When I became a high school teacher, I started collecting my students’ stories, and I incorporated these into my first efforts to write for others. I taught English to refugees from Latin America and organized concerts of Latin American music, and the people I met inspired and encouraged me to write the novel that years later would become Gringolandia (2009)…
I enrolled in the MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts and there gained the confidence to write the story I’d been avoiding or skirting for my life up to that point —growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism that made it so hard for me to make and keep friends. My 2013 novel, Rogue, is based on two incidents that happened to me as a teenager.
In addition to my published fiction for preteens and teens, I have complete drafts of two young adult novels, one of them a companion to Gringolandia, and am writing a middle grade novel. I am also working on a graphic novel featuring a Lego town I’ve built, Little Brick Township, and the minifigures who live there and/or visit. The stuff that happens in Little Brick Township sometimes appears on my blog, along with tips for other Lego builders.
While I occasionally offer writing advice, my blog mainly features my other interests, including the experience of living abroad and learning another language (I spent the last four months of 2012 in Portugal and hope to return), my work as assistant host of a bilingual radio show of Latin American, Spanish, and Portuguese music, and what’s new in Little Brick Township.