It's often said that to be a writer, one has to be a reader. I am certainly that! I adore books, am never without one - or six! - close to hand. It's when I couldn't find enough new books that I was passionate about reading that I began writing my own. The next step on my writer's journey was education; I attained my Master of Fine Arts degree from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. I was finally on my way to writing the books I wanted to read, and to be able to share them with readers like you. Ones who love magical places, lyrical language, and well-drawn characters with whom they could adventure in the pages of my books. I hope that you will become one of those readers, and come along on a magical journey with me!
On a Far Shore
My latest work-in-progress is (tentatively) titled On a Far Shore. Ainslie Coleman, the 16-year-old protagonist, journeys through Scotland's Hebrides Islands during summer vacation, a journey which is life-changing for her as she discovers secrets in her past which will change the course of her entire life. A work of magical realism, Ainslie's journey follows the path of my own island-hopping through the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Check out my Pinterest boards to follow AInslie's journey in photos from my own sojourn in beautiful Scotland.
Evolution of a Girl:
A Guided Journal for Teens
Just as writing helped me to discover who I was - and who I wanted to be - I created this guided journal for teen girls (and maybe boys, too!) as a tool for self-discovery. Filled with prompts to inspire you to examine your feelings, thoughts, and relationships, this journal can be used as a memoir, a diary, or even as inspiration for fictional stories about characters you create.
Please check out my blog for some sample questions from Evolution of a Girl: A Guided Journal for Teens, to see what you will find there. *This manuscript is a work-in-progress. I'll post updates to let you know when it is available for purchase.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
J.M.Barrie, Peter Pan
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Samplers of My Writing
Although I'm just beginning my writer's journey, I wanted to share some of my shorter work produced during and after my time at VCFA. Up till now these small volumes have been available only for family and friends, and as examples for my Self-Publishing Elective class at a local charter school. Now I offer them to you as a tiny taste of the magical journeys to be found in my full-length novels. I hope you enjoy them!
These can be found on Amazon.com:
Wishes & Dreams
Most of the pieces in this slender volume are the result of side writing, a wonderful tool for getting at the story behind the story, which I learned at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Side writing is the writing one does around the story, exploring nuances of character, plot, and scene which underlie a work of fiction. There are many things which go into bringing a story to life; those things are the bones on which the flesh is laid, the structure which supports the greater story. They may never find their way into an actual novel, but the author knows that they’re there, and this gives the story the breath which brings it to life. Maybe someday you’ll come across a familiar character or plot, and you’ll know where it was born, through having read these short pieces.
And, while most are purely works of imagination, there are a couple or three drawn from real life. Ice Palace was inspired by an incident related to me by my high school boyfriend, David Buchanan (this one’s for you, Dave!). And Uncle Chuck and Benny is completely true, although my great-uncle and his long-time partner may find themselves as characters in a novel someday. There may be more “truth” in here somewhere else, as well, but then everything is true, at some place, in some time. That’s the beauty of fiction.
Wild Child: Fantastical Poems is my first collection of poetry. Inspired by dreams of the mythical past, and drawn from many places and times, the poems in this collection flit from the ancient past to the imagined future, and incorporate many styles and forms. Using nuanced, luminous language inspired by the works of Christina Rossetti, William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkein, Patricia A. McKillip, and Kage Baker, the subjects of this work are far-ranging and imaginative, and explore hard-won insights into living, dreaming, and losing what was never found.