I write the books I needed as a teen and couldn't find.
I love to read and to write. Books saved me; they helped me survive the abuse I endured as a child and teen, helped me escape and dream and hope. It's incredible to me that I can write books now that help others in the same way books helped (and still help) me. I write fantasy and edgy psychological thrilllers for teens.
My fantasy books often hold hope that I need, and feel others might need, too, while exploring tough issues, and my psychological thrillers are gritty, intense, and emotional. All of my books have fragments of the abuse I experienced. I write about some of the harsh things teens go through...things that I think shouldn't be hidden. But I also write about healing, hope, and love, and finding courage and strength. All my books have strong girl characters, and many consider my books to be thrillers.
In SCARS (WestSide, 2010), Kendra must face her past--remember who abused her--and stop hurting herself before it's too late. It's my own arm on the cover. There's a lot of me in SCARS; like my main character, Kendra, I am an incest survivor, I used self-harm to cope, and I'm queer. And, like Kendra, I used art (as well as witing) to cope.
In STAINED (Harcount, Oct 1 2013), Sarah, a teen with a port wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself. Like Sarah, I know what it's like to be held captive, withheld food and water, and be raped, and to have to struggle to keep my soul and self intact while being abused. I also know what it's like to deal with body image issues, and to have to be the one to save myself.
In my paranormal fantasy HUNTED (WestSide, 2011 USA, Fitzhenry & Whiteside 2012 Canada), Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any power at all is illegal. She must choose between saving herself or saving the world. Like Caitlyn, I know what it's like to have my life threatened, and to have to decide between hiding my true self or being who I am, even if that means danger to myself. I drew on my experience with cults and ritual abuse in creating the world that Caitlyn lives in; for me, Hunted is an analogy of cults, racism, sexism, homophobia, and horrible times of oppression in our history Nazi Germany and slavery in the USA.
Books were my survival during my childhood, and my journey into myself. Books give me hope. I hope mine will give you hope, too.