The Short Version: I am a writer of historical fiction (both YA and adult), but I also write some speculative fiction and fantasy.
The Long Version: I’ve loved to write and illustrate stories since I can remember. I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and also currently live there, but I was raised between small town Indiana and the mountains of East Tennessee. I have a Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies and Chinese from Wittenberg University. During these years I dabbled in Chinese peacock and lion dancing, and my love of folk music and dance still exists today. I went on to receive a Master’s degree in Comparative and Public History from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and I was the first American student to join the program. That was a big order for me to take on, so most of my research focused on American traditions and local histories while incorporating the Asian elements I was so familiar with.
It was the springtime in Hong Kong that the urge to write a book truly struck me while doing genealogical research for my family. In a sudden burst of inspiration, I began my journey with The Moon-Eyed Ones and decided that once my degree was finished and I returned home to the United States, would I take my first steps into the process of becoming a published author.
I am inspired by many things, mainly the places I have visited in my life and my obsession with history, genealogy, folklore, and myth, all of which can be seen in my works. Though my biggest sources of inspiration are my East Asian and Melungeon heritage and what it is like to be at home in multiple cultures at once.