Here's where you can find a bit more about me and the things I've done that aren't related to writing.

I'm an amateur chalkboard-wall-art enthusiast, and I keep track of all my drawings at my art blog, It's a Chalkboard Muralcle! For December 2012, I counted down to Christmas with a holiday mural-a-day (my favorites are "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" and "An SNL Christmas"), and I counted down to Valentine's Day 2013 with a series of jokey, 1950s-themed greeting card drawings (heavy on the punnery). Right now, the chalkboard wall features some of my favorite works of art, with a new drawing every few weeks.


In 2012, I was selected to be a judge on the Young Adult fiction panel for the Cybils Awards. You can find our shortlist here and my thoughts about judging the Cybils (and reading. Constantly. All the time.) here.

My lovely bow

My lovely bow

Before I started writing full-time, I dreamed of going to the Olympics for archery. I shot all through middle school, high school, and most of college, eventually reaching 10th in the nation for the under-18 category (which earned me an invitation to the beautiful Olympic Training Center campus in Chula Vista, California). While I don't shoot reguarly anymore, I still know enough to be snobby about how archery is depicted in YA books (and, thanks to The Hunger Games, movies). Here's my review of archery in The Hunger Games, and here's my super-long, super-involved guide to writing about archery in fiction.

AL Vets and poetic statements.jpg

At Harvard University, where I graduated in 2008, I wrote my senior thesis on confession as a historical archive, looking specifically at the rise of AIDS in the US in the 1980s and 1990s. I drew my sources from the Apology Line, a telephone hotline where people could call and record or listen to anonymous confessions. My thesis argued that these pre-Internet, spoken, anonymous confessionals offered a more complete and honest narrative of how people--gay and straight--reacted to the rise of AIDS. I first heard about the Apology Line from an episode of This American Life, and it's a great place to learn more about the line and its history.