1980s

A child of the ’80s, I rocked the slap bracelets and Lisa Frank stationery; today, I absolutely sing along every time I hear “Don’t Stop Believin'”

1995

Forget presents—I wrote my first story as a gift to a friend

1996

My first taste of success came from a publishing credit in a poetry anthology for a poem about James and the Giant Peach

2000

Seeing Les Misérables led to a lot of tears and a passion for musical theatre

2002

As a gift for my high school graduation, my parents gave me the typewriter shown on the home page; they’ve always supported my desire to make a living with words

2004

To that end, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in creative writing

2005

Over a few freezing days in February, I attended the annual SCBWI Winter Conference in New York and saw Wicked for the first time (and no, I cannot pick a favorite between Les Mis, Wicked, and Hamilton)

2007

Putting that college degree to work, I embarked on a career as an editor at an advertising agency

2007

It was a big year—I also married my hubby, Shawn, on the stage of the Southern Theatre, central Ohio’s oldest surviving theatre

2011

Over seven hot days in July, I attended the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua, gaining amazing insight into the craft of writing and loads of inspiration

2012

After having a baby girl named Elise (Ellie), I took a little break from writing to focus on keeping a tiny human alive

2019

Believing in the power of a good deed, our family organized a Kindness Crusade, during which we completed 100 kind acts in a single day, a feat that was as rewarding as it was exhausting

2019

A lifelong learner, I embarked on a writing conference tour, attending events from Writing Day Workshops, SCBWI, and WriteOnCon

And now I…

Combine my love of musicals and writing by creating a playlist as the “cast album” for every book I write

Have a minor obsession with making flavored lattes at home using my 25 bottles of syrup

Spend way too much supporting local independent bookstores, but justify it as an act of kindness