I am an empath. I think most writers are to a degree. It takes a great deal of conviction and compassion to step into the shoes of a character and tell their story. I was bestowed with an obsessive curiosity for others since I was homeschooled until high school. Reading helped satiate some of that curiosity. It allowed insight into the potential psychological reasons for the actions of even the most cruel individuals. Everyone has an origin story that propelled us to who we are now—whether that stems from beliefs, actions, consequences, or circumstances.
I am resilient. Writing allows me to explore the painful yet beautiful sides of life. There is a cost to vulnerability, but we get to challenge readers, offer new perspectives, and extend healing. A few of my favorite authors—Amy Tan, Rachel Hartman, and Toni Morrison—have done this for me. This is the most difficult part of my story to tell—I was the victim of multiple sexual assaults. Being a survivor allows me to discuss important subjects that many people find taboo. I cannot change my past, but I can write about it. My experiences resonate with people, so I will keep sharing. Survivors will always be a recurring theme in my works. In the final scene of The Tempest, Prospero says, “This thing of darkness… I acknowledge mine” (5.1. 275-276). I have this quote tattooed on my forearm as a reminder that artists should not hide from their darkness, but use it as a tool to help others. I am willing to share parts of my story that many people won’t share. I do this because it offers others with similar experiences the freedom to share their stories and hopefully get the help they need.
I am expanding. I used to write exclusively young adult fiction. However, during my studies at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), my professors and fellow students encouraged me to branch out. I have since written several horror/paranormal short stories, started working on a fantasy novel, and began a series about a female serial killer. The project I am currently working on is entitled Beyond the Fragile Glass. This novel is my biggest literary undertaking yet. It features multiple characters and viewpoints, as well as fantastic and psychological aspects. Characters explore the world of “Glass”—a place that represents the loneliness of childhood and the potentially destructive nature of children. Inspired in part by the novels of Stephen King and Lisa Jewell, this project will delve into the dichotomy of childhood and adulthood and the consequences of our choices. It will examine how these two realms are more blurred than we, as adults, are willing to admit or recognize.
I am dedicated. From the time I was seven, my father told me I was a writer. He made sure that I had the tools I needed to fully explore my “gift”—whether that was his 1970’s type-writer or his old computers. However, I wanted to do something “practical” to support myself, believing that writing was merely a hobby. Over time, I realized practicality is unfulfilling. I now write every day. Whether it is journaling, creative projects, or professional tasks, writing is my priority.