My Artist Statement

I am a writer – world creator and thrilling-journey traveler. I bathe in the magic of language and clothe myself in the power of storytelling. I draw inspiration from inconsistencies in my surroundings like how a house seems to be peering at me as I walk by or how that man over there struts across the street just like a character from a story I read or how that gnarly bush growing through the fence seems to be escaping from the lake on the other side. I enjoy asking “what if” and then exploring off-the-wall ways of responding. My goal is to weave chilling, middle-grade tales with characters of color from healthy families because we all need to see ourselves in books.

My favorite stories to read and tell are the ones aimed at kids in middle school – the middle ages, the in-betweens. My in-between years were awkward and turbulent. Fortunately, my home life was stable and healthy, and while at school, I coped by escaping to the library and burying myself in someone else’s problems. These “someones” never looked like me, but I still enjoyed their adventures. As a writer, I offer an escape to kids that are like me but, this time, with characters that look like them. My goal is to write in ways that reflect the struggles a “boring” pre-teen goes through while also sending my characters and readers on heart-pounding voyages. My stories are unique because of the fantastical situations that ordinary, middle-class kids of color find themselves in. Characters of color are often portrayed as either low income, in broken homes, dealing with drugs and violence, or other societal issues or are on the complete opposite end and are very wealthy. My characters are normal kids with many of the same “1st world problems” that most middle-income kids have. Okay, yes, they do have to out-smart aliens or navigate world-transporting portals, but they find ways to survive the normal and the fantastical.