I’d like to take up the challenge!
I am so excited to be starting this new endeavor as an author and am looking forward to taking you along with me. All my life, I have loved reading. When I was a kid in school, I participated in the Book-It program every year and earned every pizza I could get. I got giddy with each new Scholastic Books Order Form that we got from the teacher and would pick out way more books than my parents could ever afford to buy me. I spent my summers with stacks of library books next to me. My nose was always in a book. In fact, you can still usually find it in a book or behind my e-reader. It’s my vice.
Growing up in a family without a lot of extra money, books became my form of escapism. Maybe we couldn’t afford to go on adventurous vacations to exotic locations, but I could go there vicariously through the stories of others. I could experience people, places, and activities I didn’t have access to or were way beyond my comfort zone from the safety of my own yard. As I got older, and life made leisure time for reading scarce, and student loans made leisure money for adventures equally hard to come by, I still had stories running through my head. What else are you going to do while washing dishes, but fantasize about a mysterious dark-haired man trying to win your heart in Paris or what you would do to survive an alien invasion?
One day, I decided maybe I’d try my hand at writing some of those little daydreams into full-fledged stories and see where it would take me. It took me to The Girl in the Gallery, a story of a young woman finding her way, her identity, and her place in the world. What started out merely as a personal challenge to see if I could do it, turned into something so much more—a passion, a labor of love, and a new profession. This book was a challenge to write, but an immensely satisfying one. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.