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On a Writer's Mind

Ghost Road, Betsy Sterman

Two eleven-year-old friends, Jason and Chazz, are yanked out of their present-day lives and into the nineteenth century by the pleas of a ghost. The troubled spirit turns out to be a boy their age, Jem, a runaway slave from Tennessee. Jem traveled the Underground Railroad, Jason and Chazz discover, only to meet a  Read More 
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Highly entertaining humiliations of the writer's life

I loved Roger Rosenblatt's essay in the May 25, 2014 New York Times Book Review, “Please Turn to the Chapter on Obscurity”. His misadventures reminded me of the time when my first YA biography, Maria Mitchell: The Soul of an Astronomer, came out. The local Barnes & Noble invited me for a book signing, Read More 
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Friends of Liberty and the Boston Tea Party

Important historical moments can really interfere with your life.

Take the Boston Tea Party, a huge tipping point in American history. If things had happened just a little differently, those pesky chests of tea would have been quietly unloaded and sold, tax included. King George III and the British Parliament would have seen the light Read More 
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Review of Reading Like a Writer

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write ThemReading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose

As I read Prose's passionate appreciation of good fiction--classics and contemporary--I found myself continually inspired to work harder, write better. Read More 
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Review of Quiet

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain


An extremely thorough examination of the introvert/extrovert divide, especially in relation to our pro-extrovert culture. Read More 
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Miriam e-book

I'm thrilled to announce the re-publication of my YA novel Miriam! Now you can read it on a Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, PC, or just about any digital format.
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John McPhee on writer's block

For inspiration, fascinating insight into how a master wordsmith works, and sheer delight, check out "The Writing Life: Draft #4" in the April 29 New Yorker:
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/04/29/130429fa_fact_mcphee
I have to say I don't really agree with him about using a thesaurus (he's agin it), though.
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I’ve been Nooked.

"Nooked" is different from "nuked," but unnerving in its own way. First my husband gave me a Nook Tablet for Christmas. Then my daughter Katie kindly set up my B&N account, connected my email to the Nook, showed me how to download library e-books, and even made me a Nook "friend" so that  Read More 
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No words can express . . .

My sorrow for all the innocent lives lost in Friday's tragedy, and my deep sympathy for the bereaved families and friends.
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FAQ of the month

"Did you write a biography of Mitt Romney?" People ask me this because during the campaign of 2008, I wrote one bio of Barack Obama and one of John McCain. And during the campaign of 2000, I wrote one bio of Al Gore and one of George W. Bush. But this year, Simon & Schuster (my publisher) only  Read More 
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