Coming Soon: Firsts and Lasts

UPDATE: Firsts and Lasts is now live as an ebook, and it'll soon be available in paperback as wel! Get the ebook HERE.

I've got several things coming down the pike over the next few months, and I'm excited to share them all with my readers!

I'll be announcing more soon through my newsletter (subscribe at the tab above!). For today, as promised, here is the cover for the the novella that will be out later this week. 

Firsts and Lasts
Dani has failed in her dreams to catch a break as a dancer in New York, but before she heads home to the Midwest, she decides to visit the places still on her to-see list. Then she meets Mark, another transplant to the Big Apple with big dreams of his own. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the big time, she may be able to live her dreams after all. Only one problem: she's broke and has a one-way ticket home.
Get your copy HERE
~ ~ ~

Firsts and Lasts first app…

The Story Grid: Shawn Doesn't Know Youth Fiction

I've heard a lot about Shawn Coyne and  The Story Grid over the last year or so, and I've been aware of Shawn for longer thanks to his occasional appearances on Steven Pressfield's blog and their collaborations. I watched the video series where Shawn goes through Silence of the Lambs and uses it to explain the Story Grid. Impressive stuff all.

So when I finally got around to listening to The Story Grid podcast, I expected great things. And it really is a great podcast, particularly for newer writers who don't know the craft or the business and who are trying to find their writing legs in the first place.

But (you could hear that coming, right?) a couple of things Shawn insists on are flat-out wrong. Not about editing or story structure in and of themselves. The problem is that he's trying to teach someone to write youth fiction when he has zero experience in the youth fiction market. In fact, he took Tim's idea for a story and practically shoved it into being m…

A Taste of Christmas with A Taste of Home

I'm excited to show off the cover for A Taste of Home, a historical Christmas novella that I absolutely love. It's releasing just in time to get everyone into the Christmas spirit!

The story takes place in the early 1900s in Salt Lake City, and it features a hotel that's still operating today. We went there for our 20th anniversary trip, and I knew right away that I had to write about it.

Here's what the Peery Hotel looks like today:

Viewed from above, it's shaped like an uppercase E, with a long wing that connect the three arms. That layout allows every room to have natural sunlight. Plus, it just looks cool.

Here's the back cover copy: 
From USA TODAY bestselling author Annette Lyon comes an enchanting Christmas novella: Claire Jennings is headed home to spend Christmas with her family, riding the train with Will Rhodes, who grew up across the street. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail sta…

Win an Amazon Gift Card!

It's time to gear up for the holiday season and new releases, which means it's also time to help spread the word!

Besides, we could all use something to distract us from the election (am I right?!).

For a week, from November Mon 7 − Sun 13, sign up for my newsletter,  and you're automatically entered for a chance to win a 

$5 Amazon gift card! 

I'll announce the winner right here on Monday, November 9.
Subscribe using the link in the sidebar,  or sign up HERE.
Good luck! 

If you're already subscribed, you're already entered. One entry per person. Winner has until Monday, November 21 to contact me with the information needed to claim their prize. 

How This ADD Writer Thrives

A lot of writers, other creative types, and even parents worried about their children have asked me about my experience with ADD/ADHD/ADHD-I. It's past time that I put more of my coping strategies in one place.

I first blogged about my ADD experience about two and a half years ago. (That's where I also explained the difference between ADHD and ADHD-I, and how what most people call ADD is actually classified as ADHD-I.)

More than a year after that, I posted a follow-up about one of my favorite tools for getting work done in spite of my ADD: my DIY tread desk.

If you haven't read those posts but are interested in coping strategies, symptoms, and so on, I definitely recommend reading them. I won't go over all of the information in them here.

Rather, I'm assuming you or someone who know has ADHD or a variant, and you know those terms.

For those who have asked, I've compiled a list of things that have helped me and my children in our ongoing battle with ADHD-I:


What's Wrong with Using "THERE"?

Over the years, I've often done recap posts after the annual spring LDStorymakers Writers Conference, which is always a highlight of my year. In my opinion, it's THE best conference in Utah, and likely well beyond. That's saying something, because Utah has an unusually strong writing community that puts on a lot of conferences.

I hope to do a full recap at some point, but today I want to talk about something I posted on Instagram during the awesome Chris Crowe's 2-hour intensive class about micro-revision.

For those who haven't followed me and my blog ramblings over the years (or as a refresher, seeing as I'm not here as often as I once was), I've been editing professionally almost as long as I've been writing professionally. I've worked on books ranging from first attempts by beginners to pros' books that went on to win awards and become best-sellers. (I could totally name drop but won't; you'll just have to trust me on that one.)


From the Archives: The "Danger" of Copying

The other day, I stumbled across a post from January 21, 2013, almost exactly three years ago. as I read it, I relearned some things I'd forgotten. So I've decided to re-post it today both for readers who weren't following my blog back then, and for anyone like me who can use the reminder. 

The "Danger" of Copying
I've been going to the same medical clinic for our family's needs for over 18 years [ETA: now, make that over 21 years], so the staff know us pretty well. Our doctor and his long-time nurse especially have followed our family from the time I was expecting my first child, through all my subsequent pregnancies, kids' bouts with RSV and croup, and so much more.

As a result, Dr. S and Nurse T have also followed my writing career from almost the beginning, when I liked to write and tried to get publish, along the bumpy road of lots of rejections to finally being accepted, and today they always ask what's coming out next and when.

The last time…