I have an announcement to make!
I'm having another child. Her name is Sylvie. She's already nine years old, and she can be extremely frustrating. I frequently want to slap her and hug her, often at the same time. I also want to slap and hug myself sometimes as I write Sylvie's stories, because she and I can go off on tangents that have nothing to do with the plot.
In other words, my book, The Best Friend Battle starring Sylvie Scruggs, is being published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic, in Spring 2015 with two more books coming Fall 2015 and Spring 2016.
I'm so grateful to my agent, Caitlin Blasdell, and my editor, Cheryl Klein. They are both fantastic and wonderful to work with. (One of my biggest fears is driving these two geniuses crazy with my nonlinear thinking.)
If you love to write and are interested in pursuing a master's degree on the subject, I highly recommend going here: the Vermont College of Fine Arts. It changed my life and I would not be in this position if it weren't for what I learned about writing and reading at that school.
This kind of announcement needs a picture to go with it. I don't have a picture of Sylvie yet—the book will be a chapter book with plenty of illustrations—but I do have a picture of myself and my family on the day of my graduation. My family deserves more thanks than anyone—they read and listened to so many drafts of this thing and put up with me hunkered over the computer for hours and hours and hours—so it's appropriate they be in this picture with me:
I should also mention that the opening baseball scene was Sam's idea. (I believe he said, "You need something else in here. Something like baseball.")
I am so excited to be a small voice in the world of children's literature. I used to have a dream that I could fly an airplane all over the world and drop packages of books to children everywhere. I think this will be the next best thing (can you tell I'm hoping to do school visits???).