When/ How/ Why did you become a writer?
At age six, I wrote (and illustrated!) my first book, Witch Cat, about two friends who take home a magical jewel-encrusted cat condo they find on their way home from school, only to discover that it was a portal for a mischievous time-traveling cat from Ancient Egypt!
It won an award and I was sent off with a group of high- schoolers to a Writers’ Workshop– a truly terrifying experience. I never thought I could grow up to be a writer. I wasn’t qualified. Proper writers seemed to possess occult knowledge of the written word that I wasn’t privy to.
So I kept my writing to myself and looked elsewhere for career inspiration. I stumbled upon babywearing in 1998 and began teaching it in my community in 2007, during which time I worked as a nanny and attended university. I majored in anthropology as an undergrad and studied book history as a graduate student. My concentrations were cross-cultural and historical infant care practices and medieval through early modern English history.
I intended to pursue a career in anthropology or as an archivist, though I loved the freedom (and fun!) of being a nanny. However, disability put those careers beyond me and I have come full circle, back to that trembling six-year-old, clutching her little book, in a forest of acid-washed jeans. But now I understand there is no occult knowledge, writing is simply hard work, even for “proper writers”.
What do I read?
The majority of my reading is nonfiction, on just about any subject (often research for my writing). I love creative non-fiction, memoirs, and biographies. On the fiction side, I enjoy magical realism, historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, as well as literary fiction. A few of my favorite authors are, in no particular order, Virginia Woolf, Laurence Sterne, Alice Hoffman, Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson.
I currently live in a fly-over state in a bookshelf-lined apartment with twenty-two house plants, which make noises when my back is turned. I try to keep on their good side.