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About Me

I live in North Carolina with my family--a husband, three kids, and one silly dog named Friday.

My favorite things to do (besides reading and writing):baking, traveling, painting, and crossword puzzles. I love to take road trips and spend time in the mountains or by the water with my family.

Growing Up

I grew up in southern California, about 10 miles from Disneyland.  I had two younger brothers named Andy and Jared. Andy had multiple disabilities and died from complications when he was 9 and I was almost 11. 

I loved to read and write. My favorite books were Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, the Narnia books, and anything with a mystery.

In seventh grade I had a wonderful English teacher named Mrs. Skahill. In her class, we wrote every day. Most days she would write at the same time we were. That made a big impression on me! I began to see that writing was something that you could work on for your whole life and still have more to learn. 

Being an Author


I still feel like I learn new things about writing every day. I learn from reading books and thinking about why another author chose to write something a certain way. I learn from my writing group, where we trade our stories and give each other support and feedback. I also learn from working with my editors, who help me revise my drafts and make them better. 

I have had some really awesome things happen as a writer. Here are just a few extra especially awesome ones:


  • When Sea Becomes Sky was awarded the Southern Book Prize.

  • Honestly Elliott was awarded a Schneider Honor Award, which is for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

  • Caterpillar Summer was chosen by Parents Magazine as one of the best books of the year

  • I had an ice cream flavor named after me and Honestly Elliott! (It was vanilla ice cream with chunks of Elliott's "Desperation Pie" and it was absolutely delicious.)

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