Blog—Where I fill in the Blanks

Lincoln — What Sparked Lincoln’s Duel & His Unusual Fight Terms

In the mid-nineteenth century, the state of Illinois was experiencing a financial crisis, and the two political parties—the Whigs and the Democrats—were in constant conflict about how to resolve the issues. Thrown into the mix was Lincoln, a Whig lawyer and then-former legislator, and Democratic state auditor James Shields. In 1842, James Shields, along with [Read More]


Lincoln – Book Launch Event Planned

The launch event for my picture book biography, Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words, illustrated by the remarkable illustrator S.D. Schindler, is on the calendar. Believe it or not, tax day is a surprisingly fitting time to celebrate this book. We’ll have treats, bubbly drinks for all ages, and possibly a fencing demonstration. If you can’t join me in [Read More]


Lincoln—My working Timeline for Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words

For all books I work on, I compile a timeline during my research—one that ultimately shows the breadth of that research, though that’s not the reason for its creation. The timeline keeps me grounded in time and context and offers the quick reference I need while experimenting with different story approaches. As you peruse my [Read More]


Step Right Up is a Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee!

I am immensely honored that Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness has been named to the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list for 2018-19. Many hundreds (500-700?) of books are considered before the twenty finalists are chosen for this list. What a thrill! Thank you, Texas librarians! Thank you, [Read More]


Lincoln—Select Sources/Bibliography

You won’t see a full bibliography or quotation sources in the back matter of Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words. Wanna know why? Simply put, even my super-whittled-down select sources resulted in a book that was too long to fit the standard 32-page format. So my editor and I made the difficult decision to direct readers here, to the [Read More]