The first book I wrote totally ripped off The Chronicles of Narnia. I don’t remember much of it now, many years later, but I’m certain of that. Something in me saw a good story and wanted to imitate it, and that was how I started writing at the age of nine.
I know that’s how a lot of us start out. You read something that stirs a spark in your heart and try to re-create it. There’s nothing quite like it. I spent several years of my childhood copying the stories I loved, desperately trying to get that rush, but I was frequently left unsatisfied. It just wasn’t the same when I tried it.
That led me to pursue my own story ideas. In a fairly isolated childhood, dreaming up other worlds was a way I kept myself company. I started writing pieces that were more and more original. I joined NaNoWriMo the first year I was eligible to participate—and met the 50,000-word goal in less than 30 days.
I knew then that my love was with novels. I spent my teen years volunteering as a beta reader and mentor at NaNo, participating every year, and sometimes even in the off-season. I loved helping people with their stories, solving their plot problems, encouraging them through the slumps. I knew this was what I wanted to do.
An amazing chance came to me when I got an internship at the literary magazine Winter Tangerine Review. The editors there showed me the ropes and helped me get started on learning the business. At another literary magazine, Polyphony HS, I gained more experience under some amazing mentorship. Eventually, I co-founded a small literary magazine, Transcendence, with slam poet Lydia Havens, and served as its editor-in-chief for two and a half years.
Through all of that, my heart burned with a desire to not only write my own novels, but help others make theirs shine. In March 2015 I started freelancing with a focus on indie fiction, and since then I’ve edited books for Grant Pies, Clint Thurmon & Christina R. Williams, AJ Tipton, and Aya Knight. I helped them, among many others, make their books beautiful, and now that’s what I want to do for you.
Right now, I’m working through a degree in Creative Writing and trying to balance homework with being a mom to two adorable cats…all while trying to figure out how to finally finish writing the book that gives me that rush.
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