Thank you for visiting my site and for considering me as a mentee! I am really excited for PitchWars. I work as a librarian at two libraries in the suburbs of Chicago and have been a writer my whole life; I can’t imagine not writing. I also love to read and was the kid who didn’t go outside to ever play and would rather be in my room with my nose in a book.
My novel Ruby is about a young girl growing up in a rural town during The Great Depression and how she connects with her survivor spirit to overcome trauma in her life; namely family violence and abuse.
I set my story during The Great Depression because the austerity of the time mirrors her feelings and because of my interest in that time period since seeing Dorothea Lange’s haunting photograph Migrant Mother in one of my history books as a kid.
When I came across the photo again as a young adult it inspired me to read about the lives of people who lived though those times and how difficult it was to simply survive. I was also very interested in how the experiences changed them for the rest of their lives. Some of us got a little taste of hard times during the recession of past years; unemployment in some areas of the US was as high as 10%.
During the time period of Ruby, unemployment was 25%! For years! Imagine that 1 out of every 4 people you saw was out of work. And the social safety nets we have today like food stamps and unemployment insurance were not available; they came about as a result of those times.
The 1930’s were also hard on my family and since I was the kid who didn’t want to play with other kids and instead sat with the grownups to listen to their stories I knew how my grandmother made clothes for her five children from flour sacks and how they all wore the same hand-me-downs until they just fell apart.
The themes of sexual abuse and domestic violence were difficult to write and I stumbled for a long time over those pages. For a long time I thought I suffered from writer’s block but really it just came down to the fact that I was afraid to go there. And I put off writing one scene in particular for a long time until a dream showed me it was necessary.
The whole story of Ruby is that it is possible to overcome the terrible things that happen to you. Reading other books and difficult experiences other people survived gave me courage to tell this story.
I absolutely believe what Ruby says in the book, that just because something bad happens to you, it doesn’t make you bad and that you can have joy in your life.
Thank you so much for reading this bio. May I leave you with one last thought… pick me pick me pick me pick me please! pick me pick me pick me! And help make my dream of being a published author come true!