I haven’t always been an avid reader and writer.
As I’ve aged, ever so gracefully I might add, I have grown into these roles. Gradually.
It’s kind of like growing into those pretty, glittery, bright red heels that you’d steal out of your mom’s closet as a little girl and try on. Wishing your feet were big enough to really wear them without tripping. Until one day, you find that your have grown enough that those shoes finally fit.
The problem is that even though those heels fit, they aren’t brand new anymore. Patches of glitter are missing; the red leather is muted and scuffed. Not too mention that the insides, well…they smell. Time for new shoes, ones that are more you. Shoes that are comfortable, stylish and cute. Shoes that you want to wear with every outfit you own. Shoes that one day will grow old and worn, but you will still love them.
I never grew into my mother’s shoes (I have incredibly small feet). I am actually glad for that. It makes me who I am, and although it took me longer than most to figure that out, I am unique and I am me. Sometimes it is very difficult to handle not fitting into a particular mold, to be different. People still question my choices, some thinking that I am too old to wear certain things or color my hair in a distinctive way. I am just being me.
YA is where I find myself; my teen self. I can relate more to these stories than I can adult novels. YA stories help me to forgive my mistakes and accept all of the parts that made me who I am today. I continue to grow as a writer, which helps me to release those pesky voices in my head. Writing more contemporary realistic fiction is what’s comfortable. It’s my niche.
I tell stories of love gone wrong, fears of being accepted, not belonging. All those things I felt when I was a teen, and still as an adult. My one hope is to reach out and let teens know that what they are feeling is normal and that they are not alone. I kind of wish someone would have done that for me.
What shoes do I wear now? There are a few favorite pairs—UGG boots for those really cold days, cute UGG moccasins that my daughter keeps trying to steal, sexy gray heels for that rare night out, and my worn converse sneakers. Those are my shoes. The ones that fit me the best. The ones that my mother would never have worn. The shoes that show the real me.