but there are many additional things that make me happy. Being a mother to three girls, for example, as well as having a super hot husband who serves as inspiration for the love interests in my novels. We met when we were very young (18 & 19), dated for about four years before we got married (still very young), and two decades later, he continues to be my best friend and makes me laugh and smile more than anyone else I know. I’m glad I didn’t settle for anything less.
I tried a lot of hobby-ish things before I discovered my love for writing: I attempted to play the violin, piano, and flute (fail, fail, fail). I was a competitive dancer most of my life until about halfway through college. I used to scrapbook a lot, but finally admitted that crafting is my nemeses. I wish I was good at photography. I also wish I knew how to create cool memes and Instagram/Pinterest/Tumblr photos and quotes. Feel free to give me tips!
I wasn’t a big reader as a teenager, and I can’t think of anything that I regret more about growing up. I took lots of trips to the library as a child, and my parents both read a lot, so it had nothing to do with a lack of opportunity. It’s just that I remember loving picture books and some middle grade novels, but then . . . I think I discovered boys and they sucked up all of my attention. So to all of you teenage girls out there who can both read and crush on boys, I admire your expert multitasking! Seriously. You’ve got skills.
It wasn’t until I was married, and therefore had just one guy to swoon over, that I recalled other forms of entertainment. At first, I only read novels written for adults, which were great (especially anything by Jane Austen), but then came Harry Potter, and never, ever in my life had I been so obsessed with a boy (maybe in a different way, but still). Harry changed my world. You can read more about that here. Reading truly become an addiction at that point, and between one Harry Potter book and the next, I devoured as many novels and picture books as I could.
Then one day I noticed that stories I had never read before were playing themselves out in my mind. People I didn’t know were talking to me and having conversations of their own . . . and they were falling in love. So I decided to see what would happen if I gave my imaginary friends a more tangible stage to play on: paper. And I became instantly hooked on writing.
My path to publication, however, was hardly a point-A to point-B type of scenario. It was more like playing a game of Candy Land in which I spent much more of my time feeling like I was stuck in a molasses swamp than skipping through the Lollipop Woods. But I loved writing too much to give up, and on May 28, 2013, I was shopping in Costco when I got the call I had dreamed of for over a decade: Bloomsbury wanted to publish my debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT.
That moment definitely felt like I had at last reached the Candy Castle! (In reality, I was standing in the aisle between Zip Fizz and Muscle Milk.)
But real life moves forward, even after a book deal, so I still spend most of my days shuttling kids between school, home, and everywhere else imaginable, as well as working on some additional novels and even a few picture books. I also love to travel, especially to locations where I can feel transported into the worlds of my favorite books!
You can learn more about me here!