I grew up overseas and spent more time abroad than I did stateside before I went to university in Los Angeles. In 2012, I left school with more than just my BA in Creative Writing; I walked out with a husband and an 8-month-old daughter. Talk about accomplished!
I now live in Southwest Georgia with my forever love and our two crazy kids. I’m currently pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and I’ve begun work on my second novel while I query my first, a YA Fantasy titled PRINCE OF DREAMS.
I’m passionate about diversity in literature because I know what it’s like to grow up not seeing myself in the books that were available on the shelf, and feeling like the experiences in those books didn’t accurately speak to me. Because of this, it’s my goal to write stories and characters that are genuine and truthful to the YA and NA experience; to their voice and their struggles, to the many nuances and diverse feelings that are experienced and above all to be sincere and honest. I want young readers to grow up seeing themselves in the books that they read.
As an ethnically diverse woman, with ties to the Latinx, Japanese, and Native American communities, accurate and truthful representation of these communities, their histories, their legends, their mythologies, and their stories, are important and meaningful to me. I also believe in shattering stigma, whenever possible, and believe women’s issues, feminism, body image, self-confidence, and mental health are all topics that should be talked about within YA and NA literature with frequency and with sincerity.
I also believe in inclusivity and unity above all and desire to create stories that bridge both the perceived and literal gaps that exist between peoples and belief systems.
I love YA and NA literature and have a deep passion for exploring #ownvoices narratives in the stories I write as well as in the stories that I read.
I also have a set of core beliefs that I live by and that basically fuel my nerd fire. They are as follows:
I believe badass girls are important.
I believe I daydream during the day and nightthink at night.
I believe no writer is sane. (No really, what type of person willingly puts themselves through the torture of quite literally bleeding their heart and soul onto a page and then after a few months, does it again, and again. That is the very definition of insanity.)
I believe in dragons. (Ok, not like actually. I’m not that cray cray. But you know, in the fun way. Like, I believe in them about as much as I believe in unicorns. In that mystical, yes, unicorns are lovely and cool and I like them sort of way. Ugh, I’m not really convincing you of my grip on the whole sanity thing here am I?)
I believe books are another kind of food. (But, like for real, they do kind smell like vanilla.)
I believe being sensitive is a sign of strength, not weakness.
I believe that love is the answer. Not hate. Not judgment. Just love.
I believe in building bridges across divides that separate. I’m a sucker for things like forbidden love and star-crossed love, and for friends that were never meant to be friends. I literally become a puddle for stories about people who have found a way to see past their differences and instead see only their similarities.
I believe in honesty, sincerity as well as unity and togetherness.
I believe in being teachable; that I do not know it all, that I can never know it all, and that I want to be taught as much as I can be taught because I love to learn.