I self-published my first book when I was seven. It was called Idioms, and it contained what I thought were idioms (they were not), accompanied by horrifically hand-drawn examples of those idioms. My next book, age eight, had to do with a haunted house and a single mother and was no doubt inspired by my own single mom and the crumbling turn-of-the-century home we lived in in Southeast Detroit that made strange creaking noises in the night. There were a few more books from my little imprint, which included cardboard covers decorated with wallpaper scraps, but my early career peaked around age ten with a passive-aggressive story about a mean sister (my sister isn’t mean).
Throughout my life, writing has consoled me, challenged me, tormented me and made me both happier and sadder than I’d have ever thought possible. It's my passion. I finished my first novel in 2008 just in time for the recession to hit but also at a moment when self-publishing became a viable option. I went on to self-publish three novels, while also working full-time as an arts administrator, a career I still enjoy today.
Much of my work is inspired by song lyrics and artworks and occasionally by something I hear that sticks in my brain and needles away until a story forms. I am an obsessive eavesdropper, a person who will talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything, and I love when someone starts a sentence with, “You are not going to believe this!” I like to laugh, and I like people who can make me laugh. And I like most people, which I’m finding is kind of unique.
Some of my favorite books are Little Gods by Meng Jin, Everything Under by Daisy Johnson, Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi, Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, and Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. My favorite movie will always be Lost in Translation, and I could listen to the song Lovely Day by Bill Withers nonstop all-day long, forever.
In the past, I’ve been an office cleaner, an assembly line worker, a massage therapist, and a Greenpeace canvasser. I’ve been trying to learn French and Spanish for approximately two decades.
I hope we get to meet someday.
Work in Progress: AMERICAN DREAMS
It’s the summer of 2020 and Bayside, a middle-class suburb of Detroit, is split in advance of the presidential election. Rallies and motorcades are stirring up the locals, while three sisters struggle to find their place among the growing discord. Eighteen year-old Shane can’t envision a future for herself. Sia, seventeen, longs to move away, while sixteen-year-old Rue seeks attention wherever she can get it. The girls work at The Little Seed, a popular cafe in the small downtown, and are raised by their father Frank, a disaffected Army vet who finds himself swept up in the political whirlwind.
Luke is a high school dropout and the teenage father of a toddler. He wants to be with Shane, but he can’t break the cycle of bad decision-making rooting him in his circumstances. As the election draws near, the characters' increasing agitations unite with the local undercurrent. Soon, The Little Seed becomes a meeting place for those who intend to overturn the election results, and everyone must quickly decide which side of history they’ll be on.
Inspired by real life events that took place in the author's hometown in Michigan leading up to and after the 2020 Presidential election, AMERICAN DREAMS is a timely and important novel, delving into the psychology of economic disparity and desperation.
Work in Progress: A DAYTIME MOON
The Pacific gray whales are dying in record numbers. They taunt Isa’s thoughts. She already feels unrooted. Her relationship is failing. Her work is unfulfilling. She doesn’t belong. Only her friendship with Lizzy feels right, but Lizzy has her own troubles.
When Dane, the man who raised her, becomes terminally ill, Isa returns to the California desert she ran away from as a teen. There, she reckons with the past – a youthful prank that killed her twin sister, the grief her brother Cole has carried, the secrets of a mother she never got to meet. As wildfires consume California, Isa is swept up in her former life of late-night drag races, tacos and beers with the locals, and haunting reminders of her youth. When Dane passes away, he leaves the name of Isa’s biological father, a key that unlocks her personal history, allowing her to reclaim her mother’s life and finally bring it fully into focus.
While exploring the concept of solastalgia – the homesickness we feel in (rather than for) our own home – A DAYTIME MOON poetically considers themes of displacement, longing, family, and what it truly means to feel at home.
A DAYTIME MOON won second place in the Dillydoun International Fiction Prize, was longlisted for the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction, and was a 2021 University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize semifinalist.
No More Time is an exploration of grief, privilege, and the power of imagination.
The Song Remains the Same spans two generations in Detroit and chronicles the coming of age of its mother and daughter main characters.
DILLYDOUN PRIZE ANTHOLOGY NO. 1
A collection of outstanding short stories from the winners and honorable mentions of the first Dillydoun Review literary competition.
Featured essay on Women Writers Women Books
Featured essay on Belle Ombre