I write the books I needed and couldn’t find as a teen.
Books helped me survive. They helped nurture me, helped me escape the abuse I was living as a child and teen, and they helped me dream and hope. I love reading and writing books. I write both fantasy books and edgy, realistic fiction for teens.
My fantasy books often hold hope that I need, and feel others might need, too, while my realistic fiction is gritty, intense, and emotional. All of my books have fragments of the abuse I experienced. I write about some of the harsh things teens go through…things that I think shouldn’t be hidden. But I also write about healing, hope, and love, and finding courage and strength.
In my teen novel SCARS (WestSide, 2010), Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself before it’s too late. It’s my arm on the cover. There’s a lot of me in SCARS; like my main character, Kendra, I am an incest survivor, I used self-harm to cope, and I’m queer.
In my teen paranormal fantasy, HUNTED (WestSide, Oct 2011), Cassie is a telepath in a world where that is illegal, and she must choose between saving herself or saving the world. Like Cassie, I know what it’s like to have my life threatened, to have someone stalk me, and to have to decide between hiding my true self or being who I am, even if that means danger to myself. I also drew on my experience with cults and ritual abuse in creating the world that Cassie lives in.
In STAINED (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2013), Sarah is abducted and must find a way to escape. Again, I drew on my abuse experience to write Stained.
I’ve also written two hi-lo (high interest, low vocabulary) books for teens: Dragon Speaker: The Last Dragon (HIP Books, 2009) and SkinWalkers: Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011).
I have a non-fiction article on self-harm and on dealing with critical voices published in Jan Sutton’s Healing the Hurt Within: Understand Self-injury and Self-harm, and Heal the Emotional Wounds. If you’re interested in non-fiction articles to do with being a survivor, the effects, or healing, I have more on my site.
I try to write what I love to read, and what has meaning for me.
My love of books is what this blog is about. I love sharing good books and resources on finding books, finding out about books, all things related to books, and connecting with other people who like to read and talk about the books they love.
Books were my survival during my childhood, and my journey into myself. Books give me hope. I hope mine will give you hope, too, or something that you need.