Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Aviary webpage and first review

Publication of THE AVIARY is hard on the horizon, and I'm doing that thing where I'm walking around with my shoulders hunched, waiting for the reviews. It's a defensive posture--as if someone might at any moment hurl a pie!

I can't be the only author out there who has that mixed feeling of anticipation and dread come publication. For this book, I'm feeling particularly tender. I lived in THE AVIARY's crumbling mansion for a long time, and the birds there are my dear friends. (Or at least it feels that way.) It has been hard to move on to other things, which is new for me. That's how attached I am to this book and its world.

I'm happy to report that my first reviewer, Publishers Weekly, did not throw a pie. No, this was definitely a lovely bouquet. They called it "a well-paced, high-tension mystery" that joins "a rich heritage of stories about children with a secret 'room of their own'.”

One thing, however: while this book will have readers recalling THE SECRET GARDEN, I must confess that I have never read it myself. I did attempt it one summer in fourth grade and couldn't get past the spelling of its English dialect with the missing aitches, etc. It was too difficult for me at the time, I suppose. The book that most influenced me in writing THE AVIARY was Joan Aiken's wonderfully chilling THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE. Now there's a read that will keep you up at night!

Anyway, go ahead check out the new page at!