It’s sort of hard to know where to begin these things. When I was just starting off on my writing journey (yes, I hate that term too, but it seems the most appropriate), I kept a Livejournal, which was a great way to network with other YA authors – both aspiring and published – and learn about the writing world. The blog is still up, but I’ve lapsed in posting, so decided to make a fresh start here.
So, hi. You can read an abbreviated version of my life here.
The longer version is that I’m one of those writers who has loved words since I was a wee one. I believe I started writing around the age of seven. I loved to draw, though I will be the first one to tell you that I am no better now than I was as a kid. I would sit on the couch, parked in front of the TV with an ancient brown clipboard and sheets of thick, plain paper and sketch characters in pencil. I soon started adding dialogue bubbles to my drawings. Then the dialogue started taking over and I switched over to spiral notebooks where it was words-only.
Most of these stories were “inspired by” (i.e., somewhat of a ripoff of) my favorite TV shows, as well as books and series at the time, such as the Ramona and Little House books. And, as I got older, inspiration came from series like The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins, anything by Judy Blume and Barthe Declements, and a hodgepodge of books in the Scholastic catalog. Some of my favorite memories are Saturday afternoon trips to the library, as well as the mall, where I would usually breeze right through the toy store to spend my allowance at Waldenbooks.
I still wrote during high school and college, but by that time I was easily distracted by social activities and my part-time job and could barely even finish the equivalent of a short story, let alone a full novel. Then, by the time I’d moved to California post-grad, I was already writing and editing quite a bit at my day job as a magazine editor, so the last thing I wanted to do was come home and write even MORE.
But when I was about 27, something snapped and I realized that, as I’d written in the bio section of The Talking Teddybear, my entry for the second grade Young Authors contest at my school (oh, I totally still have that book, it placed in the contest, and you will so get a peek of it at some point), I still wanted to be a published author. I wanted it bad. So I essentially decided I was going to start writing with the goal of publication RIGHT THEN, and began holing up in my room after work and on weekends to accomplish said goal.
Four novels later, I’ve recently signed with an amazing agent (more on that later) and somehow gained the motivation I lacked for most of my twenties. I still watch a lot of TV and sometimes I still have to force myself to write after a long day or when I’d rather be out with friends. But it’s nice to know that some goals don’t change, even the ones you’ve had since you were seven.
You still with me? Good. So, this blog will probably be a mix of writing-related and personal posts. And these first few posts will probably let you in on the horrors of moving cross-country as I head from Chicago back to Los Angeles (yes, for the second time – apparently the six years I lived there after college weren’t enough). So I hope you stick around. ‘Cause I think you’re pretty neat-o.