13 February 2009

Embracing Me

I'm back for another ABNA-related update.

Today I thought I'd share a little about myself. You see, the entry form asked that we include biographical information with our entry. I believe that the information is intended for use with our excerpts on Amazon.com, should we get that far. But I could be wrong.

I know, I know. Yes, it does happen occasionally.

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I give you...my bio (plus the added bonus of personal anecdotes and local interst).


By the way...you'll get to see my book's description when it's posted on Amazon, or here if I don't make it past Round 1. Let's all be selfless and pray for the former, okay?


Biography: I am a graduate of American University with a Bachelor's degree in Literature, and ANJIDIA is my first novel. However, my short story, THE ROSE, was published in American University's literary magazine, AmLit, in the fall of 2006.

I currently work as the office manager/Jill-of-all-trades at a small, woman-owned PR firm just outside of Washington, DC. My position there allows me to listen and learn and experience as many varied peoples, places and things as possible--as have every opportunity in my life. My aim is to soak up as much of our world and this life as is possible and then to use my creativity and education to share it with others in the most unexpected and entertaining ways imaginable.

Personal Anecdotes: ANJIDIA was a labor of possession. Aryli's voice, personality, and even look invaded my mind while I was working on another novel. I had to write the beginning of her story (about 5 pages) before I was able to return to my previous work. Then, 5 months later, Aryli was back. Within 4 weeks (to the day), I had told her story in its entirety. And I even showered, slept, and ate regularly in the meanwhile. Amazingly, very little of the story was changed throughout the editing process. Aryli knew what she wanted to say.

Despite my typically elitism-creating degree and the fact that I've been trained to read further beyond the page of any given text than is probably necessary, I adore young adult fiction. I proudly house my YA series on the same shelves as Shakespeare, Bronte, and Steinbeck. I even wrote my senior thesis on Lewis Carroll's Alice stories and managed to convincingly relate them to the theories of Freud, Lacan, and de Man (at least enough to get an A).

I had an amazing teacher in 3rd grade. In addition to my multiplication tables, she taught me taught me to have faith in myself and never think that I was too young or inexperienced to do anything. I firmly believe that children will rise to whatever heights we allow and that their failure is our failure to expect greatness. And that includes YA fiction.

Local Interest: I was born and raised in Texas, and I came to the DC-metro area for college and stayed. As much as I can imagine that those settings have influenced my work, ANJIDIA and its locales are a work of pure fantasy.

However, I travel as much as possible, and the places I've been are invariably incorporated into the landscapes of the stories I tell. In ANJIDIA, that includes the majestic Redwood Forests (inspiration for the Old One, aka Owan--the wise and mysterious tree Aryli meets soon after her return to Anjidia) and the beautiful, seaside town of Dubrovnik, Croatia (inspiration for the Arymarnia--Aryli's ancestral home and stronghold of Josthene, the murdering usurper).

My writing network (an incredibly helpful group of plot troubleshooters, readers, and editors) consists of respected college friends and acquaintances.

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