About Me: writer

I am the author of 19 children's books, the best-known of which is Ruby's Wish, an Ezra Jack Keats Award winner. My successful debut had Publishers Weekly include me on a list of “new authors to watch”—and thirteen years and two feature articles later, I made it to their front cover as the founding goose of Goosebottom Books. You can take a look at my books here.

Currently, I am working on a historical novel for adults, with the working title Seattle's Daughter. The protagonist is a Native American woman living on the Puget Sound in the 1860s who marries a Chinese merchant, thinking she has found love and security…and finds tragedy instead. It is a journey that takes her all the way to China, and it was inspired by the tale of my great-great-great-grandmother and great-great-great-grandfather who were, indeed, the reputed daughter of a Puget Sound chief and the first Chinese settler in Seattle. You can find out more about them in Writing Life.

 

editor and retreat leader

When I'm not writing, I am an editor, writing coach, and writing retreat leader. (And, this year, I am also the Executive Director of the Mendocino Coast Writers' Conference.) I've been dubbed a "tiger editor" independently by two of my clients, because I give tough developmental edits. (They did come back!)

For those who don't like tough, there are my writing retreats. These are three- or five-night stays in beautiful and secluded surroundings, with all meals catered, and libations poured every evening when we gather to share our work and receive feedback. There is nothing, I believe, like writing in community. These few days can be the most productive of the year. 

 

Classes and speaking engagements

And finally, I teach. I have private students, and I have also taught or spoken about writing and publishing at the NSW Writers’ Center in Australia, the AFCC in Singapore, the Writing Salons in San Francisco and Berkeley, for eight American universities including Stanford, and for writing conferences such as the Australian Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators National Conference, the Mendocino Coast Writers' Conference, the Book Passage Children's Writers and Illustrators Conference, and Write On The Sound.

 

Contact Me

Feel free to reach out if you're interested in booking a speaking engagement or some developmental editing. If my schedule is full, I'd be happy to recommend somebody else who might be appropriate. I am also available for consultations via Zoom, for which I charge $150/hour, during which time you can pick my brain and my rolodex. You can also send a request to be included on my retreat notification list.

In the meantime, happy writing and I hope our journeys overlap!

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