About The Author

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. I grew up in Southern California's Little Arabia in a primarily Lebanese-American (with a touch of Eastern Europen sprinkled in) family, before moving to the Pacific Northwest as a teen. My writing is particularly inspired by these experiences and settings, as well as my heritage; most notably, my grandma's roots in the Kosice region of Slovakia and my grandfather's roots in the Koura Valley of Lebanon.

When I'm not writing or reading, I'm spending time with my family; traveling to as many new places as possible; cooking and baking up a storm; crocheting; hiking; playing, watching, and coaching sports; and listening to 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'm a dog person!
~ 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 travel locales are France, Mexico, and Turkey.
~ 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.
~ Gail Shephard's The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins and Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me are two of my favorite MG books; Jon Klassen's This Is Not My Hat and Tara Lazar's 7 Ate 9 are my favorite picture books.
~ Catch me reading food non-fiction, Keats' poetry, feminist short stories, Gillian Flynn, Sarah Waters, Helen Hoang, Abby Jimenez, and anyone who can make me laugh, 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 am a huge proponent of athletics as part of a full, healthy lifestyle. I am a high school softball coach and keep active myself with softball, volleyball, soccer, cycling, and running, mostly. I hope to do a triathlon, soon (achievement unlocked Summer 2019!).
~ I've worked in restaurants, in retail, as a nutrition instructor for Title 1 schools, as a writing tutor, as a freelance writer, and as a coach.
~ My first published-in-print work was an essay about picking blueberries and the fate of the small American farm.