children's stories & middle grade fiction
Books & Stories
THE GREAT MANTIS RESCUE
Published by Pioneer Valley Books
Published in Balloons Lit. Journal,
"READY FOR ANYTHING"
Published in Highlights for Children,
BOOKS COMING SOON
LAYTON MURPHY HAS ALL THE LUCK
Layton Murphy has built a business on his reputation for being the luckiest kid in school, but when people start to doubt his abilities, he has to prove himself by working with the one person he swore he'd never help.
Reid Harper is determined to save his family's ghost-hunting reality show, and things are looking up when he partners with a junior chef hopeful and discovers that ghosts are attracted to gourmet food. But what happens when their paranormal patrons show up uninvited for a second helping?
Pete Simms is spending his summer cleaning beach houses when he finds a secret elevator that leads him into the heart of a town-wide conspiracy. Either he's in for the adventure of a lifetime, or he's about to become Shell Haven's latest missing kid.
Genre: Contemporary Middle Grade
Length: 42,000 words
Project Status: out on submission
Genre: Middle Grade Adventure
Length: 60,000 words
Project Status: second draft in progress
Genre: Upper Middle Grade Adventure
Length: 70,000 words
Project Status: rewrite in progress
When I was 10 years old, I bought an old laptop on eBay. It had a black and white screen and crashed when you closed the lid. I could do two things on my laptop - play Number Crunchers and write stories. I wasn’t very good at Number Crunchers, so by the time I hit middle school I had quite a collection of short stories amassed on my aging hard drive. When it inevitably crashed for good, I started over on a behemoth desktop that I adopted from my parents. This time I was smart. I backed my stories up on a floppy disk. Not the really floppy kind. The small kind with the little locking slider on the side. I guess they weren't actually very floppy.
here i am staring into the middle distance and coming up with my next great idea.
the whole family getting ready to watch our favorite football team lose on TV!
sometimes our dog is dressed like a frog.
it's a thing.
you can fit a whole book on one of these things!
For a little while writing took a back seat to other things. I worked on adulting, learned how to be a teacher. Later I got married (great idea), got a dog (okay idea...he eats bunny poop) and then had a few kids (great idea but again with the poop).
Now I teach special education outside of Philadelphia and type furiously on a loud mechanical keyboard whenever I get the chance. Thanks to the marvels of the internet, I no longer back my work up on a floppy disk, but I still keep a few in my desk drawer just in case society collapses. They also make very nerdy coasters.
Question & Answer
What's your favorite thing to write about?
I love trying to put a fresh spin on the kinds of things that happen in everyday life. So my stories are about things like fishing trips and school dances and summer jobs, but there's generally a monster or some magic in there somewhere, too.
How long does it take to write a book?
Every author has a different answer to this question, and it really depends on the kind of book I'm working on. On average, it takes me about 6 months to write a first-draft, then a few more months after that to do edits. If I'm lucky, I'll have a mostly finished book after about a year.
That seems like a long time for just one book - isn't writing your only job?
I'm actually a full-time special education teacher outside of Philadelphia. That means I do most of my writing very early in the morning, before I head in to school. But that also means I get to spend every day of the school week with some very cool kids, and they give me a lot of the ideas I use for my stories and books.
Why can't I find any of your books online?
Because they're not published yet! Getting a book published takes a long time and a lot of work, and even though I have a few books that are technically finished, they still have a little ways to go before you'll find them online or in a bookstore. If you join my email list (bottom of this page), I'll let you know as soon as one of them comes out! Maybe you'll be the first to read it!