Author Archive

Teachers’ Guide: Defying the Diva

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Questions for Discussion:

Haley keeps the secret that she’s being bullied because “Camilla and the rest of them would make my life ten times worse.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Why do people like Camilla, who seem to have it all, engage in bullying?

Harrison tells Haley about the Metaphysical thinkers and their quest to discover whether a person’s intentions and desires influence events. Is everything in life a matter chance? To what extent do we control our own destinies?

Click here to download a full list of questions and topics for further study

Teachers’ Guide: Picture Perfect

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Picture Perfect coverQuestions for Discussion:

From the outside Phoebe’s life looks perfect. What does she do to protect the illusion?

From the cover of the novel: A picture is worth a thousand words. If you could create a picture to portray the true state of the Trask family, what would it look like?

Nick swears Phoebe to secrecy regarding his family problems. Was Phoebe right or wrong to keep his secret?

Click here to download a full list of questions and topics for further study

Teachers’ Guide: Semiprecious

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

semiprecious.jpgQuestions for Discussion

This story takes place at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. How do the changes taking place in the country mirror changes in the lives of Garnet and Opal?

How does Garnet’s relationship with Aunt Julia and with Charlie Twelvetrees change her?

What do the sisters learn about the nature of families? What do they learn about themselves?

Click here to download a full list of questions and topics for further study

Defying the Diva

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

“I’m a bully because I enjoy pushing people around and making them do what I say. It’s my thing. If you mess with me, I will shove you into your locker, and it will hurt.” This unabashed admission from a fifteen year old girl led me to my next novel about a high school student who finds herself the target of a popular and attractive classmate known for pushing people around and getting her own way.

Picture Perfect

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I have never bought anything from a TV shopping channel, but I think they’re fascinating windows on our culture. The idea that people will sit in front a screen and watch a “spokesmodel” demonstrate hair spray, a set of carving knives or a cleaning product fascinates me. One night as I watched a cosmetics wizard selling concealers and lip gloss, I started thinking about the ways in which we conceal our hurts and struggles in an effort to project a perfect image to the rest of the world. This is especially true in high school as young adults try to figure out who they are and where they fit into the world. So I created high school freshman Phoebe Trask and gave her a mother who sells Bee Beautiful cosmetics, a father embroiled in a controversial court case, a boyfriend who’s hiding a secret, and a next door neighbor all struggling with questions of their own. Then I just stood back, watched, and wrote down what happened. I hope you enjoy their story.


Monday, January 28th, 2008

Growing up in the turbulent 1960s I saw a parallel between the upheavals over civil rights, the space race, and the Cold War and the upheavals we all must pass through on the journey from childhood to adulthood. I wanted to explore this parallel against a backdrop of a teenaged girl’s struggle to make a home for herself against tough odds in a whole new place. So I gave teen sisters Garnet and Opal a mother determined to become the Next Big Thing in Nashville, leaving the sisters in a small town in Oklahoma to discover for themselves the true meaning of home.

Front Page books

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

defying the diva cover
Now Available: Defying the Diva

picture perfect
Now Available: Picture Perfect. Read more in Books.

Now Available: Semiprecious. Read more in Books.

An Invitation To All My Readers

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

My dear readers,

Some of you are new to my books, some have been around for many years, a couple of you whom I met when you were elementary school students are now out of college and teaching in classrooms of your own. Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’ve been writing and publishing novels for you guys for almost twenty years. Yikes.

Last year I decided to try something new: writing historical novels for older readers. I’m  excited to announce that the first book in the new series is coming out in June. BEYOND ALL MEASURE is  a sweet romance that takes place in Tennessee, the state where I was born and where I lived till age 14. There is courting, and kissing, and a fight and a Christmas Eve sleigh ride marriage proposal, but nothing that parents will find objectionable.  Parents: You are most welcome to view the site for yourself and to contact me with any questions.

If you are age 13 or older, and  like reading novels about older characters from the past, I invite you, with your parents’ permission,  to visit my new website: for more  info, and to be my Facebook friend here. That’s where I’ll post  information about the books, some cool contests, and prizes you can win.

Of course you can still write to me here, too. Just go to the “Let’s Talk” page. I’ll write you back, as I always have, just as soon as possible. As I  head off on this new adventure, I want to say thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful letters. Each one of them, and each one of you, is a treasure I will carry with me forever.


D Anne

Your Comments and Questions

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

One of the things I love best about writing for teens and tweens is the chance to talk to my readers. If you have a question about my books, about writing and publishing in general, or if you just want to tell me what’s on your mind, this is the place. I’ll answer each message as soon as I can, but please remember that I travel quite a lot, and sometimes it may take a while for me to catch up. But I will write you back and you can read it here.

Or, click here if you’d rather send a private message that will not be posted.

The Secret Prince

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Some years ago I read a book by Christopher Vogler called The Writer’s Journey, which is based upon the work of the late Joseph Campbell, a student of the roles that myth and heroes play in our lives. Vogler discussed the idea of a hero who is compelled to leave his ordinary world and embark upon a quest in order to achieve the greater good. During his quest he meets enemies and allies and endures many trials and tests on his way to claiming the “elixir” before returning home, having been changed by his experience. I thought it would be interesting to develop a novel using Vogler’s mythic story pattern. I had great fun creating warriors, wizards, fantastic beasts, a dwarf trickster, a princess hiding in a convent, and the evil Northmen who must be vanquished in pursuit of a lost amulet.