An award, an interview and book festivals!

After taking the summer off the social internet, I’ve come back to a month of wow!

In the Silences won the silver medal at the 2019 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for Pre-Teen – Mature Issues. I love this book and I’m so glad it already has an award. (And I dorkily feel like my characters won the award rather than me, though in truth I should split it with my amazing team of beta readers, consultants and editor.)

Jae interviewed me on her site (which has many great author interviews). Along with the interview, we’re doing a book giveaway of In the Silences that you can enter by leaving a comment on the interview. Click here to read the interview!

I will be at two book festivals in October:

Oct. 12: Twin Cities Book Festival — from 3 – 3:45pm I’ll be on the panel “Never Too Young for the Tough Stuff with Lana Wood Johnson and Kirstin Cronn-Mills, talking about race, gender, sexuality, grief and more. We’ll be on the teen stage!

Oct. 19: Boston Book Festival— from 1:30 – 2:45pm I’m on the panel “YA: Love and Relationships” on the stage at BPL Teen Central 700 Boylston St, Boston. Below is the whole description and here’s a link that should get you to the panel on the BBF website.

Being a teenager means navigating new, exciting, and sometimes confusing relationships wherever you go—whether that’s in an amusement park or on a road trip. The talented novelists in this session take readers on eventful journeys into first love and other relationships. In The Revolution of Birdie Randolph, Stonewall Award winner Brandy Colbert writes about a girl who strives to be perfect in her parents’ eyes—until she starts falling for a boy who’s anything but. Jennifer Dugan’s Hot Dog Girl is a funny and charming queer romance set at the failing Magic Castle Playland amusement park. In Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are, a ballet dancer is determined to get to an audition, so she embarks on a road trip with her annoying (but undeniably cute) neighbor. Rachel Gold’s In the Silences finds gender-seeking teen Kaz tentatively embracing first love while also confronting racism in their small town. And in poet Morgan Parker’s debut YA novel Who Put This Song On?, the relationship her protagonist (also named Morgan) struggles to define is the one with herself, contending with anxiety and depression while learning to embrace her identity as a quirky black girl in a predominantly white town. Our host for this session of must-read new novels is Amy Pattee of Simmons University.