Tuesday, November 03, 2015


I am delighted and thrilled and completely ecstatic to announce that my 10th book, THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM, comes out today!!!

THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM is a fantasy novel for kids, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Clarion Books.  It's about a girl whose family owns a secret dream shop where they buy, bottle, and sell dreams, and the adventure that she and her best friend -- a loyal and cupcake-loving monster named Monster -- go on when someone starts kidnapping dreamers.  (That's Monster right there on the cover, the one with the tentacles next to a pink ninja bunny.)

This book was born from a wish.  Or maybe I should say... a dream.

When I was six, I had a reoccurring nightmare: a robot from outer space who looked exactly like Gonzo would invade the Earth and shoot M&M-sized beetles out of his curved nose, killing people.  Freaked.  Me.  Out.  So every night at bedtime, I'd chant, "Dream about dragons.  Dragons, dragons, dragons!"  Sometimes it worked, and I'd get a fun dragon dream.  Other times, killer robot Muppets.  I used to wish I could bottle the fun dreams and save them for scary nights. 

The truth is I still wish that.

That's where this book came from.  It started with an image of a secret shop, filled with blue bottles that stored swirling, shimmering dreams.  You drink a bottle; you dream the dream.  Flying through the clouds, picnicking with pink bunnies, befriending monsters… everything in the infinite world of the imagination is available to you, if you dare.

I wrote the first scene four years ago, while I was supposed to be working on an entirely different book.  It sneaked up on me, the way Monster sneaks out of the closet and becomes part of Sophie's life.  I knew someday I'd write about this girl and her best friend, a six-tentacled monster who may or may not like to eat small children with ketchup, but I didn't tell anyone.  Sophie and Monster waited patiently, my secret, tucked away in a file on my computer, until it was time to write their story.

About halfway through writing THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM, I had an epiphany, one of those so-obvious-why-didn't-I-think-of-it-before kind of epiphanies: that this is why I'm a writer.  I'm trying to create my own dream bottles.

I've always thought of books as magic, and I believe that being a writer is the closest you can get to being a wizard -- to creating a spell that takes people out of their own lives and brings them into a shared dream.

So here it is, my story, bottled in book format, and I am inviting you to drink.  I hope you enjoy it and that it keeps the killer robots away.  Happy reading!  And happy dreaming!

You're Invited!

I'm having a book launch party, and I'd love it if you could come!  The party will be on Saturday, November 14th, from 1 to 3pm, at Books of Wonder in Manhattan, one of my absolute favorite bookstores, and I'll be joined there by Bruce Coville, one of my absolute favorite authors, who has graciously agreed to play emcee and lead our discussion of the book, writing, and lots more.  Please feel free to bring the whole family, as well as anyone else for that matter.  The more the merrier!  Here's the info:

Saturday, November 14th, from 1pm to 3pm
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY

For more about THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM, including the first two chapters, please visit my website.

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