Hot Diggity Dog! My 1950s zombie novel is now available on Amazon. I wrote the first draft right after I moved from Maryland to California. I was living with my in-laws, hadn’t started my new job yet, and didn’t really know what to do with all my free time. I figured I had two choices: I could sit on the couch while watching TV and stuffing my face with chips, or I could write a book. After two days of couch-sitting-TV-watching-chip-eating bliss, I decided to write a book. Unlike my first novel, I didn’t have an outline for Where’s My Dinner?, but the ideas started flowing and I couldn’t stop writing.
After I finished my first draft, which wasn’t particularly good, I revised several times, and then I enlisted my trusty group of beta readers. A big thank you to Lynne, Kenric, Ian, Alison, Anne, Linda, Cristiane, and Scott for their invaluable feedback. I also received tons of helpful advice from my fabulous editors, Edward M. Wolfe and Amy Eye. They are two of the most talented editors I’ve ever worked with. And of course I owe a big thank you to my publisher, Line by Lion Publications. I met the owner of Line by Lion at Fandomfest in 2013. My mother bought her book, Hunter the Horrible, and Amanda bought my first novel, Jordan’s Brains. I was thrilled when she emailed me a few months later and offered me a publishing contract for my next book.
My wonderful mother (and best friend) was kind enough to edit Where’s My Dinner? three times, and she vastly improved the story. I dedicated this book to her because she was my ultimate editor. She wrote middle grade novels, picture books, and she was a voracious reader. She passed away six weeks ago at the young age of fifty-nine. My heart is shattered, but I’m trying to focus on all the good times we had together (there were so many). Mom always told me there were way too many wonderful books in the world to read in her lifetime – I’m hoping she has a full bookshelf in heaven.
I’m not sure when I’ll start writing my next novel. I have a seven-month-old baby whom I read to every day, and I’ve fallen in love with children’s picture books, so I’ve started writing my own. I have four finished manuscripts, and I’m working on an idea for a fifth book. After I had my baby, I was afraid I wouldn’t have any time to write, but I’m able to scribble notes on post-its and steal ten minutes here and there to fix my drafts. I’m grateful I still find time to write, and I’m so happy my mother finally published her book, Annie Blue-Eyes, last year. Now my daughter will be able to “know” her nana by reading her book. As Meg Rosoff said, “Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”
Mom reading to me and my brother:
Me reading to my baby girl: