December 22nd, 2009

crossing tracks cover



Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books - Simon and Schuster

Favorite bit of writing advice: Writing is an act of courage. Do not give up on yourself.

Favorite and least favorite part of writing: Favorite: when a load of babble sucks down into just the right phrase. Least favorite: the frustrated zombie feeling after a long, not productive writing session. The nasty what-am-I doing- with-my-life? moments.

Outline or Let it Fly: a lumpy outline with lots of bulges and some see-through spots

4 things about me:

1. Running every morning helps my butt stay in the writing chair.
2. I have a husband, six kids, four grandchildren, and a gorgeous cat who types better than I do.
3. I work at an art museum. I meet characters, discover settings and find plots hiding in the artworks.
4. On New Years Day 2008 I was at a Shinto shrine in Miyajima, Japan. I wrote New Years wishes on flat rectangles of balsa wood using a Magic Marker and hung them on the shrine. Thousands of wishes hung there. One of mine was a hope to have "Crossing the Tracks" published. So... I highly recommend a trip to Miyajima, Japan on January 1, if you wish for a second or third book.


At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts – no home, no family, no plan. After her mother’s early death, Iris’s father focuses on big plans for his new shoe stores and his latest girlfriend, and has no time for his daughter. Unbeknownst to her, he hires Iris out as housekeeper and companion for a country doctor’s elderly mother. Suddenly Iris is alone, stuck in gritty rural Missouri, too far from her only friend Leroy and too close to a tenant farmer Cecil Deets, who menaces the neighbors, and Iris suspects, his own daughter.

Iris is buoyed by the warmth and understanding the doctor and his mother show her, but just as she starts to break out of her shell tragedy strikes. Iris must find the guts and cunning to take aim at the devil incarnate and discover if she is really as helpless - or hopeless – or homeless - as she once believed.

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