The Short Version
Writing has always been part of me. I have been writing stories since I was four years old and have pursued writing as a career since the age of twelve. My Bachelor’s of Arts degree, from LeTourneau University, is in Digital Writing: an English degree with emphasis on digital media, copy writing, grammar, style, and formatting. I also hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts where I studied with such mentors as Kathi Appelt, Julie Larios, and Sharon Darrow. My teaching experience includes Freshman composition at the college level and creative writing, composition, literature, and grammar from elementary to high school. I am active in the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
As a teacher, I have long desired to give students access to the opportunities I didn’t have. My first creative writing class was at the graduate level—up until then, I learned solely through reading and practicing. I believe in providing encouragement and constructive criticism to help students to reach their full potential. I utilize discussion and feedback so that classes are truly interactive. Writing is an activity that can be learned and enjoyed.
The Longer Short Version
I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where I spent hot summers and brisk falls acting out stories in my awesome backyard. My first written story was told in stick-figure drawings on pink notebook paper that my first grade Sunday School teacher had given me. It was about an orphan girl who was rescued from certain doom by a flying horse and a few centaurs.
I decided I wanted to be a published author when I was twelve. In high school, some writer friends and I formed an unofficial writing club and traded characters (so much more fun than Pokémon cards!).
I didn’t realize I wrote for young people until I was sorting through brochures for graduate creative writing programs. I attended Vermont College of Fine Arts where I earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.
Fantasy has always been my first love in literature. Superheroes and science fiction also hold a special place in my heart. My favorite audience is middle grade readers, but I enjoy young adult fiction as well.
I wish I could say that, armed with an MFA, I now know everything I need to know and can write perfectly. However, I’m still learning. I think I will always be learning. And you know? That’s part of the fun.