I didn’t always know I wanted to write a book. I was aware, however, that I’m weird. One day, in elementary school, I wrote a play for fun entitled “Cinderella.” As I often did, as the oldest of six kids, I roped my younger siblings into preforming it with me, along with neighborhood friends. Unfortunately, it was video taped, but thankfully most people don’t own a VCR anymore. Even as a kid, I needed to experience the world through writing and stories. I have kept a journal faithfully since the age of 8, after I received one for Christmas. When I’d finish an exciting book or movie I’d get out a notebook and write a new story (quite similar to the one I’d just watched…) I’d tell myself stories at night to try to get to sleep, which usually backfired when the stories got too exciting and I needed to finish them. I read books like a mechanic looks at a machine. I wanted to know why they worked, how they functioned.
I struggled with the decision of what to major in when I got to college. When pressed, I wrote down English, because it was my favorite subject in school. Three years later, after going through the Deaf Education classes, Anatomy, Speech, Special Education, Sign Language, French, Orchestra, Weight Lifting… I walked into the Utah State University English Lit office for a brochure. That’s all it took. I read it and knew I’d found home. I got married, had a baby, all while eating up classes on smutty nun romance novels of 17th century England, the civil wars in India, poetry, Nature Writing, Shakespeare, Dracula, spicy Mexican cookbooks. I loved every single class. I was sad when I got my degree. For me, learning to write feels like a continuation of that education I so miss.
What finally pushed me into writing a book were 3 things. In 2008, I had my fourth child, turned 29, and read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. She had graduated from BYU in Literature, and was a Mormon mom. It was like she was me. Only she’d graduated from a less-superior school than USU, with a less-superior education I was sure. It ate at me. I was getting old. I was running out of time to do something amazing. Changing diapers does not feel amazing. Believe me.
Luckily, I had a secret weapon. I’d married him without even knowing that’s what he was. He had seen my potential long ago, and when I started to tinker in writing, he reconnected with a friend on FB who had become a published author. She and I began a friendship and she has mentored me over the years, directed me to writing conferences, and critiqued my beginning work, which led to increased writing connections and friends, and loads of information. My husband has continued to champion me, watching kids, giving me honest feedback, even letting me read his journal from his LDS mission in New Zealand to further inspire my book GOING HOME.
I’m the grateful mother of six kids, I play the viola, teach music lessons, and hate doing dishes. I once heard a quote by Handel that said, “I should be sorry if I only entertained them. I wish to make them better.” That has been my guiding light as I have taken my stories and shaped them. I hope my books inspire, teach, and lift.