The view from here
Two things I need when writing: a cup of tea and a view.
Most of my stories touch on topics like gender, literacy, social justice, mental health and climate change. Whether I draw from my own experiences or my imagination, my goal is to say something about this world we live in.
The Square Root of Love
Do you ever wonder why people pretend bad stuff isn’t happening? Or that their lives aren’t completely messed up? Or that the world isn’t going to hell in a hand basket?
Well, that’s what inspired me to write The Square Root of Love!
Jared’s only relief from crushing anxiety is math, but when he wakes up on his sixteenth birthday seeing monsters, not even his trusted friend, Algebra, can save him. Things get worse when his crush, Samantha, shows up in AP math dressed as a boy, demanding to be called Sam (does this mean she likes girls now?). Turns out she can see the monsters as well, so at least he’s not alone.
Fueled by a lack of sleep and a desperate need to impress Sam, Jared leaves the safety of mathematics and joins the underground End Monster Denial movement with Sam. Together they find out the monsters are aliens trapped on earth in a parallel dimension, and that ten per cent of the population can see them, but everyone is pretending not to.
When their activities draw the attention of the authorities, Sam is taken in for remediation, but Jared is spared because his mom leads the team exploiting the monsters for space travel research.
Pressured by his mother to get in line and develop his skills of monster-denial, Jared risks his sanity to remain focused on the truth: the monsters are real. Somehow he needs to break Sam out of remediation and find the astrophysicist who brought the monsters to earth, so they can free the monsters, free themselves, and free humanity from its devastating monster-denial.
Forever Touch the Stars
When I was 15, I started writing a story about a girl who found out she was an alien.
Of course, I didn’t know how difficult it was to write a book, so I gave up on it a few pages in. Over 20 years later, I picked the story up again, and I finished it in 2019!
Twelve-year-old Liorah is an alien time traveler, but she doesn’t know it yet. The future is literally dying to tell her, but it’s bad enough being the new girl in Colony One, especially when her stepfather is the chief engineer and a real jerk! Time travel? No thank you. Liorah’s biggest priorities are fitting in and keeping out of trouble.
Until Colony One goes on lockdown and no one will tell Liorah why. Stuck inside for days playing cards with her droid, surrounded by secrets, Liorah starts to feel crazy. Crazy, like knowing what’s going to happen before it does. Crazy, like breaking into her parents’ room to figure out what’s going on.
It turns out, when you break one rule, it’s easier to break more. Before Liorah knows it, she’s face to face with a real-life ‘outsider’—a boy—and he’s sick. What’s worse is her stepfather made him sick. If she doesn’t help the boy, he’s going to die. But what can Liorah do? She’s just a kid. Plus, she’s terrified of germs. And the dark. And heights. And, well, just about everything.
Mood board for Forever Touch the Starts
House of Mirrors
My current work in progress is a middle grade horror about a tomboy names Sam. Her mother can’t afford a babysitter, so she buys Sam a summer pass to an amusement park, where Sam gets into all sorts of trouble with her friends, Roo and Corey. They all struggle with bad family lives.
One day a new attraction arrives at the park, a house of mirrors. Sam and her friends decide to be the first to check it out, and fall into a mirror universe where their parents aren’t neglectful or abusive, but they soon discover there’s a price to be paid for their new, wonderful lives: the mirror monster is out to get them!
My blog – learning2grow.org
I’ve been writing content on my blog for many years. There’s lots of good stuff!
These are some of my favourites.