Category Archive for "News and Views"


Folks ask me to reveal middle grade covers from time to time. Sometimes I say yes. Sometimes I say no. If you ever happen to be interested in my doing so then the following elements should ideally be combined:

A nun
A smarmy man with a mustache (handlebar preferred but not required)
An unnerved woman staring at the smarmy man with the aforementioned mustache
A pig
Admittedly, it’s only once in a blue moon when I can find such a book jacket to premiere, but when I can . . . magic!!

Rewriting Hell

Always remember mama: Even if Ruby Clyde was terrible (which it obviously isn’t), even if it was unreadable (which it obviously isn’t), even if you couldn’t even string three coherent words together (which you obviously can), even if you were a babbling idiot in some 19th century insane asylum somewhere (which I suppose we can’t rule out), even if ALL of that were true, Markham, Jesse, Pop, me, and many, many other people in this world still love you more than words can express.

New York City, free and easy

I’ve just returned to my apartment and kicked off my shoes. My first day in the city was everything I wanted and nothing I expected. Outside below my window on the sidewalk, a man with a hodgepodge accent is shouting: America I love it. And I’m wondering if the Tonys are still on TV.

Why We Do What We Do

I usually kick into high gear when I name a character. Who knew nouns were so energetic? Verbs in coats. I don’t mean that my characters walk in and take over or any of that juju, I just mean that naming is powerful, concrete and somehow mobile. Worlds begin to crack open, for me. That’s why I wrote this line in a play – when there’s a name change in the Bible you know that God is about to let it rip.

Southern Festival of Books

The 2014 Southern Festival of Books kicks off today in Nashville.    

Launch Party — Writing Our Way Home

Come to Caritas Village in Memphis, TN on Saturday September 20th @ 1:00 and buy a book (or two!). Meet the authors. Enjoy readings of excerpts from the book. . .

Death of the Monoculture

When I was a young reader we had one decision 1) hard copy book or 2) no book. If we wanted the book we had one more decision 1) library or 2) bookstore. Since then reading has fragmented: e-books, audible books, cd’s, amazon, overdrive, goodreads, and hard copies. Is this good or bad? Opinions fly. . .