Tuesday, March 27, 2018


It's been so long since I've logged into this here bloggy thing, I sort of forgot how to create a post. Ooops! 
Back when I started this blog in 2008 or 2009 (I don't even remember now), I had no idea what was coming for me. Where the voices in my head would take me. Here I am preparing to visit a teen book club this weekend, where they've all read one of my books. This is a real thing I get to do. 
And as I've struggled with writing (especially since my 3.5yo daughter was born and stole most of my brain), and wondered if this path is really for me, I always seem to get a boost telling me that I want to keep doing these things. Just when I doubt, I'll get invited to a book club, or I'll get a book report on one of my books in the mail, or a fan email begging for a sequel to What You Always Wanted. A little poke, a reminder that things I've created are out there, are finding homes, are nestling in hearts. 
It's so easy to forget, because writing is so lonely. We sit here in our yoga pants in front of a computer screen and surrounded by Cadbury Mini Eggs and it feels like a small miracle when someone reaches out to tell you that your creation has meant something to them. 
That's why I do it, even when rejection after rejection comes. Because there is hope. That I'm meant to share something that means something to someone.  

Do I have anything coming out soon? No. 

Am I still writing? Always.
How are you? I miss you. I miss the glory days of blogging and the tiny little writing community we carved out for ourselves.  
And before I forget! If you're at all interested in hearing me interviewed about my publishing journey, here's a podcast


Friday, September 9, 2016

What You Always Wanted

Hard to believe it's been over a year since I updated this bloggy thing! And to think I used to hold myself back from posting more than once in a single day! How times have changed here in the blogosphere.

So, let's catch up!

My daughter is officially TWO, which is amazing. SHE'S amazing. And adorable. And hilarious. She runs really fast and dances like Davy Jones from the Monkees and sings "H.O.L.Y." by Florida Georgia Line like she's on stage.

I've run a few 5k's this year. I might be training for more. I might be training for a 10k in November. I might be training for a 15k in February. I might be training for a half marathon in April. I might be crazy. But only half crazy.

This past March, my second young adult novel was born into the world, officially. Publishingly. Or some such. My launch party was at my local B&N, where I was joined by friends and family. I made yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting, we wore stars on our cheeks, and I gave away a copy of Singin' in the Rain to a trivia winner! It was so much fun. A highlight of my life, because this book, y'all.... I love it so much.

Of course I love Wish You Were Italian, my first book baby, but What You Always Wanted came from a different place in my heart. It's more personal. It's so much more me because I was the high school kid stuck in the past, drooling over hollywood heartthrobs like Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, and, of course, Gene Kelly. Some of my friends humored me by watching old movies with me, but it was mostly a solo venture. And I was okay with that. It led me here. It gave me a story to share.

And I hope you enjoy it, You, Wonderful You.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Remember May 6, 2014 when I became a published author with my debut YA contemporary novel Wish You Were Italian?!

Remember when I was too pregnant and lazy to organize a launch week giveaway?

Remember last month when I realized I still had FUN THINGS to give away just SITTING on my shelf?!

In celebration of the first anniversary of Pippa out in the world, I'm hosting a #pippaversary giveaway! Open until May 6, 2015. BUT FIRST, A HUGE GRAZIE to all of you for reading, reviewing, gushing, and supporting me and my little book! This dream wouldn't be possibly without each of you! Much love!!

(US only, but scroll down for international giveaway)

Remember when Morgan gave Pippa a journal filled with fun things to do while in Italy?

Morgan's red journal! 

Remember when author Lindsey Leavitt said:
“With Italy's brilliant landscapes, a main character you'll love from the first line and a new dreamy book boyfriend (he's mine!), WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN is a charming and addictive read. Devour this delicious treat like a double scoop of gelato.”

A hardback of Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt!

Remember when I listened to nothing but Mindy Gledhill's album Anchor while I revised Wish You Were Italian and therefore Pippa is walking the streets of Italy with those songs in her head?

A copy of Anchor by Mindy Gledhill!

Remember when I stumbled upon the cutest little Rome mug with a Vespa on it?

Rome mug with a cartoon Vespa!

This giveaway is open to US addresses only.
Scroll down for the international giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I don't want those of you who live out of the country to be left out, 
so this next giveaway is open internationally!
(open to U.S. and beyond!)

Enter below for your chance to win 
a signed UK edition of Wish You Were Italian!

Don't forget to use #pippaversary on social media! 
Mangia gelato prima! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Good Year

I can't even put into words how happy I am there is an entire year between me and 2013. It was such a hard year for so many reasons. *shudders*

But 2014 was a huge blessing as it brought to life two dreams: becoming a published author, and becoming a mom!

This past holiday season was such a fun time, and I know it will just keep getting better!

So what does 2015 bring? No new book on the shelves (next year, though!), but I may or may not be already planning first birthday photos...

As for goals, getting in better shape is a yearly goal that never really happens. But I like what Miranda Hart says in her book Is it Just Me? when she jokes about writing a diet book. "Chapter one: Eat a bit less. Chapter two: Move about a bit more. The end."

Writing wise, I'd like to finish at least two of my WIPs this year. I've been very distracted with ALL THE SNUGGLING (and rightfully so), but I won't sell another book if I don't write one!

I also want to be more crafty (more artistically productive, not like, sneaky).

Do you have any goals? Do tell!

Here's to an amazing 2015, y'all!

Friday, November 7, 2014

It's a Blog Post, Charlie Brown!

Howdy friends!

Life has been pretty amazing the past two months since my daughter was born. Every day is a dream and I'm so thankful it's my reality.

Cutest baby ever, obvs. 

A friend and agent-mate, Isaiah Campbell, author of The Troubles of Johnny Cannon, tagged me in a blog hop, and I found it to be the perfect reason to hop back over to my lonely little blog.

What are you working on?

What am I not working on might be the shorter answer! Not really. That would be long too. Just last week I turned in the second round of revisions for my second book to my editor. It's called WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED and it's scheduled to be published in spring of 2016, also from Bloomsbury. It's about a classic movie-obsessed sixteen-year-old girl with unrealistic expectations when it comes to modern boys. As for what I'm drafting, I'm trying my hand at two different middle grades, and another young adult.

How does your work differ from others in your genre?

Well... it came from my weird brain, so there's that! I like to think of my stories as realistic with somewhat of a fairytale element. Not magic stuff (yet), but more like "This would never really happen... but it COULD!" Wish You Were Italian is a fit for readers with varied interests. Not only did I try to depict a travel destination in an immersive way, but I threw in self-discovery, growth, and family issues, while trying to keep it realistic and emotionally compelling.    

Why do you write what you do?

I tried to write paranormal early on. It's what was popular, so that's what I thought I should be writing. Then I went to a teen book con where I listened to a panel of YA contemporary authors (Stephanie Perkins, Lindsey Leavitt, and a few others), and I left there feeling completely inspired. CONTEMPORARY! That's what's inside me. The gushy sweet stuff. The almost-kisses. The fast heartbeats. The tingles. I want to grow as an author and push myself to write new things, but I think I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for realistic fiction because it changed my life.

What does your writing process look like?

I'm a bit backwards here. I have a whole list of book title ideas. A title pops in my head and then I think up a story seed to fit the title. SO WEIRD, right? When I think of a story idea first, the title seems to take FOREVER to come to me. I get stunted with drafting if I don't have some sort of title to anchor me. I might write bullet points, or beats, of what might happen in the story, but I won't necessarily stick to that. Sometimes my characters say things that surprise me, and I have to be flexible enough to let myself explore that. Speaking of flexible, I don't have to write in order either. With Italian, one of the first things I wrote was a version of the last scene. And if I have an idea of bits of convo I want to come later, I write it and just work toward it. I like super clean first drafts, so I read back through parts I've already written each time I sit down to write. Not only does it help me get back into the head of that character, but I catch more mistakes, or find better ways to word things after distancing myself from it a little. So when I finish a first draft, it's already been edited quite a few times. Makes my revisions much more manageable doing most of the work on the front end. 

That was fun, writing about writing! My lovely friend Anita Saxena has allowed me to tag her, so you're it! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Baby, and BABY Baby

My book baby has been out in the world since May 6th, which happens to be the last time I wrote on this blog. My mind has been elsewhere. Many elsewheres.

Let me tell you, it's a surreal feeling when you can walk into a bookstore and find a book that YOU wrote on the shelves. It's like one of those impossible, intangible life goals/dreams and when it really happens, your brain DOESN'T GET IT. Even when people stand in line at an event to get you to sign your name in said book, your brain DOESN'T GET IT. When someone tweets at you that they want to smoosh your book in their face; when a teenager emails you to say how much they loved your book; when you stumble on a review that says YOUR BOOK is their new FAVORITE contemporary YA... it brings tears to your eyes, but is it REALLY HAPPENING?

IT IS HAPPENING. AND IT'S WONDERFUL. I am thankful. I am grateful. I am humbled. I am inspired.

So this elsewhere my mind's been stuck in…  a person has been growing in my belly, and she's due to make her debut in less than two weeks. As I write this, she's wiggling around like an alien, and I'm struck by how odd this whole thing is. When we have a book coming out, we already know everything about it. What it looks like, feels like, smells like. We know everything. But this is just one giant mystery the whole way through. Thanks to ultrasounds, we know she will be a girl, but that's about it. What will she look like? Will her eyes be blue? Will she have my pointy nose? Will she be taller than me by the time she's in junior high?

I understand that she's coming soon, I know how this works. I've seen friends go through it. I have nephews. There really will be a baby at the end of this. But my brain DOESN'T GET IT. Despite how gigantic I am and how puffy my feet get when I stand for too long, I can't really comprehend being on the other side of this with a baby in my arms. I'm going to be a mother by the end of the month (as long as she's not late!), something I wasn't sure I'd get the chance to be.

And that's pretty incredible.

We'll see you on the other side!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


When I started writing a novel (that no one will ever see) years ago, I researched the publishing industry and totally chickened out. I thought there was no way I was going to be good enough. The prospect of one day walking into a Barnes & Noble and finding a book I'd written on the shelf seemed an impossibility.

But the thing is, if this form of creating is inside of you, it finds a way out. You have to write. You have stories to tell. You suck it up and do the work because you love it and can't imagine your life without this part of you. You long to create characters and stories that someone else can connect with. To share a little piece of what's inside your head, even if just for that one person that needed to hear what you had to say. You get better by doing. By reading. By listening. By seeing. By not quitting.

Starting today I'm going to be able to walk into a bookstore and find a book with my name on it, with words I've written inside, and this is so huge I can't even fully process it. From this day on, I'll always be a published author. Like, what?! ALL THE MUPPET FLAILS!!

And I owe a million thanks to my critique girls, Katie M. Stout, Kristi Chestnutt, and Kim Franklin, and to readers Amy Sonnichsen, Cari, and Mari. My amazing agent Marietta B. Zacker, and incredible editor Caroline Abbey. Laura Whitaker and everyone at Bloomsbury! My supportive and loving family and friends, in-person and online! My journey here wouldn't be the same without each of you.

Colosseum at night

In Wish You Were Italian, Pippa makes a list of ten goals for her summer in Italy:

  • Don’t get arrested
  • Don’t make a fool out of myself in public
  • Get my picture taken at the Colosseum
  • Find random souvenir for Morgan
  • Get a makeover
  • See Pompeii
  • Swim in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Have a conversation with someone in only Italian
  • Eat a whole pizza in one sitting
  • Fall in love with an Italian

If I were spending an entire summer in Italy (hey, it's fun to dream!), here are ten things I'd want to do!

  • Take an official tour of the Colosseum, including the scary bottom level
  • Go to the catacombs
  • See Pompeii
  • Eat gelato at least twice a day
  • Paint on location instead of later from a picture
  • Take a gondola ride in Venice
  • Stay at a bed and breakfast in Tuscany 
  • Learn to make authentic pasta from scratch
  • Rent a bicycle and ride around a quaint village
  • Learn to speak enough Italian to get by without relying on English

Hubs and me eating gelato in Corniglia, Cinque Terre

Painter in Florence | Bikes in Florence

What would you do with a whole summer in Italy?!

If you'd like a signed copy of Wish You Were Italian, my local indie bookstore ships! Click THIS LINK to order, marking any personalization details in the order comments.