Much like some of the other really great things in my life, I discovered a love for writing in a roundabout way. It was never the conscious path, but hindsight is indeed 20/20, and I believe that small, seemingly insignificant events can come together and make our story for us before we even have a mind to decide. 

Kindergarten: When I grow up I want to be, I say, but I must have been in the mood to draw a dentist chair and liked the idea of wearing comfortable scrubs every day. Had I known writers could show up to work without pants, I might've said that. 

Second Grade: Mrs. Nelson's class reads Charlotte's Web aloud. There was a green lounge chair in the back corner of the classroom, and if our work was done we were allowed to sit in it and read. Mrs. Nelson smelled like a delightful mix of coffee and perfume and made reading a fun reward. I still love her for it.  

Third Grade: I leave the dinner table early to finish Bridge to Terabithia. Did you cry too? 

Sixth Grade: Mrs. Wright's class reads Walk Two Moons, and every few years I enjoy giving it another read. 

Eighth Grade: Mrs. Stout turns chaos into calm by reading to us out of Where the Red Fern Grows at the end of every school day.    
My friend, Jenny, and I write an article for a make-believe newspaper. I don't know where we got the idea for a story about aliens invading a shopping mall, but I do remember what it felt like to hold the printed result in my hands and give it a pass around the room. 
On Writing

My writing style is inspired by the experience I want to give my readers. I want you to be able to imagine you're right there with the characters as things are happening in their lives, but more than that, I want you to feel like they're sitting with you at your kitchen table or on the back porch, holding nothing back in the telling of their story. They're confiding in you; they trust you with their innermost thoughts, flaws, and victories in much the same way they've entrusted me to get them on the page. 
Freshman Year of College: The guy down the hall (now my husband) proofreads my psychology paper. He marks nothing, corrects nothing, just hands it back and tells me it's dog poo. This, as you might imagine, was not the day he won me over. I don't know, maybe it was.
End of college: I begin writing for my own enjoyment, and for whatever reason, decide to start a blog. It goes pretty well until a few years later when I realize an internal struggle over the marriage of my personal life with the world-wide-web. The blog disappears, but I've learned a valuable lesson: writing is my jam. 

Not long after, I tinker with an idea for a short story which, along the way, turns into a novel. In the middle of this novel, I get the idea for Never the Same and write a few chapters of it. I then go back and complete the original, still unnamed novel. I read it over and suddenly understand why most authors say their first works will never see the light of day. I study the many ways I went wrong, and with my newfound knowledge go back to Never the Same. Before it's even finished, I decide it is meant to be published. 
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