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Oops.

Back in January, I decided to sit down with my babies…my babies being all eight books in the Emmie & Friends series, including my newest one, ALWAYS ANTHONY. I did this because I have a terrible memory, and I realized I should re-familiarize myself with the series and characters before writing Book 9. Sometimes I lose track of character backgrounds, timelines, etc. So, I read each and every book in the order that I wrote them (note: they can still be read as stand-alone books).

And…

…oops.

This was when I realized (in horror) how many mistakes I’ve made over the years. After berating myself for not re-reading these books sooner – and then berating myself further for having the memory of a very small wasp – I got down to business. I started listing all the mistakes I found in each book, large and small. Thank goodness the small outnumbered the large by a wide margin. Still, a few of these larger mistakes were not pretty.

This is was also the moment when I came to embrace my new best friend:

REPRINTS!!

The good news: this series has a wonderful readership (thank you, readers!) and gives me the opportunity to redeem myself in updated (aka fixed) versions of the books.

The bad news: the original versions are still out there aplenty, mistakes glaring in the spotlight…or so I imagine. Well, maybe not imagined; kids are astute and pick up on so many small details. That’s normally great, but not if you’ve realized you’ve made some cringey blunders.

So, this is why I’ve decided that – instead of ignoring these errors – I’d like to point them out…mainly before my readers do it for me (lol). Seriously, I think it’s good to own up to these and for young readers to realize that authors (drum roll, please)…

…are human!

I had listed and fixed 23 errors total (and those are just the ones I caught), but I’ll only display a few doozies below and why they will be addressed in the next book reprints. I also decided to update about a dozen details that seemed outdated (a few also noted below). Here we go!

INVISIBLE EMMIE, page 23: This is an update rather than an error. Since DVDs have gone the way of the dinosaurs, I’m updating it to read: “my mom has all these ancient DVDs from the fitness center.”

JUST JAIME, page 32: Similarly, I’m updating “Vines” to “SnapGab reels.”

JUST JAIME, page 193: Here’s a big one. I had to change “dad” to “mom” in Sarah’s speech bubble because it’s noted in SURPRISINGLY SARAH that Sarah’s dad had left her family early on. Arghhhh.

BECOMING BRIANNA, page 222: This is not an error, but in retrospect, I thought I’d change the words “He (or She)” to just plain ol’ “God” in order to be non-gender-specific.

TRULY TYLER, page 346: When I wrote ALWAYS ANTHONY last year, I had completely forgotten that I had already drawn an image of Anthony’s parents in TRULY TYLER. In ANTHONY, the parents look quite different. So, I redrew them for future printings of TYLER. Here’s the original image and the fixed version for TYLER:

REMARKABLY RUBY, page 163: Here’s a huge one. I had to change “dad’s” to “mom’s” because…well, Leah’s dad is DEAD. (Really, past me?) Yeah, big whoops.

ALWAYS ANTHONY: According to TRULY TYLER, JUST JAIME, and this book, there are inconsistencies about when Anthony had dated Nikki Lourde. Seems like I had gotten my timelines confused. In this case, I had already written and illustrated ANTHONY and couldn’t go back to fix this mistake, so I just have to own it.

So there you go. Some “oopsies” and a few updates. But, like I said, I’m owning them. Speaking of owning, there’s something cool about owning those pre-fixed original books: you possess something truly authentic and vintage, flaws and all!

At least, that’s how I’m gonna look at it. 🙂

Happy Pub Day to ALWAYS ANTHONY!!

Today (5/7) is the day ANTHONY hits the shelves! This is the story of two unlikely friends who witness a not-so-friendly incident — all told with humor and heart. I hope you’ll love reading it as much as I loved creating it. Go get a copy from your local bookstore or from any of the store links on this page.

ALWAYS ANTHONY Book Tour!

Hey, everyone! I’m so excited for my upcoming book tour. This year, most of it will be on the east coast. Some of my stops are adjoined with book festivals. I’ll also be visiting Vancouver, BC, Canada to meet my western Canadian readers!

Along with the listed public events, I’ll be visiting schools in the cities above as well as in Atlanta, Buffalo, Boston, and Frederick, MD. For registration and/or details about the public events, go to these links:

May 7: Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore, MD)

May 11: Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books (Pittsburgh, PA)

May 17: The Silver Unicorn Bookstore (Acton, MA)

May 29: KidsBooks (Broadway) (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

May 30: KidsBooks (Highlands United Church) (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Hope to see you! In the meantime, you can order (or pre-order) ALWAYS ANTHONY here!

North Texas Teen Book Festival!

Hope to see you in Texas on Saturday, April 27! Look at these amazing lineups (and there are many, many more panels and activities!). For more info and to see what ALL the incredible authors are doing, click here!

The Making of Always Anthony

Ah, unexpected pairings. Aren’t they the best? Not just true of romantic relationships, but of friendships, too. I’ve experienced both, and it’s never dull. For example, my marriage is quite the yin-yang mash-up. My husband Mike is a very math-oriented, logical/practical, sci-fi-y dude, whereas I…am not. Okay, I can be practical, but I think that’s partially a product of his influence.

(Yin and Yang, 1996)

ALWAYS ANTHONY features the unexpected friendship of two total opposites…or so it seems. There’s popular, cool-as-a-cucumber Anthony Randall…

(not an actual representation)

…and timid-but-brainy Leah Ruben.

They are paired up because Anthony (kinda like my hubs) is great at science and math but has a harder time with writing. The English teacher, Mrs. Winn, has asked Leah to tutor Anthony to help raise his Language Arts grade. Along the way, Anthony and Leah discover they do have a lot in common, and they develop a blossoming friendship.

Surprises and obstacles ensue. Among them is a bullying incident they both witness which may threaten their budding friendship. You’ll just have to read the book to see what happens.

(Anthony imagines one of the bullies as a hungry bear)

Ultimately, what I really enjoyed about writing this story (like most of my others) was shoving two “opposites” together to see how they’d interact. Although Anthony and Leah are more opposite than most of my pairings, I love all the commonalities that emerge and how they help each other navigate so much along the way…like crushes, passion projects, and – ultimately — how to express their feelings (in different ways).

I do think people in the most enduring “unlikely” relationships end up having unexpected similarities. As I mentioned, my husband and I appear to have little in common on the surface. But over the years, we’ve found that we, in fact, have LOTS in common: values, sensibilities, a habit of eating way too fast (argh), and so much more (I won’t get into our shared workaholic tendencies).

And, thanks to two grown kids, a dog, and almost 28 years of marriage, we also have tons of shared history.

I don’t know if Anthony and Leah will be friends that long, but I do know one thing: if their friendship is meant to be, they’ll find more and more commonalities along the way.

NEW Hanukkah anthology!

Thrilled to be part of this upcoming middle grade Hanukkah anthology, along with 15 other wonderful authors I admire. My story is a combo of writing and fun, sketchy art. I hope you’ll check it out! THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS releases September 5, 2024, and you can pre-order from the website of my friend and organizer/contributor, Henry Herz.