Christian. Writer. Reader.
"When did you know you wanted to be a writer?" I never didn't know.
Story has been my deepest love since before I could read. And I was serious about it. I watched Mary Poppins when I was around five years old and thought the idea of a carousel horse joining a real horse on a racetrack was insultingly ridiculous. After my kindergarten teacher showed Charlotte's Web in class, I retreated to a corner to weep over the spider's death until my mom picked me up.
In first grade, I wrote my first story. It was about a pink elephant named Andrea. I had no choice in the subject matter; the blank create-your-own-storybook had an elephant on the cover, not a person. I thought this was stupid (a horse, great, but an elephant?), but I made it work. Andrea got lost in the woods, and an angel led her home. I intended to write a sprawling generational elephant saga, but my attention drifted once the angel reunited Andrea with her grandparents (she was an orphan, of course).
In second grade, I wrote my second story in a yellow spiral-bound notebook (no cover meant no story restrictions). It was a typical girl-and-her-horse story with one exception. I killed the horse. I no longer remember my motivation for this--edginess? drama? legitimate curiosity as to what my main character would do now? (Turns out not much, since I gave her a new horse straightaway and then ended the book.) That same girl came back for two more stories, one in which she learned to forgive the kid responsible for the death of Horse Number One. I've always loved a series.
I kept writing. I never stopped. Fiction got put on hold in college, while I worked on a Bachelor's of Science in English (the writing track, of course). In those few years, I gobbled craft books. I inhaled literature and literature and more literature. I wrote research essays and personal essays and rhetorical analysis and literary criticism. I worked in the language lab and, if nobody came in, attempted to wax poetic and/or philosophical in my online journal (anybody remember Talk 'N' Jot?). I graduated in December 2003 and started my series, Haven Seekers, in January 2004.
I wrote Book One, scrapped it, started over, rewrote, revised, read more craft books, started over again. I literally could not (my brain refused to) retire it to a drawer or work on something new, despite reading again and again that most authors do not publish their first novel. For eight years, I revised and rewrote the same book.
My day jobs in the meantime have always been non-writing-related and random (chiropractic assistant, medical biller) except for the four years I held a second, part-time job teaching English--grammar, composition, creative writing, and literature--for an organization called Home School Connections. I loved literature discussion class the most. At some point, I also became the film appreciation teacher. It was nonstop fun to analyze the elements of a movie with my kids and introduce them to Cary Grant, Erroll Flynn, Humphrey Bogart.
In 2011, I drafted Book Two. In 2012, I was a finalist and double semi-finalist in ACFW's Genesis Contest, and this led to representation by Jessica Kirkland. We worked on (needed) story edits for a few months before submitting Book One and a series proposal. In October 2013, David C Cook offered a four-book contract.
To say this is a "dream come true" would be an inadequate cliche. This is God's good, kind gift to my heart. I thank Him for it and pray my stories glorify Him.