About Me

Enjoying words on a page at an early age
Since I first heard my mother read to me, perhaps in utero but maybe a little later, I was fascinated with stories. My bookshelf was bigger than my toy chest and much better stocked. Books became more than entertainment and dispensaries of knowledge. The characters were my friends when it was too cold to play outside, or neighborhood gang violence kept me inside. The settings welcomed me into worlds of safety, security, and a comfortable lifestyle that I often fantasized about.  I was soon writing and illustrating my own books, with characters loosely based on my neighbors, siblings and classmates.

I may look like I'm not paying attention, but I loved being read to.

Through my creation of worlds full of adventure and friendship, I won Junior Achievement’s Book of the Year when I was 10 years old.

My book was printed, bound, and displayed in a glass case outside the school’s office. I still remember the pride I felt whenever I passed my book in the hallway.

With an undergraduate degree in Marketing I found ways to make writing part of my everyday life, creating integrated campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. In 2009 I was one of three copy-writers to win Campaign of the Year by the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines as the lead writer for a Spanish campaign. 

After leaving Corporate America to lead non-profit agencies, my passion for stories remained. In 2011 I won DM JUICE’S 5-Minute Fiction contest with a YA dystopian tale featuring urine in the first sentence.

Shortly thereafter my world was turned upside down when my husband died unexpectedly in 2012, I felt lost and incomplete. I channeled that pain into making my life count, winning LATINA Magazine’s Next Generation Latina award later that year, becoming one of the Des Moines Register’s “13 to Watch in 2013”, and in 2015 I was recognized as a Forty Under 40 Honoree by the Business Record, a business trade publication.

Life is too short not to pursue one’s passions, so I threw myself into a Masters in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Writing for Children and Young Adults program, graduating in 2014. Armed with my MFA, I keep writing and learning with the same fascination I’ve had since birth.

Since graduating, I have become a sought-after speaker, was published in an anthology and am an educator in higher education where I use what I know about words to help students use them in ways that grows their passions.

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