Thursday, January 2, 2020

A New Year, and a New Book

Hi all.

Happy new year! I can’t believe it’s 2020. But I’m already excited about a new year in my writing career, especially because right at the beginning of the new year, I have a new book out!

It’s called Artificial Intelligence in the Real World, published by Focus Readers, and it’s part of their Artificial Intelligence series of books geared toward children grades 5-9. 

Here’s a quick summary of the book:

Explores how artificial intelligence is currently being used in the real world, including in health care, retail, manufacturing, and homes. Clear text, vibrant photos, and helpful infographics make this book an accessible and engaging read.

The entire book series is a great introduction to what artificial intelligence is and its impact on our world today. You can order my book or other books in the series using the links below or by going to your favorite bookstore:

Focus Readers:


Artificial Intelligence in the Real World:

The complete Artificial Intelligence set:

This year, in addition to working on getting more short stories and books out into the world, I’m going to be focusing more on my web presence and also working on doing appearances. I’m hoping to share more with you soon.

Hope everyone has a happy, safe, and healthy new year, and that whatever goals and dreams you have imagined for the coming year come to pass.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

In a Flash, Another Story is Out!

Hi all

Right on the heels of my latest publishing news comes more publishing news. My latest flash fiction story, “Custard’s Last Stand”, clocking in at just 101 words, is up at 101 Words, here:

Flash fiction is one of my favorite modes of storytelling, for three very simple reasons.

First, it’s fun. Some of my strangest ideas have come to me while coming up with flash fiction stories to write about. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it’s so short that I feel comfortable taking chances. If the story somehow doesn’t pan out, it’s no big deal. Putting aside a piece of flash fiction that’s not working is much less devastating than putting aside all the time and energy spent writing a novel that doesn’t work. 

Second, it’s a challenge. And I love a good challenge. It’s sort of like a puzzle. Trying to come up with an entire story - with a beginning, middle, and end - that fits into such a small space is no easy task.

Finally, it’s a great learning experience for a writer. When you’re restricted on the number of words you can use, it forces you to really heed all the great writers’ advice to avoid unnecessary words. Editing flash fiction stories is a great writing exercise that hones skills you can carry over to anything else you attempt to write, from the shortest flash fiction to the longest epic-length novel series. 

For the budding writer that’s just starting out, i suggest trying your hand at getting some flash fiction stories written, not only for the reasons I mentioned above, but also because seeing your work in print after working on a quick story may give you the confidence to try something more meaty. Maybe my story, and the many other 101-word stories on that site, will inspire you to create something of your own.

Happy reading, happy writing, and thanks for following me!

Friday, October 25, 2019

And Now, for Your Listening Pleasure...

Hi all

More publishing news for you. I just found out that my short children's story, Small Mouse, Big Trouble, is now available at! It's so amazing to hear that my story is now an audiobook, and now you can hear it too. Just check out the link, here:

I will have more news to share soon about another book coming out, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Two New Coding Books

Exciting news for techie kids out there. There are two more of my books on coding concepts out in the world, published by The Child's World and part of their Simple Coding series.

All About Coding Sequences:

Book description: 

Introduces young readers to coding sequences. How are sequences like a treasure hunt? With real-world examples and labeled diagrams, learn about what a sequence is in code, what it looks like, and how it works. Additional features include a table of contents, a phonetic glossary, a reading quiz, an index, and sources for further research.

All About Coding Selections:

Book description:

Introduces young readers to coding selections. How are selections like coming to a fork in the road? With real-world examples and labeled diagrams, learn about what a selection is in code, what it looks like, and how it works. Additional features include a table of contents, a phonetic glossary, a reading quiz, an index, and sources for further research.

The other books in the series are All About Coding Loops by James Bow and All About Coding Functions by Jaclyn Jaycox. 

You can find these books here:

The Child's World: Simple Coding Book Series

And at Amazon, here: 

All About Coding Sequences

All About Coding Selections

All About Coding Functions

All About Coding Loops

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Something Old, Something New

Hi all!

More writing news for you, involving some old writing by me and some brand new writing.

First, the new stuff. I have two new books now available. In truth, they've been available for a bit, but I'm a little behind with my announcements. I've written two coding books for children ages 9-12 with Focus Readers, as part of their Coding series.

Here is a description of Coding Basics:

Explains the many ways code is used today, including key concepts such as robotics and coding careers. Easy-to-read text, informative sidebars, and helpful diagrams make this book an engaging read for avid technology fans and readers who are new to computer coding.

And here is a description of How Coding Works:

Explains the process programmers use to write code, including key concepts such as algorithms and programming languages. Easy-to-read text, informative sidebars, and helpful diagrams make this book an engaging read for avid technology fans and readers who are new to computer coding.

The other two books in the series are Video Game Coding by Janet Slingerland and The Future of Coding by Kathryn Hulick. All of these books are a great introduction to the world of coding for early middle graders.

For anyone interested in ordering them, you can go on Amazon or directly to the Focus Readers website:

From Focus Readers:

Coding Basics from Amazon:

How Coding Works from Amazon:

Video Game Coding from Amazon:

The Future of Coding from Amazon:

Now for something old, and something I stumbled upon by accident but is exciting because it hearkens back to the really early days of my published writing.

While poking around on Amazon, I happened to find the VERY FIRST short story I ever submitted and got accepted for publication. And here it is!

This was a short story that was originally published in Spider magazine in 2007. This story has a special place in my heart. First, everything about writing the story excited me. Somehow the story just clicked together for me. It actually started out as a writing class assignment for a course I was taking at the Institute of Children's Literature. It established the types of stories I wanted to write - the real and the fantastic and absurd, mixed together in the same universe. The process I went through to get this first story submitted and eventually published was grueling, but it was invaluable early in my writing career because it taught me lessons about patience, perseverance, hard work, and the importance of beta readers and having a writing support group (which at that time was the staff, faculty, and my fellow writers at ICL).

I was thrilled to stumble across this on Amazon and see it in a standalone form. It's even more exciting because if anyone is interested in it, it's only $1 on Amazon! You can order it here:

That's all the news I have for now. I'm working on a new book now, and I have two others coming out sometime this summer, so hopefully there will be more to report in the near future. Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Big News: My New Nanotechnology Book is Available!

Ready for more book news? OK, here goes. My newest children's book is ready to order now. And here it is!

This book is part of Norwood House Press's TechBytes series, and it's all about the amazing world of nanotechnology. Here's a brief description:

Nanotechnology allows scientists to work with tiny particles. This can help engineers create smaller products and let doctors check people's health. This evolving technology creates more durable buildings and is used in the suits worn by astronauts. Learn about the uses of nanotechnology and how this field can shape the future.

And here's a description of the TechBytes series:

Amazing technological breakthroughs are happening all the time. Scientists and engineers bring new ideas to life, and businesses make them real. Tech Byes: High-Tech explores some of the extraordinary devices and systems that are changing the modern world. Explore the history of these high-tech innovations, what obstacles their inventors encountered along the way, and how these technologies can become a part of society's culture. Supports STEM and NGSS standards. Each book contains fast facts, a glossary, an index, and places to go for more information.

You can find the book on the Norwood House Press website, here:

Or you can find it on Amazon:

Or order it through your favorite independent bookstore. And go VISIT your favorite independent bookstore, because, well, indie bookstores are fun to visit.

Oh, and one last thing. I've put a lot of work into my writing lately, and sometimes I wonder if the long hours I put in outside of spending time with the family and my day job (with little sleep, mind you) are worth it, but when I see things like this, I find it so surreal and it's suddenly all worth it. Who would've thought that I could get books that I wrote in my own library??

(And no, that hold placed on my book was not made by me - that would be weird anyway, lol. Someone requested it before it's even been catalogued!)

Monday, April 16, 2018

My First Book Review!

More exciting news! I have just received my FIRST EVER review of one of my books!

The School Library Journal provided a review of the Understanding the Basics series offered by The Child's World, in which my book How to Read Scratch Computer Code is included.

Here is the review, which  you can also check out here if you click on the Reviews tab:

A Review of "Understanding the Basics" in School Library Journal

These guides develop skill sets that are easily transferable to schoolwork, home life, and future jobs. In Calendars and Clocks, digital takes a backseat to analog for a truly introductory lesson about units of time using a familiar clockface with three hands. The back-to-basics focus covers a great deal of terminology, and the individual authors are consistent in offering a rigorous level of detail. Nutrition Labels, for example, not only explains what protein, calcium, fat, and carbs are, but matches photos of common food sources and how the body uses them to best advantage. Scratch Computer Code will walk junior techies through step-by-step screenshots of sprites and blocks. Color-coded vocabulary in text matches glossary colors, and readers are quizzed at the end as a self-check for understanding. VERDICT Interdisciplinary and timeless enough to ensure a long shelf life. A fine addition to early nonfiction collections.