1.13.2018: Picture-Book Revision Tips

From Promising to Polished

I wrote a piece for the January 2018 issue of The Writer magazine (out now!) about how to revise a picture-book manuscript. In it, I share my best tips, tricks, questions, and approaches to keep in mind as you play and experiment with your draft. To read a PDF of the article, click here.

Speaking of picture books, this week I got to see early sketches for Watch Out for Wolf!, my 2019 picture book with Charles Santoso, and I squealed louder than Pigbert—or Piggle, Piggleton, Piggit, or Piggums, for that matter. I can't wait for you to meet all five little piggies (and Wolf, of course) when the book comes out next April. As soon as I'm allowed to share a peek of the cover and interiors, I will. (If you'd like to add the book on Goodreads, you'll find it here.)

In the meantime, I'm finishing up revisions on Anna, Banana, and the Sleepover Secret (book seven in the series, coming in October), drafting what I hope will be my next YA novel, and trying to contain my nerves and excitement as advance reader copies of Always Forever Maybe make their way into the hands of booksellers and reviewers. Some fun news: In addition to the hardcover and ebook editions coming in June, HarperCollins will also publish Always Forever Maybe as an audiobook! (Available for pre-order now, wherever you like to purchase books.) Huge thanks to the B&N Teen blog for including Always Forever Maybe on their list 21 of Our Most Anticipated Debuts of 2018. They said: "This is a story about first love, sweet until it turns bitter....Rissi has a deft touch on a heavy topic, addressing abuse while still managing to infuse this meaty debut with romance, real #BFF goals, and dashes of humor."

And here are some photos of my dog with her new teddy bear.

5.12.2017: Always Forever Maybe

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have caught a glimpse of the secret project I've been writing and revising for the past few years, in between drafts of the Anna, Banana books.

I'm thrilled to share that the project is no longer a secret: My book will be a book! Always Forever Maybe sold to Rosemary Brosnan at HarperTeen last fall, and yesterday the announcement went live on Publishers Weekly Here it is:

I've had this story in my head and heart (and computer) for a long, long time, and I can't wait to share it with you. 

Pre-order links won't be available for a few more months*, but if you would like to add the book on Goodreads, please do: you'll find it here

*Edited to add: The book is now available for pre-order! Here are the links: IndieboundAmazon | B&N | BAMKindle | iTunes | IndigoHarperCollins You can also request a pre-order from your local independent bookstore by giving them the ISBN (978-0-0626-8528-5), title, and release date (June 5, 2018). Thank you!

12.17.2014: Manuscript "Rules"

Give the Reader Something to Wonder About

A few years ago, as part of a Writers Digest YA round table conversation on "YA today," I laid out some advice for writers hoping to rise to the top of the submissions pile. Those tips appeared in the magazine as a sidebar to the article and were later published on the Writers Digest website as "9 Must-Follow Manuscript Rules." I'm not responsible for that click-bait title, but I hope you'll find the list useful. 

(To read the full conversation on "YA today" with me, editor and author Aimee Friedman, editor Wendy Loggia, and agents Stephen Fraser and George Nicholson, you'll need to get your hands on the May/June 2010 issue of Writers Digest.)

Good luck with your revision!