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  • Why do you write for children/young adults?
    Wonderful question! I LOVE writing for children of all ages because this age range adores hearing a good story and being the person behind their bedtime stories/leisure reading is a true honor. However, my work is certainly not limited to only a younger audience.
  • Will you sign my copy of your book(s)?
    Of course! I'm a Houstonian, but sometimes I travel to literary events in other cities like Texas Book Festival in Austin. Basically, if you ever see me in public and you have a copy/copies of my book(s) with you, please do not hesitate to stop me and ask me for an autograph. I do not mind at all.
  • I want to be a writer someday - can you give me some advice?
    Yes! Unfortunately, there is no 'secret' to becoming a successful writer. Rejections hurt a lot, but you HAVE to keep trying. Writing is like playing soccer - if you keep kicking enough, you will eventually score a goal. My first novel, BEHIND MOUNT RUSHMORE, was rejected 122 times before I got my three-book deal with Vital Narrative. Imagine if I had given up after 100 rejections - I wouldn't be where I am now. No matter how tough your writing situation is, never, never, never give up.
  • Will you come talk at my school/library/community center/etc.?
    Definitely! I've done Skype visits in the past, but if the place is within a light to moderate driving distance, I will be there in person.
  • When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
    Ever since I was a kindergartener, I loved telling my friends stories during recess. In later elementary school, I vividly remember telling my friends stories as we sat together around a big, yellow slide. Whenever our teacher blew her whistle to signal that recess was over, they'd say "No! We want to hear the ending, Darlene!" At ten years old, I wrote a poem and it was published in an anthology called A CELEBRATION OF YOUNG POETS. At fourteen years old, I started writing a novel for the first time. By seventeen years old, I had written four novels, which I never sent out for possible publication, but these novels were definitely practice for my current, published novels. At eighteen, my first-ever short story was published in an online magazine called THE FOUR CORNERED UNIVERSE which sadly does not exist anymore. So when specifically did I know I wanted to be a writer? Always. I always knew.
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