Behind the Words
Stories have been a part of my life since I was old enough to understand them. Whether a bedtime tale about a family of dinosaurs, poems left behind by leprechauns who'd stolen our beloved toys, or the frightening whispers of a cannibal child that lives in the woods behind my grandmother's house, storytelling—and how to do it effectively—has been a staple in my life. My first stories were documented in a Lisa Frank notebook. While my writing has evolved since then, the magic of words has never left.
In high school I worked for an attorney as an administrative assistant responsible for writing letters, examining medical expense reports, making sure deeds and wills were written and properly filled out. I got a computer, and from then on spent my days (after work and homework) roleplaying and competing with other writers on the internet. I learned fast, I learned a lot, and I lost more than several submissions to writers and editors who were far more qualified and learned than I. So I asked them to teach me. I learned how to critique. I learned how to give advice and take advice and, most importantly, how to use it.
At UConn I preferred Psychology and Pyshiology&Neurobiology as majors, but that never stopped me from editing papers and working with my fellow students on improving their English writing skills. By then I had been moving around on several writing sites, judging contests, offering advice, being given interviews about how to edit and how to get to writing the next best thing. All of a sudden my inboxes grew heavy with requests for editing and help with story lines. I did a lot of work for free, until another editor reminded me that while it's nice to give advice, my time is valuable and those student loans won't pay themselves.
In the past few years, I’ve spent my time falling in love with the writing site I never had growing up: Wattpad. After years spent turning my nose up at a site meant for children (being an adult surrounded by fellow critics who told me I shouldn’t be looking at that sort of place), I decided to join. My experience and knowledge was quickly recognized in the community and I became an engagement ambassador, charged with helping connect 45 million people around the world to stories they’ll love.
As for my own writing, I’ve collected more than a million and a half reads across my first (yes, first) drafts, have a story under consideration with a television network, and have over twenty thousand fans.
THE SLIGHTLY MORE INTERESTING BIT
Prized Possession: Autographed copy of Terry Pratchett's "The Night Watch"
Favorite food: Mac&cheese; if it's on a menu, I will try it, even when I know it's going to be awful (like when you go to roadside clam restaurant).
Collections: Ancient coins, fossils, and piles of old, bad artwork and writing I can't seem to let go of despite never looking at them ever again
Pet: Jack Golden, the handsome retriever belonging to my boyfriend and partner in crime, Matt Geissler.
Something I really want: La Cornue Stove. And if I ever got that, I'd need a kitchen to put it in, or it'd be like fitting Mt. Everest on your back deck. Sure, it's nice having a mountain on your deck and all, but how do you get to your grill?
Something I love to do that isn't reading, writing, or talking about either of those things: exploring town histories