It was a lucky thing for me, mostly because it meant that, when I turned 14, I could audition for Canterbury Arts High School. It is one of the most special secondary schools in the country (in my totally unbiased opinion), and home to one of only two creative writing programs for high school students in Canada.
When I graduated, I knew I wanted to work with words, but I’d been led to believe writers had to eat tuna fish every night and live in shoeboxes. So, armed with a desire to write anyway, and a strong dislike for canned fish, I graduated four years later from York University in Toronto with a practical BA in English, as well as from Centennial College with a certificate in Book & Magazine Publishing.
From there, I tried my hand at some responsible jobs that used writing skills… the marketing person for a poetry organization, in communications for the Girl Guides of Canada, editing a web-zine for teen girls… and although all of those things were good, none of them quite did it for me. Some years later, after my daughter was born, I quit my day job to stay home with her and to work as a freelance writer and editor … and, in any spare moment I could find, I worked toward
my big dream: publishing a book.
That dream came true in the summer of 2008 when, following a bizarre and sort of mind-boggling series of events, an agent agreed to represent me and, within a month, sold Mission (Un)Popular to Disney/Hyperion Books for Children.
Since then, life has been filled with revisions, the writing of my second book, which actually came out first (Rhymes With Cupid, published by HarperTeen), work on a third young adult fiction book, freelance work, summer afternoons at the wading pool with my kids, and the need to pinch myself every so often to remind myself that this is my life… I really get to be a writer (plus, FYI, I don’t even live in a shoe box!)