Let’s get awkward introductions out of the way

Wow. You’ve found your way to my very first blog post here! Thanks, and I suppose that means you might want to know more about me. Well, okay…

If you are anything like me when it comes to this stuff, it feels really hard to write about myself. Whether it’s a resume update, a simple bio, or an entire blog post, it forces me to stop and think: Who am I? And sometimes, the answer can be elusive, or worse, uncomfortable.

So here it is–here is who I think I am. For today, at least.

I’m a long-time reader and writer of fiction. My favorite stories have magic and a mystery in them, preferably with some dark, Gothic elements. I’ve read a lot of the curated “classics,” thanks to school and college, and I tried very hard to take some courses that would expose me to literature outside of the traditional canon (there is still so much for me to read and learn). I mostly write what would be considered General Fiction, YA, Romance, and Children’s. I think these genres are doing a lot of important work in the world. As for writing General Fiction, I prefer to make things up because it’s just how my brain works. I love talking about reading with other readers and writing with other writers. And I truly believe if you want to change the world, you can start by reading a book.

Writing-wise, I’ve been writing and doodling stories for as long as I remember having a consciousness. My mom, being the proud parent she is, has kept practically everything I ever wrote and I can look back at my very first stories, Alex the Cat, with a kind of cringey nostalgia.

I spent time in high-school and the early part of college convinced I was going to go into film and become a director and tell stories visually. Then I realized I enjoy playing god in stories and the only way I was going to be able to control every little detail was to write. So, being lucky enough to head back to college, I studied English for my BA. And being even luckier, I was able to immediately head to graduate school where I spent three years working on developing my fiction-writing muscles with peers under some wonderful guidance from professors to earn my MFA. And then a deluge of “life” events happened within the span of a few months, and I set being a writer and a reader aside for years.

Years! Years where I didn’t write anything except emails and read, maybe, a book a year. It is a horrifying thought to me now. What was I doing? Some important things, sure, like the privilege of becoming a mother, but also some distracting things, too. It was time to get back on track of living up to who I think I am, and more importantly, who I wanted to be. Enter: challenging myself to read 100 books per year and start telling everyone I knew I was writing a book.

The telling everyone I knew I was writing a book was the sneakiest thing I did to myself. It meant my friends and family kept asking about it, asking to read it, and offering whatever help they could provide. So I had to have something to talk about, I had to give them copies of drafted chapters, and most surprisingly, I ended up with a list I keep, to this day, above my writing desk with the names of people I care about that believe in me. I am super fortunate that this list continues to grow. And every time I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, I can look at that list and remember that all of those people are cheering me on.

So here I am! I’m still challenging myself to read ridiculous amounts of books and still cranking out stories that make me happy. And while I might need to check in daily to answer that question of, “Who am I?” whatever answer I come up with, I’m excited to spend the day with her.