Sunday, August 16, 2015

This is me! #PitchWars mentee bio

I'm a little in shock that it's been two years (and one month) since I've last written in my blog, but then again, I'm not. I stopped writing in this blog EXACTLY when I moved to Lake Havasu City and started teaching again.

Here's my new(ish) home:

(Photo credit:

I honestly don't believe it, either.

During the day I teach all of the high school Social Studies classes (World History, United States History, Government, and Economics) at a charter school. I'm my own department and collaborate really well with myself. Yes, I believe that teaching is as much a "calling" as it is a career. I love what I do even when it's difficult, and I live for the light that shines in my students when they make connections.

I just got the shivers - did you?

By night I write young adult novels, typically contemporary, but as a history teacher, you can bet I want to branch out into historical as well. Here is my WIP Wish List:
  • Historical set during the Glorious Revolution 
  • Historical set during the Salem Witch Trials
  • Historical set at the Buffalo Exposition (where President McKinley was shot)
  • Contemporary marching band rock opera
  • Sequel to Prom, my debut novel

I graduated from high school some time during the 21st century and went to Arizona State University where I majored in Broadcasting. I was a member of the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band in the Auxiliary (flag line) for one year, but a mistake in my original construction caused me to quit after that first year. I worked at Borders Books, Music, and Cafe (light a candle) while earning my degree and then put my broadcasting skills to good use making closing announcements on Friday nights as the Merchandising Supervisor at my store.

I also volunteered as a teen crisis counselor while earning my degree, and then took a part time supervisor job there, where I worked until I started teaching in 2009. I miss it every day.

After a year I left to work as an assistant at the Office of the Governor for a year, and then a communications staffer for another year. To that end I've been published many times, but never under my own name, as I wrote on behalf of my boss.

I left the Office of the Governor to go grad school and earn a Master of Education, Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction - or in layman's terms, I went to teacher school. I graduated in 2009 and taught for less than a year, and then threw in the towel in the hopes my students would be willing to learn something by anybody who wasn't me. I worked at a university for three and a half years as an academic counselor and earned a Bachelor of Arts in History in the process.

Miraculously, in 2013 I was offered a teaching job for the 2013-2014 school year, months before all of my paperwork expired. I moved to Havasu from Phoenix and never looked back. (I look back sometimes - those memories are often the foundation of my writing, and my teaching failures and successes remind me of the importance of perseverence.)

Here is a list of things I love, because this bio is getting to be way too long:

  • My cats, Pippin and Lucy
  • My family
  • My Ryan Adams Pandora playlist
  • Once Upon a Time
  • LOST
  • Sarah Ockler, Morgan Matson, and Jessi Kirby (their writing and their friendship)
  • Arizona State University and the Sun Devils
  • Arizona sports (even you, Rattlers and Mercury!)

My goal is to write here more often, if for no other reason to continue to review the books I'm reading when I'm finished reading them. And I may just document the process of writing the next WIP and (hopefully) querying/agenting/revising/selling Prom.

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