Author Cynthia Leitich's Smith website
Author Sandra Nickel's Blog
Author Uma Krishnaswami's website. Scroll down for my interview.
Author Linda Washington's blog
I grew up in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. When traveling, I'd regularly meet people who, upon learning where I lived, seemed genuinely surprised I knew proper English grammar. Those attitudes made a big impression on young me, and my work often challenges the stereotypes I see at play in the world today.
After college (shout out to Marshall University and the Yeager Scholars!) I lived in DC for several years. I interned at the National Education Association, a position that inspired me to become a pre-K teacher. I also became a Certified Yoga Teacher. Now I live in the mountains of North Carolina. Asheville exemplifies pretty much everything I love.
In Kindergarten I wrote my first story, entitled LION, UNICORN, AND WOLF. My tastes have progressed quite a bit, but I find I'm still drawn to the qualities that five-year-old me unconsciously personified in that first story: the strong, the magical, and the hidden, darker impulses that reside in each of us.
Oh. And make-out scenes. Tingly, shivery make-out scenes. Yes.
I write both contemporary realism and fantasy YA. In the picture book realm, I write both fiction and nonfiction. My favorite books are those that transport me so fully into the world of their characters that I almost lose myself within the pages. If I can't stop thinking about a book--and its characters--for days and weeks afterward, then that book has done its job for me. I strive to create similarly enticing stories and characters for my own readers.
I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When I'm not writing or reading, you'll probably find me doing something outdoorsy or chasing my three rocket-fueled kids.