Wrestler of Words & Spinner of Tales


REVIEW: Pie Is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard, illus. by Jason Chin

I’m back from a bit of a hiatus. Life got crazy pants! Totally banana bottoms. But, on course now, and I’m hoping to do more reviews of some of my favorite picture books. To kick off the summer right, I had to review Pie Is […]

A New Deal

I’m excited to share the news of my third picture book coming out Spring 2020 with Page Street Kids titled WANTED: DUSK RAIDERS and am thrilled to work once again with editor Charlotte Wenger. I can’t wait to see what illustrator Ellen Rooney does with […]

This Book Is Spineless: Available for Pre-order!!

I’ve had many moments when I’ve shed tears during the process of becoming a children’s author. Rejections…check. A request for an R&R (revise and resubmit)…check. An offer…check. An agent…check. More book deals…check. Just the thought of being able to one day hold a printed, hardback copy of my book in my hands reduced me to puddles. When I started on this path, I never knew I would see this day. I was content with that, as I was doing something I loved. Creating, writing, did I mention creating for kids?

Today, THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS is available for pre-order. Not only on Amazon, but also IndieBound and from my local (and very favorite bookstore) BookPeople! When I found this out and went about my day, doing awesome stuff like unloading the dishwasher, the tears started to gush again. Yep, waterworks.

So, thank you in advance for your pre-order and your support. This book needs a friend to help it along. Solid hands to hold its covers, because it’s so, so afraid of what story might be on its pages.



P.S. If you are on Goodreads, I hope you’ll make THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS a “Want to Read!”


It’s All About Collaboration

It’s a video! YIKES! And laughing at that screen capture. Ha ha ha… I’m trying out this new medium and enjoying the ease and conversational approach to it. Anywhoooo, I did want to touch on a few points I didn’t get to in the video. […]

This Is Dedicated to…

So, I’m in the throes of writing the dedication for THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS (Winter 2019). I’ve decided that each of my children will have a book dedicated to them. No sharing. Problem: who gets the first book? DOH! Am I going to have to […]


I’m so happy to break out this gnome pen again to sign a couple more contracts with Page Street Kids! Recently, my second picture book was announced. NOVA THE STAR EATER will see the light of day in spring of 2019! This idea popped into my head as I listened to my oldest son wax on about various Pokemon characters. Yep, Pokemon. He mentioned one was a star eater. A star eater?!? That set my mind on fire. What if there was a star eater? What if it came into our solar system? What if this star eater ate the sun? And out popped Nova. I hope she will make you giggle as much as she made me. The puns go for days in this one.

<—- That pen also signed another picture book contract, my third, with Page Street Kids. More on that very soon.

Also, my lyrical picture book manuscript WANTED: DUSK RAIDERS placed fourth in the children’s/YA category of the Writer’s Digest 86th Annual Writing Competition. Humbled by the honor.

2018 Goals!

This is neither a book nor a pie, but I need to put my 2018 goals out into the ether. It helps me be more accountable. Do you feel the same, or do you like to keep your goals to yourself? Either way, writing down […]

Review: AFTER THE FALL by Dan Santat

This one punched and then karate chopped and then maybe pile drove me right in the feels. AFTER THE FALL by Dan Santat is incredible. The beautiful arc for Humpty Dumpty plays out with ease, as he battles his fear of heights from the infamous […]

More Bits of News!

Almost exactly a year ago, I conjured up an idea. An idea for a picture book. It was the title that jumped into my head, and I had to do something with it. But what? The first drafts were laughable, snortable, and not in a good way. I pushed through the bad writing, and a story started to develop. I could see it. A story worthy of the title. When the draft was as good as I could make it, I queried it to agents. I got rejected by agents. I pitched it via Twitter contests like #PBPitch, #PitchMas, and #PitMad. It got some interest from agents. It was selected as a finalist in a contest. It was requested by a publisher. That very publisher asked for a revise and resubmit. And, I did. I revised and revised and revised and resubmitted. Back and forth. I wondered where this would lead to.

It led to an email. An email with that title–the very title that stole my imagination–and the word “OFFER” next to it. I just happened to be at a Jack Brown Cleaners at the time when I got said email. All I could do was jump. Then my son started jumping with me and asked, “Why are we jumping?” I didn’t answer because I was too busy, ya know, jumping, squealing, and pointing at my son. He cracked his signature smile, held my hand, and kept jumping. The lady who brought around the dry cleaning didn’t know what to do with us. So, I pointed at her all while jumping, and said “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” I didn’t care how ridiculous I looked. The moment was made for jumping.

That offer brought me together with the best literary agent for me! That offer became a contract I signed today with Page Street Publishing Company! I can’t wait to bring this book to the world and read it aloud to as many kids as I can, so hopefully it can make them laugh and snort, but in a very very good way. More details to come…


Who, who is ready for a who, who-dun-it? Mystery solved–you are! Go grab a copy of WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE (Margaret K. McElderry Books) by Jason Gallaher and illustrated flawlessly by Jess Pauwels. Whobert Whover is a charming and slightly oblivious (OK, a lot oblivious) owl detective […]