Born in Illinois on October 23rd, 1991. The family moved to Kansas when I was four, and I’ve been living here ever since. I attend Knox College, where I’m studying to earn a degree in English—Creative Writing. If I have the time, I’m going to try to double major with a Studio Arts degree. I’m the eldest of three girls in a family of five; Mom, Dad, and us. There is also Mollie, our dog, half poodle and half schnauzer and completely adorable. The rest of my family consists of my mother’s parents, my aunt on my mother’s side, her husband, and my two younger cousins. On my father’s side is his mother, her beau, and his sister and her husband.
I was diagnosed with a mild form of autism when I was nine. Since it’s mild, I don’t have most of the difficulties I could, but it still took a lot of therapy and discipline to get to how I am today. Can be awkward around people and be overly blunt and sarcastic, not to mention I have to constantly watch my tone of voice, but for the most part I like to think myself as smart, witty, and a generally nice person and friend.
As for personal interests, other then writing, I like making art, reading, surfing the Internet, video games, an occasional shopping spree, and music; genre of choice is rock . Not a big sports fan, but I do like baseball and skiing, and I try to work out every day to stay in good shape. My favorite foods are pickles, cereal, pasta, pork, and numerous sweets; being somewhat of a picky eater there are many foods I don’t like as well.
It was always something I was good at. When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist when I grew up: making things with whatever you could think up was a magic to me, even now. Throughout school, though, we were taught how to write and make arguments in English class. Such papers I found boring (and still do), but when applied to what Iwanted to write—stories—I found it highly enjoyable.
The Book -The Swamp Angel
The inspiration came from, of all things, a measly song title. I started writing SA a week before my seventeeth birthday. I had recently bought a music CD, The Black Swan, by the band Story of the Year. One song that stood out was called ‘Angel in the Swamp’. The lyrics itself seem to speak of abuse, but instead I rolled the title over in my head and asked myself, ‘What would a swamp angel look like?’ The story took off from there.
Rylan Forester just can't shake the feeling he's being followed, and the dreams he's been having aren't helping either, dreams of a green horned monster kissing him by the swamp behind his house. They're the last thing he needs in his life right now anyway, with his distant father, his best friend crushing on him, the school bully after his hide, and a greedy land developer after his family's property. But after a almost tragic accident, Rylan's world is turned upside-down with one important discovery: the monster's real, and she needs his help. Drawn into her world, what starts as simple friendship has the chance to become something greater. But trouble isn't far behind, and between past memories and present problems, it's going to take all of Rylan's efforts to keep his new friend safe.
Why should we pick up Swamp Angel when it releases?
It’s something new. Maybe I’m being too bold saying that, as that’s what most authors say about their work, but I think it really is new. This isn’t like vampires or werewolves or demons and angels; it’s an original creature with its own ways of affecting the world, both the physical world and the worldview of the protagonist Rylan.
Some Bookie Questions
Favourite YA book and why?
I have no single favorite YA book; it’s just too hard to narrow down on one when there’s so much good literature out there. Some of my all time choices are Candy by Kevin Brooks, Love Cajun Style by Diane Les Becquets, Love and Other 4-Letter Words by Carolyn Mackler, Guitar Highway Rose by Brigid Lowry, The House on Fallling Star Hill by Michael Molloy, and The Wolf by Steven Herrick.
Favourite YA author and why?
This is a bit easier. I love Kevin Brook’s stuff; it’s lyrical and thought-driven with fantastic characters and it’s just so well-written. Steven Herrick’s books are also lyrical considering they’re written in poetry format, but are still able to tell an amazing story. Some other good authors are Mary Hogan (laughably funny and sweet) and Barry Lyga (doesn’t shy away from tough subjects and writes with a frank truthfulness to his characters).
Debut author/ upcoming author we should check out?
Other than me? (laughs). I recommend any author coming out under my publisher Spencer Hill Press. They’re new, and a lot of their authors, like me, are debuting work for the first time.
Favourite 2012 read and why?
It’s not YA, but Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. It was assigned reading for a English class I took this fall, but it was amazing, with the storyline and the writing style and the animal-like races. It was like I was reading a sci-fi/fantasy film aloud (and picture it in my head), and I seriously am going to hit the library
and read more of Mieville’s work.
A Book series you love and why?
Harry Potter hands down. It’s what really got me into reading, and into writing of a sorts. I love it because it’s just so good: the world is well structured, the characters are believable and lovable, and it is the right balance of entertainment and wisdom; something I strive for in my own writing.
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The Swamp Angel releases December 2013 via Spencer Hill Press