Jean1a

My first book was written at age nine on a small pad of notebook paper. It was a self help book. I bet you wish you could read it. I do too. Another work of genius lost to the world because my mother probably got stuck cleaning all the crap off my bedroom floor. Due to my life-long love of telling people what to do, it won’t come as a surprise to some of you that I also spent my childhood wandering my neighborhood imagining myself the general (the kind with swords, not guns) of some noble war. And then I grew up and dabbled in short stories, flash fiction, memoir. And then I grew up enough that my kids started reading on their own. I have them to thank for my journey back into the fantastic. They reminded me that life doesn’t have to be so terribly real and that fantasy doesn’t have to be so terribly un-real. They helped me remember my first love (Lloyd Alexander), my later crush (J.R. Tolkien), and to rediscover fun new fantasy voices like Rick Riordan. Reading the books that my my ten-year-old recommended gave me one of those aha experiences when I realized that, even though I often loved Pulitzer prize winning fiction, my deepest heart was always with young heroes/heroines figuring out who they really were in far off lands or unusual situations. Now I watch my son wander our back yard, swinging a stick–no doubt the new leader of his own army while my daughters prowl about on all fours–shifting from princess to beast. And I still get that little chill up my spine realizing that the pig keeper is really destined to be king–that there’s always a place for the small and weak to discover their deep potential and do great things (especially if they eat their vegetables).

So in addition to being a fierce army general (with fingernails sharpened to deadly points, because that’s always how I imagined them), I’m a writer, wife, and mother. I also have a cat and six ducks (because I think it’s pretty clear that you can’t live in a fantasy world without ducks). In addition to writing, I love music, moving my body, the outdoors, food, and being cheap.