Writer. Editor. Performance Poet. Creative Writing Workshop Facilitator. I like to fill the fire with irons and then complain about being too busy. I live in rural Maine with my hubbie, two kiddos, and several furry friends. And I am a bona fide Jesus Freak.
But let’s start at the beginning of the story: I popped out of the womb loving poetry. And that love continues today. I have an MFA from Stonecoast with a focus on poetry, and for years, I focused all of my creative energy on verse. My poems have appeared in hundreds of journals, including The Cafe Review, Ledge Magazine, Spoon River Poetry Review, Oklahoma Review, and Stolen Island Review and three of my poems were featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. I received an Emerging Artist Award from St. Botolph Club Foundation in 2013. I have featured at dozens of venues all over the country and proudly represented Maine at the 2013 National Poetry Slam, the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam, and the 2015 National Poetry Slam. God has been good to my poetry and me.
But for most people, including myself, poetry is not lucrative. When I decided to stay home with my children, I needed something that would provide a little more income than the $10 publishing check or the $50 performance payment. So I took up freelance writing. I wrote five children’s books, which were published by Scholastic Book Fairs. I also did crazy things like: helped an Australian band write their rock opera video; wrote Christmas ornament tag copy; wrote marketing copy for organic dog shampoos; edited study Bibles; became a cupcake reviewer (yes, really); and ghostwrote devotionals.
I wrote so many devotionals that when life circumstances inspired The Jesus Diet, that was naturally the direction that book took. With no idea what I was doing, I indie published The Jesus Diet.
Along the poetry path, I had written a few short stories just for fun. A few of them even appeared in small publications. Around 2013ish, I wrote a really long story, again, just for fun. Months later, on a whim, I indie published that as a novella, and I became aware of how awesome fiction can be. I wrote my first novel, Shelter, shortly thereafter, and that book has gone so far beyond what I thought possible. It has sold over 10,000 copies, been read in Kindle Unlimited more than 10,000 times, and at one point, climbed all the way to #38 in the Amazon store, putting me as the #1 author in Christian Books. That was a fun day.
I’ve been writing fiction ever since. I do still write devotionals and poetry, and I do still lead poetry workshops as often as possible, but most of my time is now dedicated to my imaginary friends like Emily Morse and Gertrude, Gumshoe.
I am so, so unbelievably grateful to be able to tell stories for a living, whether in prose or in verse. Thank you, God, for orchestrating the path that led me here. And thank you, faithful reader, for joining me on this journey. Whether you’ve been in one of my workshops, you picked up my paperback at Goodwill, you’ve been to one of my readings, or you’re just hearing of me for the first time right now–I love having this connection with you, and I pray for big blessings for you and your loved ones.