Books

I write fantasy and science fiction for young readers, primarily middle grade and tween (ages 10-12).

Mercury Sea was selected for the 2013, inaugural Karen and Philip Cushman Award through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an immense honor, indeed! Mercury Sea (fantasy, 55,000 words) is complete and being shopped.

Spirit Keeper (fantasy, 56,000 words) is undergoing revision.

The Powers That Be (science fiction, 58,000 words) won second place in the 2011 Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Southern Breeze Annual Writing Contest for MG/YA Novels. You can read the first chapter here.

While I’m working on getting my novels out there, here’s a piece from an earlier story. I like the character of Miranda, and may give her a different adventure someday.

Miranda

Miranda knelt beside the secret door. It was just thin plywood, painted zombie-green to match the walls of the old service hallway, and held shut by a hook. She pulled it open and peered inside. Behind the door was a narrow crawlspace, just big enough for her to squeeze into.

Pulling her flashlight from the explorer’s kit hanging at the belt loop of her ancient, rummage sale Girl Scout dress, she tightened the laces on her hiking shoes, ready for some serious crawling. Her kit held a magnifying glass and a compass, but Mom had taken away her Swiss army knife after she’d used it to cut her bangs and shoulder-length, brown hair like a frontiersman.

With her flashlight clamped in her teeth, she squirmed into the musty access tunnel. It was a tight fit and cobwebs brushed her face as she crawled. Before long she heard muffled voices on the other side of the wall. That would be Mom yakking with the other grownups after their meeting. She’d snuck out when no one was looking, sure she could find a ghost or two in the old community building.

The tunnel ended at another small door. She could still hear voices on the other side, but the door was latched and wouldn’t open from the inside. Not wanting to have to back out, Miranda twisted around by walking her feet up one wall. Folded crossways in the crawl space with her knees at her chin and the door at her back, she paused for a moment to catch her breath, then pushed off the wall with her feet to finish her turn. Her push popped the door, swinging it open with a bang, and spilling her out into the meeting room.

Miranda lay on the floor, half out of the access tunnel, and blinked up at the person whose feet she’d landed at. Lime green capris rose to a yellow flowered blouse, topped by squiggly brown hair. Mom stared back down at her, her eyes and mouth making little, round o’s, and her hands clutched over her heart.