Zombies, Vampires, and Katniss Everdeen, Oh My!

Originally Published: October 28th, 2013; Updated June 24th, 2014 The end is nigh. The apocalypse is upon us. . The sparkly vampire, zombie, post-apocalyptic, dystopian craze is coming to an end. According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly by Sue Corbett, “New Trends in YA: The Agent’s Perspective,” agents are now looking beyond paranormal and sic-fi/fantasy;…

The Great Escape! Escapism in Children’s Lit

Originally Published: October 4th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 Escapism in Children’s Literature Children’s literature can take many forms, from sweeping sci-fi and fantasy epics to riveting who-done-it mysteries. One of the most popular ideas presented in these various forms is that of escapism, which authors use as a way for their main characters to…

The Book I Wish I Had Written: Openly Straight

Originally Published: June 14th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 What’s the difference between “tolerance,” “acceptance,” and “celebration”? I never thought much about it before. Or at least, I never sat down and had a conversation about the inherent difference in that collection of words; not in a concrete way, anyway. For the length of this…

Vernacular in MT Anderson’s “Feed”

Originally Published: October 7th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 One of the most immediate reactions I had while reading Feed was the idea that author M.T. Anderson was writing a satire on teens in our modern society in his use of vernacular. Anderson created his own slang and idiolect between Titus and his friends. In…

The Sounds of Soundtrack

I’m often asked what inspires me to write. How do I generate new ideas? How do I find the focus and discipline to write as much as I do? [I mean, can we just address that question for a second? My lack of focus is legendary, but I guess I generate enough blog content, add…

“Salinger”

Tomorrow is Independence Day… ….and who says “American values” better than Holden Caulfield and JD Salinger?! #amiright? It’s no secret that I live and breathe for JD Salinger. Like so many other writers, The Catcher in the Rye inspired me to write my own story; not for anyone else, but for myself. I’d be lying…

The Starting Line

I have this compulsive need to get things right and to get them right the first time. I often feel that it hinders my ability to move forward because if I can’t do it the way it needs to be done right off the bat, I’ll stop or procrastinate until I’m forced to give up.…

Dinah’s Favorite Rainy Day Reads

When I was pondering what to blog about on this rainy Monday morning, one of my best friends suggested I make a list of “Rainy Day Reads.” You know, since the weather today is as ugly as my soul. And before I could start, she already had a list of her own ready to go.…

The Guy Section

Why is there no “Guy Section” in book stores? I tend to go to Barnes and Noble a lot. It’s a great place to think. When I find myself among shelves of books, miles and miles of endless words, it’s easy to become inspired. Living in Westchester, Barnes and Noble is a lot more convenient than The…

Books I Love, Part I

“Why would I want to read a character about a gay teen when I’m not a gay teen?” Why would I want to read about a boy wizard in England when I’m not a boy wizard in England? Exactly. Because in the end, books are about the human experience, not the labels given to the…