Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

It’s Release Day and I awoke to a nice surprise!

This morning I awoke to find The Other Side of Freedom at #9 in its category of books for children in Mysteries & Detective stories. So I’m very excited today for a number of reasons. 🙂

This is the book I wrote while waiting for publication of my very first book, Bird Face, which later became 8 Notes to a Nobody and started the Bird Face series.

My inspiration for The Other Side of Freedom:
“Possibly orphaned but definitely impoverished, one of my great-grandfathers journeyed from Sicily to America as a young boy with a family not his own, and he grew up with their children. He established the strawberry farm that inspired the setting for this novel.”

If you are a fiction writer, my advice to you is: Always have a manuscript in progress as you work to get another book published. You never know which one will become your favorite or the favorite of your readers!

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Bird Face Has a New Publisher!

happy-stick-girlThis is a short post, friends, because there is much to do! I’ve been contracted by Write Integrity Press for a series of three books for its new imprint, Pens of Mystery. The original Bird Face will be re-published, followed by book two (already written), and soon by book three.

I’m gonna be real busy–but very happy!

Details to come in a future post.

Keep writing, everyone. If you haven’t had your break into publishing yet, don’t give up! It can happen to you, and I hope and pray that it will soon.



To Sequel or Not to Sequel

Sbookshelf  I admire readers who are so dedicated to an author or a set of characters that they read every single book of a series, usually in order. My admiration for the author who creates such devoted readers knows no bounds.

Wendelin Van Draanen is one of my favorite authors of a series for tweens and teens. I’ll most likely complete her Sammy Keyes mysteries (18 books, I believe) because I thoroughly enjoyed the three I’ve read so far, though not in any order. In 2014, Ms. Van Draanen released her last book of the series, Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye. So maybe I’ll catch up before I die.

Perhaps you’re a fan of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone “alphabet” mystery series: A is for Alibi through W is for Wasted (23, with only X, Y, and Z left to go, I believe). I’ve read a couple of them and would like to read others.

Before you think all I read is mystery, I’ve gotten into some Amish romance lately (only in books), reading a couple of novels from a couple of series by different authors. I enjoyed them very much, but to read a long series of Amish romance? I don’t know.

Some of Sarah Dessen’s YA books captured my interest for a while: Keeping the Moon (my favorite), What Happened to Goodbye (that one I didn’t like so much), and a few others. Some of Ms. Dessen’s novels seem like a series when they have the same setting and perhaps one familiar character—and yet sometimes not.

As I complete the sequel to Bird Face, I wonder about a number of things:

  1. Whether it will find a publishing home—or agent representation and then a home.
  2. Because the publisher of the original Bird Face will discontinue the company’s book publishing arm soon, whether a new publisher will be willing to republish that book and accept the sequel.
  3. Whether most agents and publishers even want a series.
  4. Whether readers of my first book will care if there’s a sequel.
  5. Whether the sequel should be written so that it can be read independently without any knowledge of the first book or be read out of order.

Whether  you enjoy reading a series or not, what are your thoughts about sequels and series? If you have a favorite series, have you read it in order? Have you skipped one or two books in the series, and did it make any difference to you?





A Bird Face in the hand is worth…

BIRD.FACE.FC.reduced…two books at any other stage of the game! I’m thrilled to announce that Bird Face in paperback is now available on, and a Kindle version will be available soon.

Almost-fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud doesn’t care one bit about being popular like her perfect-looking classmates Tookie and the Sticks—until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even her best friend, Jennifer, is hiding something. But the Spring Program, abandoned puppies, and high school track team tryouts don’t leave much time to play detective. When secrets and failed dreams kick off the summer, will Jennifer still be around to support her?

Using humor and offering hope, this story for ages 10 to 14 (grades 5-8) delicately addresses issues of bullying, eating disorders, imperfect families, and teen suicide.

If you are–or once were–a young lady on the cusp between eighth grade and high school, this book was written especially for you. I hope you’ll recognize yourself and perhaps a few of your friends in Wendy’s story.

Your copy to enjoy and share with those you love is waiting for you at

Before you leave Wendy and me, please share with us–What is your special story from those awkward or thrilling middle school or junior high years?

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I’m Keeping My Eye on the Prize

BIRD.FACE.FC.reducedThe prize being my debut novel published in 2014. By then, I hope Bird Face will have received some positive reviews. But I won’t be crushed by any negative ones, because I believe in this book; and some very talented editors selected by my publisher have helped make it as good as it is. When I hold a copy in my hand for the first time, I’ll know I have a story that will mean something to someone somewhere. What I hope is that it will mean something to a lot of someones. But even if it helps only one girl like Wendy or Alice or Tookie or Gayle (or consoles one adult reader who was like one of them),  the years of work I put into it were well spent.

Please don’t be afraid that it’s a sad story. It’s not. I promise you’ll laugh a lot, even if you’re the sensitive type, as I am. Here’s what readers can look forward to:

Almost-fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud doesn’t care one bit about being popular like her perfect-looking classmates Tookie and the Sticks—until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages for her all over school. It would be great if they were from David, Wendy’s first crush, but nobody’s talking. Even her best friend, Jennifer, is hiding something.

At the end of eighth grade, Wendy doesn’t have much time to play detective. She juggles divorced parents, cares for abandoned puppies, and tries out for the high school track team. When she grabs her big chance to prove her artistic talent in the Spring Program, John-Monster ramps up his efforts to spoil her dreams, and Jennifer only makes matters worse.

As Wendy uncovers secrets about everyone around her, will Jennifer still be there to support her, or will Wendy face the summer alone?

Using humor and offering hope, this story for ages 10 to 14 (grades 5-8) delicately addresses serious issues of bullying, eating disorders, and teen suicide.

I’m holding off writing a sequel to Bird Face, which takes place during Wendy’s first year of high school, because I’m eager to find out which of the characters YOU, the readers, would like to see featured in the next book of a series. More about this later…


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