmate, Maya. He asks Blue to come and visit him—something she hasn’t yet been able to make herself do. I hold the letter in my hand for a moment, just staring at his familiar scrawl, not really reading the words. There’s an ache in my chest as my eyes begin to focus again… Read more BLUE Excerpt: Jack’s Letter →
In this scene, Blue and her newly-acquired boyfriend, Devon, are working on a class project that requires them to select a book to preserve for posterity and write a presentation on it. Blue grabs a book from her MLM-loving mother’s bookshelf, and she and Devon brainstorm some talking points until it all takes a turn. “Mindfulness Over Madness: Your Guide to Self-Realization Through Negation Release,” Devon reads. “This is your book?” “It’s one of my mom’s. I had to grab something. Should be easy to talk about.” His brow crinkles… Read more BLUE Excerpt: The Book Project →
Tropes: you love some – you hate some. And the truth is, tropes appear and reappear in stories for a reason. From the classic Cinderella story to the innocent maid winning the true-loving heart of the bad boy, a trope that is beautifully fleshed out, creatively spun, or turned on its head can rocket a story to greatness. Likewise, a badly written or tiredly overused trope can result in a book being thrown into the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish) pile, and a trope that personally grinds your gears can… Read more Let’s Talk About Tropes We Hate →