Welcome

Hi y’all! Welcome to my world. I appreciate you stopping by to find out a little bit about me and my writing. Hi y’all! Welcome to my world. I appreciate you stopping by to find out a little bit about me and my writing. I live in Park City, Utah, way up at 7,000 feet. I live here with my husband, Todd, our two dogs Henry, and Sherlock, and our cat Mittens. Yes, it’s a zoo.

News

Say Hello To Trouble!

I’m so excited to reveal the cover of my up-coming middle-grade novel A Pup Called Trouble.  It comes out February, 2018. Its about an overly-curious young coyote who gets in to all kinds of trouble when he gets lost in New York City! Can a crow named Mischief, an opossum named Rosebud, and a poodle named Minette help him find his way home?

l’ll be posting more about Troubles adventures, so stay tuned!

Books

A Pup Called Trouble

I’m so excited to reveal the cover of my up-coming middle-grade novel A Pup Called Trouble.  It comes out February, 2018. Its about an overly-curious young coyote who gets in to all kinds of trouble when he gets lost in New York City! Can a crow named Mischief, an opossum named Rosebud, and a poodle named Minette help him find his way home?

Lucky Strike

“A not-to-be-missed, begs-to-be-read-aloud, once-in-a-blue-moon book.”  Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award winner.

“If you’re holding Lucky Strike, consider yourself lucky. Open it and read immediately.”  Barbara O’Connor, author of How To Steal A Dog

Summary:Wherever Nate Harlow goes, bad luck seems to follow, so it that it is Nate who gets struck by lightning out of the blue on his 11th birthday while playing mini-golf with his friend Genesis Beam. What is a big surprise is Nate’s luck seems to change drastically after the strike. Suddenly, he’s one lucky, popular boy. Or is he?
Inspiration:I grew up on the Gulf Coast of the Florida panhandle, where I was very lucky to experience the everyday magic of the sea. I was very unlucky when my father was killed in a car accident. Like a bolt out of the blue, everything changed. This book is a meditation for me on loss, and love, and magic. And hushpuppies.

“Amusing, endearing and sometimes even electrifying.” Kirkus, starred review.  “This well-told story of growth, friendship, and small-town life hits all the right notes.” School Library Journal, starred review.

The Dogs of Winter

“Bobbie Pyron’s storytelling is remarkable: the stuff of a dog lover’s (and adventure lover’s) dream. Inspiring!” Newbery honor winner Ann M. Martin.  “Bobbie Pyron’s storytelling is remarkable: the stuff of a dog lover’s (and adventure lover’s) dream. Inspiring!” Newbery honor winner Ann M. Martin.  “A Beautifully told story of friendship and survival that will grab your heart from the first page and linger with you long after the last.” Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray.

Summary:When Mishka’s mother disappears, he’s left to try and survive on the streets of Moscow with little chance to make it through the harsh winter and escape those who would harm him. But help comes in an unexpected form when he’s adopted by a pack of homeless street dogs. Over the next two years, the dogs become not only Mishka’s means of survival but his family.

Inspiration:The Dogs of Winter was inspired by the true-life story of Ivan Mishukov, one of many thousands of children abandoned to the streets after the fall of the Soviet Union. My book is a fictional account of the two years–1996 to 1998–Ivan lived wild with the dogs.  Starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and The Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books.  Utah Book Award finalist 2013. Scholastic Book Fair selection. Junior Library Guild Selection.  Kirkus Best Books of the Year

A Dogs Way Home

“Beautifully written…I simply LOVE this book!” Newbery Award winner Patricia MacLachlan.  “The heartbeat of this story will stay with you for a very, very long time.” Gary Schmidt, Newbery Honor and Printz Honor winner of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.

Summary:A tragic highway accident leaves eleven-year-old Abby and her beloved Shetland sheepdog, Tam, stranded at opposite ends of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. Dangers and changes fill Abby’s and Tam’s lives as the days, weeks, and seasons go by. Will faith and love be enough for them to find their way home to each other?

Inspiration:The two great loves in my childhood were dogs and reading. I must have read every dog and horse book ever written. My two favorites were Lassie Come Home and The Incredible Journey. I read those two books over and over—even as an adult! I still passionately love dogs. The breed I have a particular obsession with is the Shetland sheepdog, also known as Shelties and “little Lassies.” I am lucky enough to share my home and my life with two wonderful Shelties—Teddy and Sherlock—both adopted from Sheltie Rescue of Utah. A Dog’s Way Home is my personal love letter to Shelties and to those two great classic dog stories that were such an important part of my life.

Winner of the Dog Writers Association of America’s Maxwell Medal of Excellence and the Merial Human-Animal Bond Special Award.  Finalist for Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, 2012-2013. Finalist for the Utah Beehive Award, 2012-2013.  Finalist for the Georgia Children’s Book Award, 2013-2014.  Finalist for the Iowa Children’s Choice Award, 2013-2014.  Finalist for Tennessee’s Volunteer State Book Award

The Ring

“Well written…Mardie’s character will hook Readers.”  Publisher’s Weekly.  “Well written…Mardie’s character will hook Readers.”  Publisher’s Weekly. “Especially appealing to reluctant readers.” Booklist.  Finalist for the Utah Book Award.

Summary:Plagued by slipping grades and a budding criminal career, Fifteen-year-old Mardie’s heading down a path of self destruction. But when Mardie discovers a girls boxing club, she’s drawn in by the fighter’s confidence and strength. Having already lost her parent’s trust and her boy friend and best friend, the boxing ring is the only place Mardie can truly be herself.

Inspiration:When my stepdaughter was fourteen, she went through a very difficult period in her life. Like Mardie, her grades grades were slipping and she was getting into all kinds of trouble. One day, she spotted an article in our local newspaper a gym offering boxing classes for teenage girls, particularly those considered “at risk.” She showed me the article and said, “I want to do that!” So her dad and I signed her up. We took turns taking her to class three nights a week. On my nights, while I pretended to read, I eavesdropped on the girls. I was struck by how honest and supportive they were of each other, and how they felt the boxing ring was the one place they could just be themselves. Although my stepdaughter only  boxed a few months, it gave her the confidence and focus to pursue her passion: competitive snowboarding!

About

Growing Up

When I was a child my family and I lived in a house by the sea…”  When I was a child my family and I lived in a house by the sea…”  I was born in Hollywood, Florida on July 16th. My mother loved the ocean more than anything. When she was pregnant with me, she would walk down to the beach every day to swim in the ocean, look for seashells and lie in the sun. With each passing month, her belly got bigger and bigger. My father dug a deeper and deeper hole so she could lie on her stomach. When she went into labor with me, she was swimming in the ocean. I think that’s why I have always wanted to be a mermaid. Or a frog. For a short time when I was in second grade, I thought being a frog would be a wonderful thing to be when I grew up!

I was a shy, quiet child who worried about many things. When I was about five, I woke up my parents in the wee hours of the morning with this question: “When I die, will everything else die too?” My parents very patiently told me that, no, everything was fine. I had very patient parents! My older sister, Lori, was much more carefree than I. She had a great imagination and made up lots of stories and games.

Everyone in my family loved animals. We always had a dog who was very much a part of the family. We made frequent trips to the zoo. My favorites were (and still are) the giraffes. I also wanted very much to be a cowgirl!

My other great love—besides the ocean and animals—was reading. My father and I started reading the newspaper comics together before I started kindergarten. The first book I read on my own was Casey, the Utterly Impossible Horse,by Anita Feagles. I still have a copy of that book!
My father died suddenly when I was almost seven. Books became even more important to me after that. They not only provided a bit of an escape, they also helped me make sense of the world, and to not feel so alone. They still do!

I devoured all the Pippi Longstocking books, the Black Stallion series, and just about any book about animals. In fourth grade, I read A Season of Ponies so many times, the school librarian had to start a brand new check out card just for me! By the time I was nine, I wanted very much to be an author when I grew up. I tried to write a book about a brother and sister who run away from home and go live with a bunch of wild ponies. I gave up by page thirty-two because my hand hurt from writing. That’s when I discovered that writing is hard!

My life took many twists and turns before I finally realized that dream at age nine, and became a published author. First, I went to college and got degrees in psychology and anthropology. For a time, I was a singer in a rock and roll band. Then I went back to college and got a degree to work as a librarian. I’ve worked as a librarian now for over twenty-five years. Finally, six years ago, I sat down and wrote my first novel. I didn’t stop this time at page thirty-two, even though I still found writing to be hard. But I couldn’t not write, so I kept going. In October of 2009 that book was published!

I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful room in my house where I can create. I have everything a writer could want in that room: my favorite books, music, dogs, and a view from my window. Out that window I watch the aspen leaves turn from green to gold. I watch the snow fall in the winter. And always, I watch the apple tree my stepchildren gave me for my birthday several years ago. On the bulletin board next to my desk, I have things that inspire and encourage me: a photo of “my boys” (Brian, Todd, and Shay), a card with a photograph of an old mill in North Carolina (a setting in A Dog’s Way Home), a poem about dogs I particularly love, a lovely note my agent sent me after I signed with her, a card that reminds me to be willing to take risks, and a photograph of a young Russian boy who was the inspiration for my book, The Dogs Of Winter (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic).
I wish I could say I write every day from sunup to sun down. But, alas, I’m not that disciplined! Often, the room is left, waiting….

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me:

  • I once stuck a piece of popcorn up my nose (because I didn’t like the babysitter) and never got it  out!
  • My sister, mother, and I lived for two weeks on The Queen Elizabeth II, a very famous and historic ocean liner.
  • My great-great-great aunt is Harriot Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • My favorite word is “wilderness”
  • I’ve never ridden a roller coaster
  • Given a choice, I’d rather have popcorn than chocolate
  • I cannot for the life of me whistle
  • The town where I live, Park City, is at an elevation of 7,000 feet!
  • Some of the more unusual jobs I’ve had are: dog trainer, gladiola harvester, wilderness education instructor
  • I have never ever changed a diaper