Thursday, May 28, 2015


Here's a peak at my latest novel:

Desperate to save her family’s historic lake resort from demolition, twelve-year-old Mia begs a Ouija board for help, accidentally unleashing the ghost of a Depression-era gangster.

All winter long, Mia Luisa Cristina Molloy pines for June when she can escape her family's cramped Chicago apartment and spend summer at her grandparents’ old Wisconsin resort. But when she arrives this year, her dreams for another amazing break are crushed right away. Her big brother Antonio acts like he’s too cool to hang with her anymore, and her grandparents confess they’re broke. In September they plan to sell the resort to a developer, and Mia's favorite place in the entire world will be destroyed.

Scrambling for any idea to stop the sale, no matter how crazy, Mia consults the spirit world through a Ouija board. A ghost named Gus answers her pleas, claiming to know about long-lost cash hidden somewhere at the resort. Mia follows his sketchy clues until she discovers Gus was a Chicago bank robber who disappeared in 1932—and now his ghost is inexplicably after her brother. Clock ticking, Mia races to find the loot and bail out the resort before her brother sleeps with the fishes and her family’s legacy disappears forever.

THE LOST TREASURE OF FULL MOON LAKE, a finalist in Pitch Wars 2015, is a 45,000-word middle grade mystery.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Really excited about my work in progress. It's another middle grade mystery/ghost story of sorts, but it's also about a sibling relationship between the MC, Mia Molloy, and her brother Antonio. Only 10,000 words in, so it could certainly morph into something different.

What I will divulge is that it takes place on a ramshackle family resort on a lake in northern Wisconsin.

And it involves a ouija board.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My First Pitch Ever

Oooohh, it's been too long since I've blogged.

I could wax poetic about my fabulous time at the 2014 SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC (highlights: Writer's roundtable at the plot intensives with author/editor Jill Santopolo from Philomel; hearing the inspirational, funny, honest Kate Messner speak twice—once at the plot intensives, once as the conference keynote speaker; eating cupcakes w/ fellow Pitch Warriors Laura Shoven and Casey Lyall; laughing til tears rolled down my cheeks listening to the hilarious Jack Gantos speak—esp. his commentary on the photo of his childhood bedroom)... but many other bloggers have already covered that weekend so well.

Instead, I'm going to share a snapshot of the first pitch I ever wrote. For the first novel I ever wrote (well, I completed only twelve chapters, but, hey, that was half the novel!). When I have more time, I will give more details 'cause I KNOW this snippet will whet the collective appetite. So, without further ado:

Comments are welcome, but please be kind—I was eleven years old when I wrote this.
Hopefully, my pitch skills have impoved.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I'm the Featured Speaker at an Upcoming SCBWI Event!

On Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m., I'll be leading a conversation on online networking at the IllinoisSCBWI North Suburban Network meeting at The Book Stall in Winnetka.

How fun is that?

Here's the blurb sent to IllinoisSCBWI members:

Greetings, Polar Vortex Chiberians!

I have come to share wonderful news! This winterest of winters looks to be taking a turn and we should actually be thawed out by summer! The extended forecast shows next Wednesday to be a balmy 42 degrees. Woo Hoo! Of course, things are going to be slushy for a while. And, hey that reminds me why I really stopped by in the first place...

February 12 th – Beyond the Slushpile: New Ways to Get Agent Attention

From Twitter to blogs to webinars to the latest trend—sites where writers compete to post their queries and first pages—the internet is bursting with creative opportunities for writers to showcase their work and get publishing questions answered.

A year ago author Wendy Parris entered the online writing community and has since communicated directly with hundreds of agents, editors, and published kids' book authors willing to connect newer writers with agents seeking manuscripts. Wendy will share her experiences and the invaluable insights she's gained, as well as tips on how to build your own relationships with industry professionals and get your work noticed.

Maybe wear your galoshes if you get 'em!

Michael Bricis

Soggy humor Co-Rep

With the crisp-witted Carolyn Crimi

I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pitch Wars and Prairie Wind

Quick update:
This past week was very exciting—my Pitch Wars entry for GHOST FARM snagged a full request (as well as a ton of positive feedback from mentors and fellow writers), and my op ed was published in the current issue of The Prairie Wind (SCBWI-IL's quarterly newsletter).

Please see my last few blog entries if you're unfamiliar with Pitch Wars. Suffice it to say, I had a great experience meeting and learning from fellow writers, and got invaluable insights on my book from my mentor Shannon Duffy. I'm happy to report GHOST FARM is better than ever.

Here's a link to the winter 2014 edition of The Prairie Wind. My op ed, on page 53, details my experience at the 2013 Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC, and encourages Illinois writers to attend.

Can't WAIT to go back for this year's conference February 21-23... I'll be sure to tweet and blog about it during and after my trip.

Thanks for reading. Off to read a book...and attempt to stay warm!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Pitch Wars entry is up on Veronica Bartles' fabulous blog:

Click on the link to check it out!

So happy to have been chosen and know my manuscript has improved tremendously with the help of my mentor, Shannon Duffy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

So, I made it into Pitch Wars!
I'm a proud member of team #DuffysToughies, led by the inimitable Shannon Duffy.

Busy working on edits for GHOST FARM, so I'm ready for the agent round coming up January 22 through 23. I'll let you know which blog will be featuring my entry on those days.

Pretty sure the pictures of me wearing a groundhog costume (see previous blog post) really tipped the scales in my favor...