My first memory of creative writing was at 9 years old, when I kept a spiral-bound school notebook filled with poetry and journal entries. I was diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) around that time and shortly afterward I was gifted some notebooks. I often wonder if the child psychologist recommended my mother provide me with an outlet for my feelings, because that’s exactly what those notebooks became.

Between my first notebook and the end of high school, I’d filled dozens of these notebooks with poems and journal entries which I kept hidden on top of a furnace duct in my bedroom. They would later be destroyed by a house fire.

I started writing short horror stories in high school and sharing them with friends. I was 15 when my family got Internet for the first time and I started my first website called Freaks Paradise, which I used to showcase my poems and morbid sense of humor. I was an outsider finding other outsiders for the first time in my life.

My writing and I have grown up, but those early years of horror and emotion planted the seeds for what became a life long love. Perhaps because of how I was first introduced to it, writing has been my most effective coping strategy in managing my mental illness.

When I was 25 I gave birth to my son and was widowed a few weeks later. I had started a blog while pregnant to detail my experiences, and when I woke up that day to find the love of my life had passed away, it saved my life. I hadn’t slept or eaten since it happened, and it wasn’t until I’d told my story on that blog that I could finally accept what happened and start healing.

Writing continues to be an incredible emotional release for me. I love exploring the human condition, pumping out fresh little flash fiction horrors, and most recently working on my debut novel when I have time between family and work life. My son is my biggest joy in life and watching him grow has been the greatest happiness I’ve ever known. I have a new partner who makes us very happy and a career that challenges and fulfills me. So I guess you could say after the wild ride I’ve had, life is pretty good.