Writing has been my passion from the time I was six years old and created a series of stories that featured my cat and the neighbor’s dog. Yes, I loved to write, but I hated to read. I used to panic when the teacher would call on me to read in front of the class. Words scared me — or at least other people’s words. Because when I wrote, I knew what I was trying to say, even if it didn’t come down right on paper. Over the years, I was lucky to have a supportive family, encouraging friends, and amazing teachers who saw past my learning disability and made me believe in the talent that was hidden within.
In 2001, I bucked up enough courage to enter my writing in the Blank Theatre Company Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival. Up until then, the focus of my writing had been screenplays, to which I had no formal training. So I tried my hand at writing a play. It was titled, The American Dream. I was nineteen and I didn’t hold back. The play addressed issues of teen pregnancy, the pursuit of happiness, AIDS, and suicide. That year, my play placed as a semi-finalist in the competition, falling short of entries submitted from students attending writing schools. Unfortunately, I was unable to see how big a victory this was for me at the time, and I stopped writing plays.
For many years now, I have worked as an early childhood educator, teaching preschool and running afterschool programs. It was through this work that I became interested in writing for children. I started with picture books and then became fascinated with the middle grade and young adult market. In 2006, I started writing a five part middle grade series. Two years later, I signed up for a writing class that would change my life. I joined a critique group. Then, in 2011, the first volume in my series, The Adventures of Max & Maia: The Birthday Wish, placed as a middle grade finalist in the New Voices in Children’s Literature: Tassy Walden Awards. I joined SCBWI later that year and became a member of a second writers group.
I often think of those childhood days in that old brick school, back to the third grader who wrote an illegible story and drew unrecognizable pictures on a stack of graph paper that I stapled backwards. Then, I think of that teacher who took one look at it and told me that she was going to help turn it into a real book.
Member since 2011
Region: New England: South (Connecticut/Rhode Island)
Published In Children's Market: