The Clear Sky Files – Part 1

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The place: Chicago
The year: 1943
The culprit: At large

It was a day like any other. No – wait. That’s not a promising start for a detective tale.

It was a day unlike any other. My shoes hadn’t been shined. My fedora didn’t quite sit right on my head. And someone had eaten my croissant, even though the bag was clearly marked “Charlie.”

That dirty rat.

But, no. This isn’t a good start either.

Let’s just skip to the good part, shall we? Sometime after an egg salad lunch and before a turkey dinner, there was a knock at my door. I could tell by the perpetual pounding that it was urgent. So urgent that one might have offered the key to the restroom, if my office handled such a thing.

Point is, I knew that whatever was coming, was big. Really big.

I opened the door, and there was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Which my police chief brother would tell you ain’t much of a prize, on account of me not seeing many women. But this woman was beautiful enough even for my brother.

“Frank sent me over here,” she said. “He needs a favor.”

“And my brother can’t see me himself?” I asked. “Is that what it’s come to?”

She shut the door. “It’s not like that. You see, he went out to investigate a theft, and he never came back.”

“Didn’t come back to you, perhaps,” I said. It wouldn’t have been the first time a dame came into my office looking for Frankie.

“I don’t care who your brother is palling around with. I care about the investigation. And before he
went missing, he said that if he couldn’t handle it, maybe you could.”

Didn’t seem like a lie. But it doesn’t sound like Frankie, either.

“What went missing?” I asked.

I moved towards the young woman, eyeing her box hat, her lapel pin, her small clutch. Any one of those items could be hiding a wire. If she was a set-up, it’d pay to say as little as possible.

You see, I’m not entirely licensed as a detective. And I have made a few enemies, by being good at what I do. Too good, some might say.

“My clouds,” she said. “They’re missing.”

I spit my coffee – which I forgot to tell you I was holding – right back into the cup.

“Is this a code word, ma’am? I’m not in the mood for games.” I pulled out my handkerchief and rubbed the coffee off my chin in the most manly way I could.

“It’s not a game. There are no clouds above my house. Haven’t been for weeks.” She leaned closer. “I think it’s part of a top-secret military operation. But I don’t know why. Or how.”

Ah, so she’s beautiful. And crazy.

“Ma’am, I’m sure the clouds will come back. And my brother, you know. He’s just not the family man type. So if he doesn’t come back, I’m sure you’re better off without him-”

She smacked me. Plain, straight, hit me across the face slapped me.

“I’m not trying to go steady with your brother, you flat-footed fool! I’m telling you, something is not right in this town. And if you’re not going to help me find your brother and stop whatever is going on in the sky, then I’ll find someone who is.”

She clutched that clutch and walked right out the door.

Frankie says it never pays to follow some crazy dame. I rubbed my cheek, the sting of her hand still fresh.

If Frankie doesn’t listen to his own advice, then why should I?

From the reader prompt, “What if the clouds fell out of the sky?”

Submit your own reader prompt here, or read more pieces of fiction inspired by reader prompts.

More personally…
My latest book, Effie’s Senior Year: The Complete Effie Stories is available for pre-order on Amazon.

You can also download Effie at the Wedding free for a limited time on Amazon US (UK), Barnes and NobleiTunesKoboScribdSmashwords, and the Sony eReader Store.

New subscribers can receive two free short stories by signing up for updates about my books or editorial work here, and you can follow me on TwitterFacebook or Goodreads.

Fact Checking the Internet: Royalties of 18 pence on 5.99


Today the Guardian published You think writing’s a dream job? It’s more like a horror film.

But I couldn’t help noticing this comment:

my daughter has two books published my a major publisher which sell for 5.99 each. The publisher pays her 18 pence for each sale, of which her agent tales 15%. Unless you are a best selling author the pay is abysmal.

My gut reaction was – this author needs a new agent.

.18 over 5.99 is a royalty rate of 3% list, far below traditional royalty rates for a hardcover, trade paperback or ebook.

But then I thought, Wait a minute! This is the internet. Is there any way this could be both true and reasonable?

Yes! But here’s how:

If this is for a story in an anthology.
If these are for anthologies, in which there are multiple authors and the rate covers that author’s portion for one story, this would be reasonable. (Though I have seen better.)

If this was a work-for-hire.
If this is for a work-for-hire project, wherein the publisher or packager developed the plot and characters, and paid a flat fee for the work and is offering 3% list on top of that flat fee — well then, this is actually pretty good, depending on the initial payment. (Also pretty uncommon.)

If these are for book club sales.
Book club royalties are very low because they make up for it in sheer volume.

If these are for remaindered copies.
This still feels a tad low, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable if we were talking remainder sales.

But what if it’s none of the above?

If the author is actually receiving 3% list on regular trade paperback or ebook sales, then a couple things may have happened:

They’re working with a small press.
It’s my understanding that royalty rates are supposed to be an even split between the publisher and author, once the cost of production and distribution has been covered.

In other words, if an author receives $1.89 per book, then theoretically after the publisher has paid for the physical cost of the book, their editorial, marketing, publicity staff, the lights in the building, the distributors cut, taxes, etc. etc., that publisher would also have left approximately $1.89. (If this has changed, please let me know!)

I’m no expert in UK publishing, but if a small press is making 18 pence per book, then this sounds like an unsustainable business model. So I still wonder – where is the rest of the money going?

They have a bad agent.
An agent has to present all offers to their client, but they are also supposed to advise. If this offer was presented as a standard contract, then it’s possible this author needs to have a serious conversation with their agent and/or potentially terminate the relationship.

They took the deal against their agent’s advice.
If this is the case, then that would make me question the agent-author relationship if I was their agent. Sometimes, the smart thing to do is to walk away from a bad deal. And this might have been one of those times.

If a client is willing to take any deal, no matter how terrible, then you wonder if they’re really a client worth having.

Getting ready for Saturday’s Write to Change the World Seminar

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This coming Saturday, I’ve been given the opportunity to attend the OpEd Project Write to Change the World Seminar.

I’m very excited to go through the seminar, and to share some of what I’ve learned on the blog.

It also had me thinking about how many writers are already working to change the world – through their words or using more concrete actions.

This morning in my feed, I read that the Minimalists are fundraising to build a school in Laos. Courtney Carver is also one of many minimalists bloggers that have donated their birthday to Charity: Water.

The kidlit community has been particularly awesome at rallying in times of crisis, donating editorial services and mentoring to raise money during national disasters in Japan, Haiti, and elsewhere.

In literature, every Banned Books Week is an opportunity to say that books matter.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day (my posts here) and We Need Diverse Books are voices that remind us that representation matters.

Who else is using their words to change the world? What are you trying to say with yours?

More personally…
My latest book, Effie’s Senior Year: The Complete Effie Stories is available for pre-order on Amazon.

You can also download Effie at the Wedding free for a limited time on Amazon US (UK), Barnes and NobleiTunesKoboScribdSmashwords, and the Sony eReader Store.

New subscribers can receive two free short stories by signing up for updates about my books or editorial work here, and you can follow me on TwitterFacebook or Goodreads.

Thinking About “It’s Up To Charlie Hardin” by Dean Ing

Today’s post takes a look at Dean Ing’s It’s Up to Charlie Hardin, which publishes today from Baen Books.


It’s Up to Charlie Hardin
Author: Dean Ing
Publisher: Baen Books
Pub Date: February 3, 2015
Review copy received: Netgalley
Format: eARC

My summary:
It’s Up To Charlie Hardin follows second grader Charlie Hardin through World War II era boyhood exploits with his friends. Charlie discovers what happens to jam when it’s left to ferment, how to make a glider and why hiding your treasure in a drainage pipe is (probably) a bad idea. When their sometimes playmate (and sometimes bully) Jackie Rhett comes face to face with a pair of counterfeiters, saving the day is up to Charlie Hardin.

In thinking about It’s Up To Charlie Hardin, two things stuck out to me immediately:

1.) The censoring in the dialogue and text of curse words. The text will use substitutes like, “D Word” and “jay Word-cee Word” instead of the actual curse.

2.) The paratext.

Let’s tackle point number one first.

Cursing in Children’s Literature

Honestly, seeing “D word” and “jay Word-cee Word” confused me during the opening chapters, and I was pulled out so that I could think about what the offending word might be. This was especially true in dialogue, where I initially assumed the characters were vocalizing the words exactly as written.

For the reasons above, most advice concerning cursing in children’s literature would suggest the following:

Only do it if it’s necessary.
This covers everything from an overabundance of curse words to the right word at the right time. If Jane never curses, then one well-timed “Holy. Shit.” is going to have much more impact than one from a character that curses in almost every line of dialogue.

Like most jokes, cursing loses its impact the more frequently it’s done.

If the word feels inappropriate for the age range, use a realistic substitute.
For example, I use “crapple” in Hot Ticket, as both slang that Juliet and her friend created and also as a less harsh alternative for “crap” or “shit,” since Juliet uses it more than once.

This also helps me do a little character building, because it shows the friendship between Juliet and Lucy — only they use this term. It’s part of their secret language as friends.

Don’t self-censor.
In other words, lines like, “What the *****, Jason?” pull the reader out of the story, because they can see the author in the work. When we read something like the above, what we see is the author’s discomfort with the word they want to use and the age they’re writing for.

While I was eventually able to stop thinking so hard about what the “D” and “JC” words were, I eventually also started to wonder:

– Did the author not trust the reader to understand a historically accurate substitute in context?

– Would the replacement words have been worse than a couple of “damns?” In other words, would all these D words really have been slurs against the Japanese, Germans and Italians? And in avoiding that, are we losing both an opportunity for a discussion of the ‘othering’ of war, and also an opportunity for world-building?


In literary theory, a book’s paratext is the printed (or digital) material that surrounds the actual narrative. This includes front matter like forwards and title pages, and back matter like acknowledgements and jacket copy. For some theorists, who wrote the paratext is irrelevant to the discussion of what that means in the analysis of the work.

Okay, so. Paratext.

At the beginning of It’s Up To Charlie Hardin, a preface notes:

“This is the sort of confession a man may indulge in if he is too lazy to commit the autobiography his grandkids asked for, and too self-absorbed to scribble the books his publishers wanted more of. It is also naked homage to Mark Twain, who in 1875 half-fictionalized the lively times he had enjoyed in his Missouri village thirty years earlier.

So Charlie Hardin is my Tom Sawyer, infesting my small Southwestern city during World War II.”

In an Afterward, Ing gives more explanation about what characters in the book were inspired by his childhood, and what became of them later in life. Ing notes:

“Although the Nazis did try to sabotage the U.S. economy with schemes to counterfeit our money, I don’t know if they did it with scoundrels like Bridger and Pinero. I had to invent them because I never knew anyone like them.”

For me, the preface and afterward illuminated much about the narrative structure and voice in the novel. There were times where I wondered how a particular incident – like bombing the neighbor’s house with gourds – was going to come back to the main plot. In truth, it didn’t.

But the paratext tells us here that it wasn’t supposed to. The main plot may have been the counterfeit money and the danger of dealing with Bridger and Pinero, but Hardin doesn’t actually have an overwhelming drive to stop the counterfeiters. He simply wants to understand if the money is exchangeable for real goods.

The afterward tells us that the counterfeiting plot was invented in order to form a cohesive thread in what would otherwise be a series of boyhood vignettes.

Similarly, the narrator’s voice purposefully creates a distance between himself and the child reader.

“The Hardin telephone was normally reserved for adults because in 1944 the telephone company had not yet added signals that let a user know, while he is talking, that someone else is trying to call.”

(Location 2472)

Passages like the above remind us in the text that an adult is looking back on their boyhood. There’s also subtle nods to other adults, such as:

“Anyone who wonders what boys were created for might be directed to situations like this.”

(Location 2018)

We hear Dean Ing in the narrator’s voice much more than we might in say, a contemporary middle grade.

Putting it all together…

Writers should keep in mind the following:

– While paratext can either give further clarification or set the stage for the main narrative, a writer has to make sure the narrative stands on its own.

– Word choice (be it cursing or otherwise) can be used to distance oneself from the reader, or to keep the reader close. Consider the distance you need to keep your reader at in order to achieve your narrative goals.

More personally…
My latest book, Effie’s Senior Year: The Complete Effie Stories is available for pre-order on Amazon.

You can also download Effie at the Wedding free for a limited time on Amazon US (UK), Barnes and NobleiTunesKoboScribdSmashwords, and the Sony eReader Store.

New subscribers can receive two free short stories by signing up for updates about my books or editorial work here, and you can follow me on TwitterFacebook or Goodreads.

Speaking with Natalie Whipple on “Fish Out of Water” #ReadYourWorld

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Today I’m excited to welcome Natalie Whipple to the blog for a discussion of her new book, Fish Out of Water!




Fish Out of Water
Author: Natalie Whipple
Publisher: Whipple House (US)/Hot Key Books (UK)
Editor: Jenny Jacoby
Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown Ltd.
Pub Date: February 10, 2015 (US)/Februray 5, 2015 (UK)
Review copy received: Author
Format: .pdf

My summary
Mika is one step away from landing her dream internship at the Monterey Bay Aquarium when the grandmother she never knew arrives on her doorstep. It’s not long until Betty has made herself persona-non-grata, and Mika’s parents realize that they’re all going to have to put their research (and Mika’s internship) on hold to take care of Betty, who has Alzheimer’s.

Meanwhile, Mika’s boss at AnimalZone has hired Dylan to help at the store. With his apathetic attitude towards fish and his general moodiness, Mika is not impressed with the boss’s rich, bad-boy nephew. Slowly, though, Mika sees that there’s more to Dylan than his first-class annoyingness.

In this contemporary YA novel, Mika has to navigate her first real love, shifts in her friendships, and how to love somebody that you barely like.

Betty Arlington can be monstrously offensive to Mika in one moment, and then sweet and friendly to Mika the next. How does Mika’s struggle to build a relationship with Betty parallel your struggle with your own grandmother?

Whipple-Natalie-_Author-Photo-209-by-314This is a really tough question because my relationship with my late grandmother became very strained and distant after my mid-teens (when she actively tried to convince me to leave the religion I was raised in, which was very uncomfortable for me). While Betty isn’t an exact replica of my grandmother—mine did not have Alzheimer’s, and I never heard her directly say things as cruel as Betty (though I did hear from my parents and got a lot of “softened” insults)—I did take some things personally from my own family dynamics.

The whole book, essentially, was based off of what my father told me happened when he went to see his mother on her deathbed. She essentially told him that she never forgave him for joining the LDS faith, and then she told my uncle that she never approved of his Filipino wife. And while I knew this, it was just so incredibly sad to me that these were some of the last things she chose to say to her children. When something impacts me that deeply, it usually ends up in my writing.

Because, see, at the same time that I knew these terrible things about my grandma, I also knew she was kind. She had a way of making people feel welcome when she wanted to, and she was a great conversationalist with a wonderful laugh. She worked hard for years to help provide for her family. She was faithful and passionate and had an amazing sense of humor.

And, well, I loved her. It was hard for me to understand how I could both dislike and love someone, and how that person could be both kind and cruel to me. That’s why the book is dedicated to her.

I really wanted to show that muddiness in humanity, I guess. How we have this amazing capacity for love and cruelty at the same time, and also a big capacity to accept both facets of a person.

Mika occasionally gives Betty a pass because, “She’s just a crazy old lady who doesn’t know what she’s saying” (69). These passes come at a personal price, though, as it’s not like Mika can unhear what’s been said. And when she finally speaks out about intolerance, it’s not to Betty. Why do you think some of us are so reluctant to address issues of racism or bigotry in our own families?

It’s just plain tough to tell anyone they are being racist. When I moved to Utah (from the Bay Area), I actually did try to do this! There were boys telling awful Mexican jokes in class, and I told them they were being racist. I mean, I had lived my whole life in the Bay Area and grown up in very diverse communities—I was taught this was not okay. What happened? I was the one who got bullied! Those boys were awful to me after that for years just because I stood up for something that was right. I wish families were different from strangers, but well…

I very intentionally gave Betty Alzheimer’s, because I knew it would be easier for some readers to take a “crazy old lady” than a person who was considered sane and still saying the things she says. We want so badly to pretend this doesn’t happen anymore, but I have seen it in my lifetime and I have even seen it in my young children’s age groups. So I guess this was my way of giving the topic one degree of distance from my own reality with my sane-but-still-racist grandmother.

As for reluctance in a family, I honestly don’t have a good answer. I’m not even sure it’s reluctance so much as, perhaps, ignorance. I was taught how to be respectful because of a few factors—I actually lived in a diverse community as a child, and, while I don’t look it, I am Maori. My mother’s mother immigrated from New Zealand and we have a very rich Polynesian culture from her. But in families that don’t have these kinds of factors…it’s just very easy to keep on keeping on, to not even talk about it because, as a white person, you really don’t have to.

After Mika defends herself against London, Mika notes that London’s mother told London to stop, “though it seems half-hearted” (265). It reminds the reader not only that prejudice is learned from parents and peers, but also implies that for London’s mother, certain ideas are okay to believe but not okay to say in public. How do we avoid teaching this more subtle, but just as damaging, form of prejudice?

Oh, this is a juicy question! Actually, this scene is toned down from the original. The first draft had London’s mother being much more cruel and okay with her daughter’s statements, and—get this—I got accused by some crit partners of making the white, rich people in my book too mean. Because not all white rich people are that rude. And I was stereotyping them. This was very hard for me to take. These kinds of crits made me realize how deep racism can run subconsciously, because my very kind crit partners were, somehow, sympathizing with my antagonist who was white and mean over my protagonist who was half-Japanese and being insulted.

That was a surreal and disheartening moment for me. And a huge lesson and reminder for me to check my own privilege. It was also the moment I knew this book wouldn’t sell as easily as I thought it would, because my MC, by virtue of just not being white, would receive less sympathy.

So yeah, the scene got altered so that London’s mother is more subtle in her prejudices. What’s interesting is that some people read the scene like you, in that they believe Mika’s assessment that London’s mother is “half-hearted” in her chiding. And other people actually read it that Mika is being too judgmental of London’s mother who is trying to do the right thing. It very much depends on the point of view of the reader, what they end up taking away from this scene (or this book, really).

I’m not sure we can avoid some of these more subtle things sinking into us, but I think it’s very important that when we’re made aware of it that we stop, check ourselves, and do better. Even growing up in a pretty accepting household, there were things I mislearned and had to correct. We just need to be humble and willing to learn and acknowledge our faults.

I’ll be honest, I had so many conflicting feelings when Pavan was kicked out for bringing home a non-Indian girl. My first thought was, “That doesn’t still happen – it’s 2015!” And then I realized what an incredibly privileged feeling that was, particularly given the events of these last few months. What would you say to readers who might also have that reaction?

It IS tough to believe this actually still happens, but it does. It seriously does. Not just in Indian families but in many cultures. And it is just as sad and heartbreaking as it ever was. I introduced this dynamic with Pavan and Shreya’s family because I wanted to show a few things—that prejudice isn’t just in US culture but a worldwide struggle, that it IS still happening today, and sometimes things just don’t turn out perfectly when it happens.

To people who might not think it’s believable, I guess all I can say is that it happened, in a less extreme way, to my father’s family. There has been a divide between those my grandmother didn’t approve of and those she did. I myself have been told if I married outside my race my kids wouldn’t look like me, that I’d be “sinning,” that I’d get divorced because we just wouldn’t understand each other (and I’m just 31). I hope very much that it happens a lot less than it used to, but it certainly still happens.

There’s been a conversation in children’s literature about whether authors that are in a majority should or can accurately write characters that are in the minority, be it race, gender, class, sexuality, health status, etc. How do you approach writing characters with a different background than your own?

This is where it gets tricky, because in the US we base so much of what we assume about a person’s background by what we see. But the thing is…I’m part Maori. And I’m the whitest person in my family. I am the only blonde (before I went red, heh). I am the palest. I’m the only one of my siblings who hasn’t married a Polynesian. I grew up in a household strongly influenced by our Maori and Kiwi roots, but because I look white I’m not really allowed to claim my race. This is called “white-passing.”


On top of that, I have social anxiety (which I am medicated for), and I am part of a religion many people view in a very negative light. I’m also, well, female. So while no one would guess that I am familiar with minority struggles, I do feel like I have a lot to pull from. When you’re white-passing, you’re painfully, horribly aware of your privilege because you see the way you’re treated in comparison to someone from your very same background who looks “the part.” You hate it. And you feel like there is a part of your culture you can never claim, never speak up about, because people either don’t believe you, accuse you of trying to be something you’re not, or just push you out.

For example, even though I love and support and know the people behind We Need Diverse Books, I’ve really struggled with even pointing out that some of my books have POC characters. I certainly cannot get myself to point out that, technically, I’m a POC writer—because I don’t look it and have not been discriminated against in the same way. So would I be included or accused of trying to take advantage? That’s my whole life in a nutshell when it comes to my heritage. Even now I feel embarrassed just for pointing this out. I didn’t apply for college identifying my culture because someone said I just wanted scholarships. I have gotten laughed at and called a liar when I mention my Maori side. I’ve been told by other Polynesian people that I don’t belong. This is all stuff that’s shaped who I am.

So yes, I do feel like I have some familiarity with the topics I tackle in all my novels with POC characters. And where I don’t know something, I learn and research and ask. That’s really the best thing you can do. Before I submitted this book, I asked a friend who was from this culture to read and flag anything I might have gotten wrong, just to be extra sure. No one is perfect—and every POC experience is as individual as all human experience—so there will always be criticism. But I would rather have that than not write diversely at all.

Why was it important for you to write this particular book now?

As I mentioned before, it was my way of coming to terms with my own family struggles. In all honesty, I thought I was writing a pretty mainstream YA Contemporary Romance. HA. It wasn’t until I got my first crits and saw the responses to the topics I tackle that I realized it was a lot more than that.

Honestly, I didn’t write about Mika to try and send any huge message. I didn’t set out to write a book about racism. I wanted to write about this girl who happens to be Japanese-American and falls in love and learns to love despite hard things…who really faces “normal” stuff that many POC have faced in their lives. They seem huge to white people, I think, but as I was writing it just was part of Mika’s daily life to face some “casual” racism and some not-so “casual.” It doesn’t encompass all of Mika’s life, and she doesn’t sit around pondering about it constantly. Mostly she lets it roll off her back unless it’s really horrible. This was realistic to me, and I try to write as authentically as I can.

Fish Out Of Water is published by Hot Key Books in the UK, and independently here in the US, making it a ‘hybrid book’ of sorts. How did this change the editing, distribution and marketing process?

It’s been very interesting! I am so pleased Hot Key wanted this book, and they have adored it as much as me. It was very reassuring to know they thought I did a great job with this book and believed it was important, because at the same time I was on submission in the US getting rejection after rejection. Ultimately it became clear this wasn’t a book that traditional publishers wanted to take on in the States, so I had a couple choices—sell US rights to Hot Key or use my indie imprint to publish it on my own.

I chose to go indie because Hot Key doesn’t have a strong distribution network in the US. I learned this from my 2nd book with them (BLINDSIDED), which also didn’t sell to a US publisher. Between that book and now, I had gone indie for another project I couldn’t sell (RELAX, I’M A NINJA), so I knew that I could provide better distribution myself in the US than Hot Key could. Not that my distribution is as strong as a traditional publisher, but it was a happy medium considering my options.

It really didn’t change much of the editing process. Hot Key edited the novel, and that meant I didn’t have to pay for that on the indie side (which is one of the biggest expenses). I did have to design and pay for a new cover, and I’ve had to also work with my lovely agent instead of going completely alone (she did sell the UK rights and I believed she deserved her cut of US sales as well).

As far as marketing, honestly, I haven’t been able to garner much. Both because of money and time. I never have received much marketing in trad pub or indie, so I don’t think it’s been that different overall.

Finally, is there anything you’d like to share that I haven’t thought to ask?

I guess just that, if anyone reading this interview does read FISH OUT OF WATER, I hope you enjoy it! It’s been a very interesting book for me to get feedback on, because I’ve found in many ways that, instead of the feedback reflecting me, it tells me a lot about the people who read about Mika and her life. It’s made me really grateful, because I keep learning something new every time I talk to someone who has read it. This is a story of my heart, with many pieces of me throughout, and I just feel really lucky that I get to share it at all.

Thank you for stopping by, Natalie!

Natalie Whipple grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck around to earn her degree in English linguistics at BYU, with a minor in editing. Natalie still lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, and keeps the local Asian market in business with all her attempts to cook.

She is the author of the TRANSPARENT series, HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW, the I’M A NINJA series, and FISH OUT OF WATER (Feb 5th, 2015 [UK], Feb 10th [US]). In addition to that, she is on the writing team for the cRPG Torment: Tides of Numenera that should be out sometime in 2015.

More about Multicultural Children’s Book Day…

The mission of Multicultural Children’s Book Day is to raise awareness for kid’s books that celebrate diversity, and to get more of these books into classrooms and libraries. The co-creators are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can also find the list of co-hosts here.

MCCBD is partnering with First Book to offer a Virtual Book Drive that will help donate multicultural children’s books through their channels during the week of the event.

MCCBD is also collaborating with Children’s Book Council to highlight wonderful diversity books and authors on an ongoing basis all year.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2015 sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales PressDaybreak Press Global BookshopGold SponsorsSatya House,, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic PoofSilver SponsorsJunior Library GuildCapstone PublishingLee and Low BooksThe Omnibus PublishingBronze Sponsors: Double Dutch DollsBliss Group BooksAuthor Richa Jha, Rainbow BooksAuthor Felicia Capers, Chronicle BooksMuslim Writers PublishingEast West Discovery Press.

More personally…

My latest book, Effie’s Senior Year: The Complete Effie Stories is available for pre-order on Amazon.

I’m also writing stories just for you! Take a look at these short short stories inspired by reader prompts and click here to submit your own prompt.

You can also receive two free short stories by signing up for updates about my books or editorial work here, and/or you can follow me on TwitterFacebook or Goodreads.