About Me

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When I was little, I wanted to be a writer, the President of the USA or the first female NFL quarterback. Despite being able to throw a wicked spiral, I didn't really grow to the size needed for the NFL. Then, as I got older and studied more, I came to realize there were better ways to effect positive change than becoming president. The first one, however, stuck. Even when I was pursuing other dreams, I always took time to write here and there.

I draw inspiration from all sorts of people, places, things, and events. These days, I'm particularly inspired by my heritage; most notably, my grandma's roots in Slovakia and my grandfather's roots in Lebanon/Syria.

When I'm not writing or reading, I'm spending time with my three pixies, my Mad Scot soulmate, and one foofy mini goldendoodle; traveling to as many new places as possible; cooking and baking up a storm; crocheting; and watching waves crash and suns set on the beach. I currently live, love and explore in The Emerald City, though I occasionally make wispy, dream-like plans to move to Paris or a Scottish castle one day (if just temporarily).

Random Facts:

~ I'm the co-founder of the popular YA website, YAHighway. (Come visit us!)
~ My favorite color is purple.
~ I was born in Anaheim, CA. I have seen the Disneyland fireworks more times than I can count.
~ I graduated from the University of Washington, majoring in English Literature and Women's Studies as an undergrad and Secondary Education as a grad student.
~ My favorite cities are Paris, Krakow, Black Rock City and Seattle.
~ My favorite YA novels are How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. But they're not the only ones I love. I read a lot.
~ Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me is one of my favorite MG books; Jon Klassen's This Is Not My Hat and James Dean's Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes are my favorite picture books.
~ Catch me reading food non-fiction, Keats' poetry, a variety of feminist short stories, Gillian Flynn, Sarah Waters, and more, when I'm in the mood for adult projects.
~ If I didn't write, I'd want to own a bakery. Or a food truck. Or a food truck bakery. With a yarn store in the back.
~ I don't watch much NFL anymore, but I go to as many Seattle Sounders and LA Angels' games as I can. I also play sports: softball, volleyball, soccer, cycling, and running, mostly.
~ I've worked in restaurants, in retail, as a nutrition instructor for Title 1 schools, as a writing tutor and as a freelance writer.
~ My first published-in-print work was an essay about picking blueberries and the fate of the small American farm.