Signing with Nora Roberts

So yesterday I did a signing at Nora Roberts’ very charming store in Boonsboro, Maryland. It was my third time participating in a Nora Roberts event, and just as awe-inspiring and spectacular as it was the first time. I took this photo about ten minutes before the event began. Look at all those innocent books waiting to be manhandled and signed!


Whirlwind Book Tours and Mermaid Camps

So I’ve been all over the place in the last few months, from the northernmost city in the US (Barrow, Alaska!) down to Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs and all kinds of places in between. This past weekend I was at Timothy Schaffert‘s amazing downtown Omaha lit fest (his new novel Swan Gondola comes out in February and looks amazing) and was on panels with stunning authors like Alissa Nutting, Monica Drake, Owen King, and Kelly Braffet, who was also, weirdly and awesomely, at the reading I did in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, the weekend before (at Moody Road Studios). Here’s a photo from the panel on likability:

Country Cottages and Alaskan Drag Queens

So earlier this month I spent three weeks holed up in an idyllic cottage in rural Pennsylvania with an ornery cat named Bailey and a stream rushing past just beyond the back porch. I was house-sitting for a friend and working on a brand-new novel (a noir!), and I accidentally watched many old episodes of Law & Order SVU on Hulu as well, a little something I like to call “research.”

I wish I could have stayed longer:



Though my roommate wasn’t entirely trustworthy


was a little pretentious


Parades and Book Giveaways!

So the past six weeks has been crazy. I was in Texas with the Pulpwood Queens (the promised Shelf Awareness article is here) and then spent almost three weeks in New Orleans hanging out with my friend Joi (and writing in sweet coffeeshops decked out in Mardis Gras tinsel, and seeing amazing music in the evenings, like my new one true love the Lost Bayou Ramblers), and of course seeing a ton of parades. I left just before actual Mardis Gras day, but I went to a bunch of the parades leading up to it, including the parade of decked-out dogs called Barkus, a parade called Chewbacchus where Chewbacca himself made an appearance (along with plenty of stormtroopers and random aliens), and three back-to-back parades one Sunday afternoon deep in Cajun country, in Houma, Louisiana. I have never in my life seen so many marching bands, spangled baton girls and flag girls, and people wearing feathers. I’ve also never seen so many Elvises (or Elvii) on scooters (a staple of the Muses parade). Come to think of it, I guess there were many things I hadn’t ever seen so much of, and it was a glorious thing. Here are a few random photos, including a spontaneous light saber dance at Chewbacchus.

A weekend with the Pulpwood Queens in East Texas

So I spent last weekend at the annual Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, Texas, hosted by the indomitable Kathy Patrick, who runs the largest meet-and-greet book club in the world, The Pulpwood Queens. This was my fourth time at the fete, which is chock full of author panels, an annual hair ball (this year’s theme was the “Gilded Age”) and lots of dancing and hanging out in local honkeytonks. I first attended in 2007, right after Rain Village came out, and wrote about the experience for Shelf Awareness. Since then, Kathy Patrick and the Pulpwood Queens have become a significant part of my life. But I’ve written about this for a new Shelf Awareness article, six years after the first one, and will share that with you soon! In the mean time, here are a few pics of yours truly with Kathy Patrick and authors Patti Callahan Henry, Margaret O’Brien Dilloway, Jane Bradley, Melissa Conroy, Bobbi Kornblit, and the big glamorous mess of them in a group shot from night one.

In all its tailless beauty

So I used to blog regularly, at, where you’ll find posts from me dating back to 2006, about all kinds of misadventures (and before that I had a blog on Livejournal that I started in 2004). Then in 2011 I started my mermaid blog, I Am a Mermaid, and instead of personal stories started posting interviews with everyone from Tim Gunn to Alice Hoffman to the Magnetic Fields to the mermaid from Beach Blanket Bingo. I still love mermaids—who doesn’t??—but now, with the launch of this new website, I’ve decided to start blogging again about the human world, in all its tailless beauty. So look here for little stories and the occasional bit of writing advice, and please email me if there’s anything you’d like me to talk about.