Meet the author (that's me)
Updated: Dec 25, 2022
I am in a constant struggle with imposter's syndrome. Even calling myself an author seems a little...illusory. But I digress. I am currently unagented, so unfortunately, like many writers pursing the often elusive dream of traditional publishing, this only adds to our self-doubt.
I started my querying journey at the end of October, and I am currently....not querying anymore. For entirely vague reasons which I cannot speak about for the time being. But there will be an update in the January or February newsletter about that. So, you know. Stay tuned. 👀
But a bit about me, since I assume you're here to figure out who the hell I am.
I am a 24-year-old writer from South Carolina. I am moving to Nashville, TN, in January, and I'm super excited about that! By day, I'm a Content Marketing Manager for a toy company. I love my job, and I love kids, which is why I'm drawn to children's literature.
I majored in preveterinary sciences at Clemson University (before eventually switching to psychology) and I worked as a veterinary assistant and surgical scrub nurse for over 6 years. I have worked with wild animals in South Africa as well as domestic stateside, and I briefly worked in equine medicine on drug testing and emergency medical teams for races and eventing.
Animals have always, and will always be an
important part of my life. I am passionate about environmental activism and protecting our planet. My books almost always have an environmental element, even if it's not a primary plot point (though usually, it is). Though I write in older spaces ( mid to upper YA), where animals/environmental themes tend to be less common, I think these themes explore something important to young adults today, and there are not a lot of books out there right now for kids who really care about the environment and our wildlife.
I have a Doberman Pinscher named Maverick, and two rabbits, Teddy and Moo. I have two sisters, and if you couldn't guess, I am the middle child.
I'm a taurus, gemini rising, and I'm pretty much true to my horoscope. That reminds me, I need to check my daily reading...
MY WRITING BACKGROUND
For a while, I leaned more toward my visual art, but as I got older, I found that I always made my way back to writing. In high school, I really hunkered down to work on my YA dystopian, and I didn't complete that book until my junior year of college. When I sat down to edit the beast (draft 0 was complete at 109,000 words, yikes!), I realized that the book kind of sucked.
So I shelved it. And I stopped writing for about 6 months. When I started up again, I was inspired by Dhonielle Clayton after reading The Belles. I took my inspiration from her book and merged it with an old YA fantasy idea I'd never fully fleshed out. I wrote the first 40K words in a whirlwind in just a couple of months, but I slowed down after the 50K mark, and eventually stopped working on that project.
I was having doubts, okay? Doubts about myself, my skill, and my abilities. I took a break to get back into reading. It turns out it's hard to be a full-time pre-vet student, a writer, and run a business in college while also trying to balance reading for pleasure (an important part of being a writer). Who knew?
After getting back into reading, I realized that SFF might not be the space for me. I learned that I didn't really like reading high fantasy, so I had to ask myself why I was writing it. I may go back to fantasy someday, but I think I found my calling when I dipped my toes into contemporary with SONG OF CHEVEYO.
Now, I'm going to be honest with you. SONG OF CHEVEYO is a bit of a wildcard for me. Before this book, I'd only written in the SFF spaces, so it felt totally new to me, and to be honest, my typical story will more likely fall into the speculative and low fantasy spaces.
I knew I loved travel contemporary, so the book originally started with the all-too-familiar boarding-a-flight-to-a-foreign-country scene.
Eventually, it would be deleted, but when I picked my destination, the story simply fell into place around this lovely town, Tofino, which I have come to know quite well after spending lots of time there (in my mind).
I'll talk more specifically about my love for orcas and why I wrote SONG OF CHEVEYO in another post, but this is just to give you a background on my writing up to this point.
I am currently working on a YA / NA crossover speculative thriller based on my grandmother's Sioux bedtime stories. It's equal parts creepy and heartwarming, and I can't wait to share more about it. I also have a few new ideas swirling around, including a very special co-authored middle grade paranormal that I am writing with my very best friend, Sydney Shields. We probably won't have details on this project for a while, but it's something very near to both our hearts.
I hope you will continue to follow along on my journey to getting SONG OF CHEVEYO published. My next blog will probably be a recap of my querying journey, and I'll share as much info as I can then. Thanks for tuning into this week's blog!