I’d love to say that I have always wanted to be a writer but it would be dishonest. As a child, I wanted to be an artist. However, in a culture that emphasizes the importance of a college education in order to get a “good job”, artistic aspirations are often scoffed as mere flights of fancy. So I, dutiful daughter and eldest child, complied with the dictates of my parents and culture. Throughout my childhood, teen-hood and young adult years, I drew, painted and became an avid journal writer. I read often and wrote often but made sure it didn’t interfere with my responsible pursuits of science and pre-med education. Well, I tried.
I was in my late thirties when I discovered my passion. I had a beautiful family and home in Los Angeles, a thriving career as a cytogenetics technologist, and a creative expression that found its voice in the textile arts. I could crochet, knit, embroider and quilt. And yet, I felt my creative spirit needed more. I read many genres of fiction that fed my imagination and I shared these wonderful stories aloud with my friends. They would become enraptured and demand that I tell them “what happens next”. This was my first taste of storytelling, my “Aha!” moment.
In thinking about my own culture, I realized that there were not many children’s books with Filipino children or stories set in the Philippines. The passion to write a children’s book drove me to my local library where I immersed myself in both classic and contemporary middle grade and young adult fiction.
I joined SCBWI in 2005. In 2007, I won an honorable mention for my picture book text, THE PAROL MAKER’S DAUGHTER, a story of a girl who wants to be a parol (a Christmas star lantern) maker like her father, at the annual SCBWI Los Angeles Writer’s Day. And after an inspiring presentation by Lisa Yee, author of “Millicent Min Girl Genius”, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. NORA’S GRAVE won an honorable mention at the same annual event in 2008. My young adult novel, PATHOS, won first place in the SCBWI San Bernardino/Orange County Spring Retreat Writing Contest in March 2011. Karen Chaplin of HarperCollins Teen also chose my book as the Editor’s Pick for that event.
In 2010, I had the pleasure of working with Whilce Portacio, a comic book artist and founding member of Image Comics. My short story, THE SECRET PRINCESS SOCIETY, and Whilce’s art appeared in the anthology, FRACTURED FABLES, released in July of that year at the San Diego Comic Con by Shadowline Comics. This year, my short story LUNACY was accepted for publication in the forthcoming WOLF-GIRLS ANTHOLOGY, by Hic Dragones in Manchester, England.
For the last two years, I have faithfully worked with my critique group to revise PATHOS, a supernatural thriller of a closet teen psychic who must use her powers to save her friend and herself from the underground crime gangs of San Francisco.
In my spare time, I still enjoy knitting. I especially enjoy knitting fingerless mitts for my friends because writing hands must stay warm!
Member since 2004
Region: California: Los Angeles County
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