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With school and library visits on pause, I am offering Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime visits for classes, book clubs, libraries, and reading groups. Please email me at email@example.com to schedule a virtual visit.
When it is safe to resume in-person events, I will be booking school and library visits again. Detailed information is available on my HarperCollins Speakers Bureau profile.
Keep Holding On focuses on the consequences of bullying. What inspired you to write about this topic?
keep holding on display
This story was inspired by my own experiences with being bullied pretty much every day. I was a total outsider in junior high and high school. I wrote about some really embarrassing experiences in this book that I would have been mortified to admit back then. But I’m not embarrassed anymore. If those things happened to me, they are happening to teens right now. So it was time to speak up.
I know how it feels to be relentlessly tormented. I know how it feels to constantly be anxious at school and at home, to feel like you’ll never find a place you belong, or like no one will ever understand you. Writing this book was my way of turning a negative experience into something positive. I want this story to reach out to teens in need. I want this book to help people feel less alone. If it does, then the horrible things that happened to me will have been worth it.
Resources and support for teens living with bullying, abuse, or discrimination can be found here.
Keep Holding On Q&A can be found here.
A discussion guide can be found here.
What inspired you to write All I Need?
Readers often ask me if soul mates are real. They ask if boys like the boys I write about actually exist. I’m here to tell you that soul mates are real and boys like those do exist. I know what it’s like to meet a soul mate. What it’s like to feel that instant connection. To feel like you’ve already known someone your whole life even though you just met. My main goal in writing All I Need was to make readers feel happy and hopeful. By the time readers finish the last sentence, I want them to believe in true love.
What's your typical day like?
my home office
In high school, being a night person made it really hard to get up in the morning. I stayed up reading way too late and was beyond exhausted the next day. Now that I work at home (like a boss), I've arranged my work schedule so that most of my writing time happens in the afternoon when I feel more energetic. If I'm working on a new book, I'll write for about five hours a day. But I can easily work a 12-hour day or more if I'm on deadline. My gym classes are at night. For the past few years I've been doing Power Dance, Bodypump, and yoga. I think it's important for wellness to balance sitting in front of a screen with mindful movement. And of course I still read every night.