Monthly Archives: July 2017

Monday Morning: A Few Things I’ve Learned and Morning Announcements


  1. Spicy titles do not draw more readers.
  2. Pancreatitis hurts like a big dog and the pain lingers for days. This is the first morning I haven’t awakened feeling ill. Of course, I have a bill coming.
  3. Health care woulda been nice.
  4. Writing is hard.
  5. Good writing is harder.
  6. Not all publishing houses are the same.
  7. There are terrific editors everywhere.
  8. Writing with a friend is fun. But still hard.
  9. Growing old has it’s benefits.
  10. I am not a naturally organized person and therefore when I try to organize it takes me forever.



Kyra and I are giving a presentation in August at the Provo Library (August 22, 2017 at 7 pee em). We’ve written books that are sorta related: Kyra’s novel is REAPER, about a girl who dies and must help three souls pass from life to the other side in order to see her father ho has gone on before her. My book, MESSENGER,  is about a teen who’s family (on the matriarchal side) receive Gifts from and for the Dead. Both books are all about family.

All this Dead talk, we should have a party  featuring a rollerskating Reaper and Cheri and me singing (Don’t Fear) The Reaper. Oh, wait. That happened at a WIFYR already.

Here are our plans:

Drawings for three people to have their cards read.

Drawings for three creative energy necklaces.

Singing and Dancing. Well, karaoke singing. Songs will include DOA, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, The Dance and I’m Already There. (Am I the only one excited about this?) (My ex would be super-excited about the country songs.)

Reading and talking and teasing and hopefully a little laughing.

Book signing with books from The King’s English.



Rules of engagement announced tomorrow!

WIFYR 2018 DATES: June 11-15, 2018


check out these songs!



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Checking up…

As some of you may know, Carol went to the hospital last week.  She’s been pretty sick, which is why she hasn’t posted on the blog the last few days.

Just letting everyone know she’s doing much better now and should be up and running within the next few days.

If you have any writing prompts, advice, book recommendations, or anything else you may want to add, go ahead and leave a comment.



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Hello Friends . . .

Hello friends, old and new. I have not been around for years, or maybe months but I am so happy to be back. And what a day to be back!! Tonight Carol and I are speaking at the Day-Riverside branch of the Salt Lake City Library at 7 pm. We hope some of you can come and make faces at us or throw tomatoes or peanuts or giant king-sized candy bars or even plane tickets to Hawaii. Please throw plane tickets at us. Please.

Also, Carol and I are nearing the end of a major revision on the book we’ve been working on. Yay!!! I hope so much this book makes its way into the world. It’s been a little bit of a difficult delivery–more difficult than we were expecting but I hope that means it will be worth it.

And finally, I hope you are having a wonderful writing day. I have not been doing a lot of writing myself (except for revision–lovely revision!), but I have been thinking about writing and daydreaming and eating ice cream and mopping the floor and telling kids to stop leaving honey nut Cheerios all over the house and swimming and chasing people and putting clothes in the washing machine and then letting them rot there for several hours and a whole bunch of other things. Which is actually kind of like writing in the long run.




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Three Thing Thursday

Writing for Charity:
November 4, 2017

More info to come

August Writing Challenge:  

Writing prompts.

Establishing goals.

A prize or two.

Ending with a dinner together.

More info to come.

Today, it’s just me and computer after two pee em. I plan on writing everyday like Crazy Horses.

No more info to come. But I will let you know what I get accomplished.

(I also plan on doing some organizing stuff around the house, too. I

will let you know if I get anything done. Sure. A list.)

Plus I actually quite loved Fahrenheit 451. I got a copy that had tons of essays written about the novel in the back of the book. As I read I could see this huge rise in tension, but there were so many pages left. How was Bradbury going to pull it off?

Then, accidentally, I  saw an essay. End notes. Extra Stuff! Now I understood. This book was beautifully timed. Of course. A terrific read.

And the essays aren’t bad, either.



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Author Interview: McCall Hoyle


McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day.

You have an awesome new book coming out this year called The Thing With Feathers Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea? When is it released?
The Thing with Feathers is the story of sixteen-year-old Emilie Day, an epileptic teen leaving her safe, homeschooled life for high school on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. For the first time, Emilie must navigate classes, cliques, and crushes, all the while keeping her epilepsy a secret.

The idea for this book really started with the coolest dog in the universe—a golden retriever named Chip. He was bred to be an assistant dog and spent the first weeks of his life being conditioned along with dogs that would grow up to be assistants. In a weird twist of fate, he ended up with my family. I became fascinated by these beautiful, kind-hearted, devoted, dogs that would literally risk their lives for their humans’. I wanted to explore this bond between handler and dog, and Emilie and Hitch were born followed by a swoon-worthy love interest and a swoon-worthy setting.
The Thing with Feathers releases September 5, 2017 from Blink/HarperCollins.

What made you decide to start writing, and why did you choose children’s books?
I currently teach high school but taught middle school for many years. I’m inspired daily by the teenage girls who I teach. They’re witty and smart and strong and beautiful but don’t always see themselves that way. I wanted to write a story about a girl who is forced to choose between defining herself on her own terms and defining herself by society’s terms. I hope readers will find themselves rooting for Emilie the way I root for the girls in my life.

What writing advice do you have for someone trying to breakout in the market?
Write. Write. Write. Don’t become obsessed with thinking about writing, reading about writing, and taking classes about writing. All of those things are wonderful, but nothing takes the place of the actual writing and the productive struggling and learning that comes from drafting and revising and drafting and revising.

Then celebrate *every* success—the first time you finish a manuscript, the first time you query an agent, your first rejection. Celebrate everything! All those little “failures” are required stepping stones on the path to success.

Everyone writes about people they know. Who shows up in your books over and over?
Oddly, it’s the animals I’ve known and loved that keep making their way into my work. I’ve already mentioned Chip, the dog of my heart. In the book I’m currently working on, the wild ponies that fascinated me on the Outer Banks of North Carolina have made their way to the page and keep reappearing, and a super, cool, three-and-a-half legged cat named Jim who adopted my family and refused to be un-adopted demands to be included in my current story.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
I love running with my teacher friends. It’s more of a really sad, slow jog that we call “slogging”. But hey, we’re on our feet and moving. And we pretty much solve all of the problems of the world while we’re out there. No one really listens to us, but we know we have the answers. 

And of course, I read voraciously—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult, picture books, the American Literature I teach, cereal boxes. You name it. I read it.

Where can we find out more about you and your upcoming book?
Instagram: McCallHoyleBooks
Twitter: @McCallHoyle



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Bigger and Better than Barnum & Bailey!


TIME: 7 pee em

DOING WHAT: reading and talking about her newest novel You May Already be a Winner (which if you ask me, IS a winner)

WHERE: Provo Library–550 North University

AND GET THIS: You May Already be a Winner is on AMAZON BEST BOOKS OF THE MONTH list for July in the ages 9-12 category and BARNES & NOBLE BEST BOOKS OF THE MONTH LIST for young readers!

WHAT’S NEXT: The Newbery!…/…/1101993855


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Three Thing Thursday

  1. I am reading Fahrenheit 451. For the first time. And quite liking it. I’m not sure if I’m surprised by this. My sister loved Ray Bradbury as a kid (she always out-read me). She read Stephen King, Tolkien and Bradbury long before I did. I was stuck in Steinbeck, Faulkner and Twain.

    This summer I’m reading a lot. A lot more than I have since school

    What have you read recently that you’ve loved?
    What have you read that you missed out on as a kid or teen?
    What is a favorite book that I should read?

  2. I am gathering books for the Hopi Reservation. If you would like to donate, please email me at These books must be gently used or new. I just looked up at my shelf and saw several novels I will never read again. It’s time to let those go. I have space only for the ones I want to keep forever. Or, maybe not space, but you know.
  3. In August, Ann Dee and Kyra and I might be having a writing marathon again. It’s been awhile. Will let you know as we get closer. If you are interested in playing a long, let me know.


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