Blog Tag Tour...

Ever heard of a Blog Tag Tour? I get tagged to answer four questions then tag three other authors to do the same. Vicky Alvear Shecter tagged me to answer some questions today... I will tag Janice Hardy, Alison Ashley Formento, and Michelle Knudsen. Read on...

1. What are you working on right now?
     I just finished the copy edits for A BIRD ON WATER STREET so now I talk to my publicist a good bit as we try to line up getting blurbs and putting some marketing in place. SO BIZARRE! It's getting close! The soft e-release will be this October with the actual print date in May of 2014.
     I'm also finishing up a set of four picture books for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. These is a feel-good project of books for new mothers, which doctors will hand out for free. The talk about proper nutrition, screen time, activity, and hydration to help mothers fight potential obesity and raise healthy children. I'll share more soon.

2. How does it differ from other works in the genre?
     A BIRD ON WATER STREET is mid-grade historical fiction about a boy growing up around the closing of the copper mine in his southern Appalachian home. It's extremely environmental and, I hope, inspiring. The educational value of the book will be quite strong and fit in well with common core. And I can't wait to do school visits and show the complicated background and history of the mining industry.
     The picture books are something completely new. English on one side and Spanish on the other, they are a proactive way to fight obesity, encourage literacy, give books, and help new mothers. I mean, truly, there is NO downside to this project!!

3. Why do you write what you do?
     With A BIRD ON WATER STREET I never felt I chose to write it at all. I've always felt like I was chosen. It's been a huge responsibility and I look forward to sharing it with the dozens of people I interviewed and the Copperhill, Tennessee community itself. This book belongs to them.
     Truly, most of my stories just come to me. Although that doesn't make them easy to create - far from it. It's my job to do the work to make them just right. And it is WORK!

4. What is the hardest part about writing?
     Giving yourself over to a novel is tough. Sometimes it will take me days to circle into my writing. Because I'm most effective when I enter 'the zone.' The problem is, the zone is not a very comfortable place to be. It's almost like going into a trance - that can last for months. You live and breathe your story and characters, often at the neglect of the very real events and people around you. Even so, once in the zone, I don't want to leave it!

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