I started writing small things in elementary school, poems, book reports and the like. It wasn't really until 6th grade that my english teacher Mrs. Troublefield encouraged and inspired me to write longer things outside of class work. My writing back then was FAR from being anything worth reading... but she took a look at a few of my stories that I had written for fun. Instead of pulling them apart and redlining the entire thing she told me there was potential there and to keep on working.
I was homeschooled through the rest of my school years, but I continued on with my writing. In the evenings as I lay in my bed I would analyze the structures of sagas like Harry Potter and Star Wars. Then I would begin creating and recreating (as in I would throw them away and start over) my own worlds in my mind and imagining what the characters would say and do.Many times my stories would bleed over into my dreams and continue developing there!
When the stories got long enough I finally sat down with stacks of notebook paper and wrote them out. (I still have those pencil and ink splotched manuscripts) Later I began typing them up. I hadn't reached 18 by the time I was finished with my first book. I was told by agents that although they liked my work they didn't want to deal with having to work contracts with parents in the mix. So, I paid to self-published my first book. My second one Visionary From The Stars was published by a publisher that shall not be named- (BUT if you find out who it is PLEASE don't take anything to them- you have been warned. I went with them in 2006 before I knew anything about Writer Beware)
In 2012 I saw all the changes in the book industry, with CreateSpace and KDP (amazon's kindle program) opening up new avenues for authors. Neither of my books were in e-book format and my publishers didn't offer those services at that time. So, I got the rights back to my first book and self-published The Alien Mind. It was from that experience that PDMI Publishing LLC found my work and offered me a contract to publish both of my books under their imprint Rara Avis with their distributors.
I LOVED self-publishing but it was hard for me to market as much as I needed to, and without the backing of a publisher I found it very difficult to get bookstores to even consider stocking my books. More on why I have enjoyed being a PDMI author here.
In 2013 I illustrated a book for PDMI called Wiggle Worm's Shape Adventures by author twins Karen and Kathy Sills.
And in the summer of 2014 PDMI hired me on to be their Illustration and Design Department Manager. Both of my books should be published and released by them sometime this fall (stay posted!). Rumor has it that I may be able to bring both of them to the Novel Wine Tasting Arts and Literary Festival!