Writing by Fridge Light

December 5, 2018

fridge light

The naked truth, as told on Jungle Red Writers

With my newest middle-grade novel, Finchosaurus, just published, it’s time for me to start something new. Way past time. Unfortunately, I’m not the sort of writer with more ideas than I have time to execute. If you’re one of those people, I hate you. Just kidding. But I am jealous. Because my idea-creation mode is more the “pulling teeth” variety.

That’s why I wasn’t about to let an idea escape, one recent night. I’d been trying to come up with a new character, but she wasn’t fully formed. So I set myself the task of thinking about her while I slept, hoping my nighttime brain could do what my daytime brain hadn’t. Hoping I would wake in the morning with an idea.

I woke up only a couple of hours later. Maybe the cat was making her weird “let me out” noises. But for whatever reason, I was awake, and I did have an idea. Good, I thought, I’ll write that down in the morning, and I drifted back to sleep.

I woke again. Same idea, with another twist. That could work, I thought, and went back to sleep.

For the third time, I woke up. My brain: Do Not Forget. There’s the girl, there’s the twist. Me: Yes, I promise I’ll remember. Back to sleep, but not for long. Soon I was awake for the fourth time, knowing there was no way out: I had given my brain a job and my brain had done the job. Now it wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. Resigned, I got out of bed. Unfortunately, I seemed to have shed my pajamas during the night. I was stark naked.

I wanted to get the idea down on paper. I did not want to wake up any more than I had to by doing things like getting dressed, or turning on the lights, especially because the blinds were up, and we live in the city.

That’s how I came to find myself crouching on the kitchen floor, scribbling notes by the light of the open fridge door. Writing just enough to convince my brain that it could let me sleep now. I don’t know if this idea will turn into a book, but I hope so. Because this character has persistence! She woke me up four times to say, Write about me! So, I’ll try. After all, it’s not every day—or night—I get an idea.


On Tour with “Finchosaurus”

October 15, 2018


Getting ready for a blog tour is a bit like packing for a road trip. Make a list. Check things off. But instead of “toothbrush” and “phone charger” the list goes something like this:

Video featuring wicked cute dog? Check. Three top 10 lists? Check. Questions about dinosaurs, writing process and fifth graders, all answered? Check.

Many thanks to JeanBookNerd for hosting the tour. Come check it out! There’ll be 10 stops in 10 days between October 15 and October 26, with 10 chances to win a copy of Finchosaurus!

Coming Soon…the blog tour!

October 4, 2018


Join me at JeanBookNerd from October 15-26 for my blog tour. There will be questions, there will be answers, and there will be giveaways!


August 14, 2018

The Kirkus review of Finchosaurus is in and I share it here with gratitude and a big YIPPEE.


“A 10-year-old wannabe paleontologist finds his life transformed after unearthing a buried message… An amusing, empowering tale that should appeal especially to middle schoolers with abundant energy.” — Kirkus Review

Read the full review

Funnest Moments in Writing a Book

April 28, 2018


Funnest. Not really a word, I know. But that’s the word to describe the moment an author sees how an artist illustrated their book. Thank you, Amy Preveza, for creating this cover! And thank you, Betsy Bird, for unveiling it!

Finchosaurus will be published in October by Islandport Press but you can reserve a copy now from IndieBound, Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

“Finchosaurus” cover art to be revealed…

April 23, 2018


Ah, the weekend. Sleeping in. Maybe going out for brunch. And that moment I’ve been waiting for… the chance to share the illustration of my newest novel, “Finchosaurus”! Cover art coming Saturday, April 28. Book to follow in October from Islandport Press.

Greetings from Maine

February 22, 2018

900 pixel Deer Isle Lobster Shackphoto by Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld

What would you do if you unearthed a note with the single word HELP on it?

If you’re Finch Martin, whose dream is to uncover a dinosaur fossil and name a new species after himself, you don’t stop digging until you get to the bottom of the story.

“Finchosaurus,” my newest middle-grade novel, will be published by Islandport Press in October 2018.