Welcome 2

Available March 12, 2013

Hello, lovely readers, and thanks for visiting my website!  Hopefully you’ve stopped by because you’ve read one of my books, or would like to (please do!), or because you were looking for one of my pseudonyms (Tamara Summers? Heather Williams?) and now you’re wondering who I am.  Or maybe because you saw me on Jeopardy! a few years ago!  :-)  I write under several different names, so I hope you’ll click around the website to find all my booksrelated sites, FAQs, and my very rambly TV- and baby-obsessed blog.

My most recent projects are a trilogy called The Menagerie which I wrote with my sister, and my big epic five-book dragon series Wings of Fire, which has a thrilling TRAILER!, so I hope you’ll check that excitement out.  :-)  And then carry on to find out more about Wings of Fire book one and book two, read the Prophecy, or view the awesome map of The World of Pyrrhia – and don’t forget to check out Scholastic’s great site for a Which Dragonet Are You? quiz.

The amazing Wings of Fire artwork throughout this site (apart from the map) was done by Joy Ang, and it’s kind of the most glorious thing I’ve ever seen. Thank you, Joy!

And a million thank yous to Beth at Cincinnati Media, who made this shiny website possible with her speed and brilliance. Yay Beth!

Art by Joy Ang

Recent Posts

2016 Resolutions: Sleep More (Normally), Write More (Consistently), Snuggle More (with Bears!)

Hello lovely everyone!

Happy New Year!

2016 is so exciting already!  Perhaps most exciting for me is the fact that Wings of Fire Book Six: Moon Rising is a finalist for a 2015 Cybils Award in the Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category.  Check out the other finalists in the category, or go here for the full list of finalists — it’s pretty amazing!  These are all books I either already love or can’t wait to read.  Clearly, book bloggers are the smartest people with the best taste in the world.  :)  :)  :)

I also find it extra-exciting because it seems like series usually don’t get noticed for awards.  Which I can totally understand; I mean, for one thing, it feels like a lot of commitment to have to read that many preceding books to decide if the sixth one should win something!  Although in this case hopefully Book Six can serve as a new starting point, so they don’t have to.  Still, I’m very grateful to the nominators, panelists, and judges for giving it a chance!  (And to Charlotte at Charlotte’s Library for writing the absolute most wonderful synopsis of it — she is so awesome; you all should read her blog! and any book she recommends, if you ask me.)  :)

In other very exciting new, Escaping Peril took the series to #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and also appeared at #19 on the USA Today bestseller list, #5 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and #4 on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list.  YAY!  Thank you all for buying it!  I hope it’s been fun to read; Peril was wildly fun to write.

There was also a lovely write-up about the book at the Barnes & Noble Kids Blog – and then a couple days later, The Menagerie appeared there as well, on this wonderful list of mythical creatures books!  Hooray!

Now to think about the rest of 2016!  My January to-do list is already redonkulous, but it’s better than my December to-do list, which was basically WRITE BOOK WRITE BOOK WRITE BOOK DO NOTHING ELSE IGNORE CHILDREN WRITE BOOK DELAY CHRISTMAS WRITE BOOK DO NOT SLEEP WRITE BOOK EVERYONE IS GETTING IOU’S FOR HUGS FOR CHRISTMAS WRITE BOOK MAYBE SOCKS IF THEY ARE LUCKY WRITE BOOK WRITE BOOK WRITE BOOK.

That was insane.  I felt like a legitimate crazy person, which is a thing that happens with sleep deprivation.  But guess what?  I actually FINISHED the book!  By the deadline!  (The very last possible deadline, but still!)  And I’m so excited about it and can’t wait to tell you all sorts of things about it — hopefully very soon!

But in the meanwhile, WHEWF.  My resolution for this year is to try to spread out my writing more so that there are fewer sleep-deprived hurtling races to the finish.  I hope I can do this!  I think it would be quite a bit healthier for my brain.  Starting in September, both of my little bears will be in school all day (*sniffle*), so maybe that’ll finally be the start of some kind of consistent routine around here.  (Assuming I don’t spend all my new free time draped over the furniture missing them.)  (It could happen.)  (They’re awfully cute.)  ;-)

And then I saw this blog post from George R.R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones.  For those of you who don’t know, he’s still writing the series that the super-popular HBO show is based on, and as of the end of last season, the show has caught up to the published books.  And as of now, he has not managed to finish book six in time to publish before the show moves on.  Which means next season, which starts in April, is going to head straight into things-he-hasn’t-published(or maybe even written)-yet territory.

HOW STRESSFUL IS THAT?  Every time I think my deadline schedule is difficult, I think about him and feel all the empathy.  I cannot imagine trying to write under the pressure of knowing a whole show is waiting for the story, and if I don’t finish in time, they’re going to go ahead and tell MY story without me.  All those secrets and plot twists, spoiled!  All those decisions that haven’t been made yet — someone else making them!  The big climax and grand finale — not written by me!  Oh my goodness, it makes me want to send him so many hugs.

I don’t know how much of an outliner he is, either — I know that I am not, so if someone demanded the storyline for, say, book 10 right now, I could make it up, but it would be vastly different by the time it made it to the page.

Well, I wish him lots of luck!  I hope his book comes easier now that he isn’t working with a deadline.  I personally find deadlines sort of essential and motivating, but I 100% know that is not true for all authors — I think I’m just lucky to be wired that way.

Speaking of which, I should be working on my next deadline, so off I go . . . but I’ll be back soon, I hope, with a big announcement about the next book!  In the meanwhile, come on over to the Scholastic Wings of Fire forums, where there’s a new Tui video going up every Tuesday — here’s the most recent one!

What We’re Reading:
Me: Shadows of Sherwood: A Robyn Hoodlum Adventure, by Kekla Magoon, We Were Here by Matt de la Peña, and Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

With my bigger bear: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, vol. 2

With both bears: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum (this book is so much weirder than I remember!)

  1. Peril Is Upon Us! Everybody Run! (To Your Nearest Bookstore!) (In, Like, Two Weeks, I Mean, Not Right This Second) (But SOON!)
  2. Odds and Ends and a Boston Event!
  3. Into the Wild Blue Yonder, i.e. Michigan / Wisconsin
  4. Monsters Named Mary, Dogs Named Banana, Mapmakers, Shadowshapers, and More
  5. A Window Full of Dragons!
  6. Sheboygan, Here I Come!
  7. Return of the Blog :)
  8. Inside the Writer Brain and A Few of My Favorite Authors
  9. Choose Your Dragon (and Other Shiny News)