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The Early Years

I was born, many years ago, on April 16th. This means:
1. My parents had to file taxes the day before I was born.
2. I am an Aries.
3. It almost always rains on my birthday.
4. On my first Christmas I found a book under the tree and had to be coaxed into opening the rest of the presents because I just wanted to read the book.
5. I liked to listen to records, read the books that went with them, and eat grape jelly sandwiches. This was sometimes disastrous (in a sticky way) for the books.
 

 

Elementary School

1. In first grade I wrote my first book. It was a history of my deceased pets. I also wrote a haiku about squirrels, which I spelled squerr, and apparently believed had only one syllable. 
2. I liked to read. I did not like long division or anything that had to do with handwriting.
 
Middle School
1. Every year I entered the Young Authors contest. I never won.
2. I read tons of books, from MG classics like A Wrinkle in Time, to historical novels and stacks of gothic romance. In middle school I also read Edgar Allan Poe for the first time.
3. I remember one summer I got new glasses and braces. I was really excited about all my metal accessories and sure I was going to be really cool. I was……wrong.
4. Prior to the braces, I guess my teeth were…I guess I had an….overbite? Yeah, not all of my descriptions of adolescent cruelty stem from this stage in my life, they could.
5. Middle school was a time of defining friendships, great summers, a million secret hideouts, and some of my all time favorite movies.

High School

1. I didn’t like high school. I pretended to be sick. A lot. And I cut classes. A lot. I do not recommend this to anyone. But it might possibly be why I wrote a book about high school (Handcuffs). There’s something horrifying about a place filled with not-necessarily-friendly-faces that you have to look at every day.
2. I wrote two books in high school. I typed them on my first computer. I have them in a shoe box, but I’m kinda scared to look.
3. Great friendships, a few life lessons, a car, and finally a diploma. I was so glad to be out of that place. I swore I would NEVER go back.

College
1. If you hate high school, hang in there. In college you get to pick all your classes. You can take English and writing and literature and mythology and the sociology of literature and mythology, all on the same day.
2. Warning-if you take the classes listed above you will end up either an English major (like me) or a person who takes a decade to get a degree.
3. During College I learned some stuff, wrote some stuff, fell in love, got married, and got acquainted with my brother (who was born after I graduated from high school).

Career

1. So, the writing thing wasn’t going anywhere, because playing Tetris on the computer does not really help you develop story-lines or anything, and I had these things called Student loans. What was I going to do?
2. I taught high school for a few years, then graduated to middle school.
3. As a high school teacher I’ve developed and taught classes on Young Adult Literature, Paranormal/Speculative Literature, and lots of creative writing courses.
4. I LOVE what I do. I really do.

 

Writing

1. I didn’t ever really give up on writing, I just went through a long period where all I wanted to do was READ. I’d write a paragraph, read a book or two, write another paragraph. And for a long time, all of my creativity was consumed by teaching.
2. At some point the creativity reasserted itself and I wrote Handcuffs. It was a book that I needed to write, and I still love it very much.
3. After Handcuffs I spent some time figuring out what I wanted to write, what I could add to the world of literature that was different and unique. After several learning manuscripts, I wrote my Masque of the Red Death.
4. It’s actually quite bizarre to see myself listed as the author of Masque of the Red Death (Poe’s story is The Masque of the Red Death).