Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I've been writing for children and teens for over a decade. It's been a long, hard, fabulous journey, and I've loved every minute of it. Here is a quick summary and excerpt from the latest novel I'm working on.

HIM (Novel in Verse): Expanding on my 2011 Katherine Paterson Prize winner, Tessa is caught in a very destructive addiction -- a need for sexual intimacy that helps her feel whole but controls her life and destroys almost every relationship. Yet when witty but dangerously rebellious Jack Daughtry shows up, he begins to force Tessa to face the addiction swirling around her so she can start to heal. But can Jack deal with his own demons or will he take Tessa, the one girl he can finally relate to, down with him?

Several Hundred Feet Away, A Flare Spikes


an orange smudge in the darkness. A shadow flits around a stalled vehicle. When I get   

  closer, I see the fuchsia hat that could only be Emma Hadley’s, an elfish garment she   

       wears every day to school. It sags down her back, a wool ball at its dangling,

           pointed tip. Her dark-colored car slumps like a drugged elephant next to

                her. She’s a nice girl, sweet, in two of my classes this year, and in

                    school with me for eight years total. We went to the mall

                        together once at the start of seventh grade. Giggled

                           like crazy when we passed cute boys. Then she

                            got involved with jazz band and I got involved

                               with covertly sleeping with guys and we

                                 both had no time for anything else.

                                   Now, Emma turns to face my car

                                  as it speeds toward her, waves her

                                    hands high in front of her, wants

                                     me to stop. Panic shoots through

                                       me, coasting on a riptide of

                                         guilt. I want to help her.

                                             I mean, I’m screwed

                                              up, but I’m not the

                                              girl who ignores

                                           someone in need.

                      I’ve donated

               to save the rain forests,

                             helped senior citizens snag groceries

                   from high shelves. But if I stop, what if Emma

            asks me where I’m going by myself? Asks me why, who

           I’ll see? And shouldn’t she have a cell phone anyway? I mean,

shouldn’t she be more careful than to flag down cars on a dark

 road at night? My foot presses harder on the gas. My face

       turns away as I pass her, hoping with wicked fierce-

         ness she won’t recognize my car, won’t realize

               it’s me leaving her stranded, alone at

                    night, all because my secrets are

                              gruesome ugly and

                                  way too fragile

                                         to risk






  1. Hi heather!

    A happy halloween to you and a warm congratulations! You just won a copy of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies. Thanks for joining my blog giveaway. :)
    Be sure to leave your email address on my blog so I could email you your ebook.


  2. Hey heather!
    How are you doing? Haven't heard from you in a while.
    BTW, I just tagged you for a post!


  3. Hi Heather,
    I read "Him" on the Hunger Mountain website. I thought it was absolutely amazing and I'm glad you're making it into a novel.