For as long as I can remember, I've been a writer -- short stories, journal/diary entries, poetry, essays, and most recently, novels for young adults and middle-grade readers. I've either had a pen in my hand or my nose in a book. And sometimes, both at the same time! The written word and its creation are as integral to my daily schedule as rising & showering & eating. And the creation of each genre gifts as much from its fruition as from its first word. It's a magical adventure.
Reading the short stories of Raymond Carver, the poetry of Billy Collins and Mary Oliver, and the deeply-affecting essays of Joan Didion laid a foundation for my own work. And the works of myriad Southern writers and the timeless, classic and contemporary YA and MG works fueled my growing fancy to pen stories that would resonate with these young readers. And as I continued to write, I grew into an author. And that's both magical and mysterious, surreal and beautifully-gratifying.