In the sixth grade my teacher let me stand in front of the class and read my first novel from loose leaf pages in a Trapper Keeper. It was written in number two pencil in curly, swirly cursive with heart-dotted Is. I think he probably just wanted a break from teaching.
I sold my first poem when I was 10, won a songwriting contest when I was 13 and scored a paying gig reviewing CDs at 15. Before I was even old enough to legally drink in bars, I had a job reviewing them for a newspaper. Over the years I’ve won awards for deep digging investigative journalism and for flowery prose. I climbed a billboard with graffiti artists, spent weeks shadowing the world’s oldest male stripper and sorted through files of death and abuse for exposes on children in foster care and group homes. I’ve opened my veins, over and over again, chronicling my life as a military wife and mother during our nation’s longest war.
My words have led to interviews on National Public Radio, MSNBC, CNN and NBC Nightly News, which featured me in a segment called “Making a Difference.” My work being published in a host of regional and national publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN.com, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Military.com, Self magazine, Maxim magazine, Kiwi magazine and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered program, and an essay I wrote was included in a book published by The New York Times.
I’ve been a magazine editor, a book editor and a columnist and contributing editor for Military.com. I’ve been a blogger, a radio commentator, a screenwriter and a consulting television producer. These days my words are a mix of fiction and non-fiction as well as marketing and public relations.
Some people never realize what they want to be when they grow up. Others of us know from the start and never look back.