Diane Wakoski, who was key to my creative growth. After college, I went on to write for marketing and advertising, and then decided to pursue a Master's in Teaching English as a Second Language through Bowling Green State University (BSGU). I taught writing and language to some amazing students at BGSU, Wayne State University, and Oakland Community College. During my teaching years, I had my first son and started writing poems and stories for him, which led me to take classes through the Institute of Children's Literature. Eventually, I started publishing stories and articles and was honored to win the Writer's Digest National Competition for the Children's/YA category in 2011. Also, in 2011, I won the HUNGER MOUNTAIN Katherine Paterson Prize for a short story in verse titled "Him," on which my novel, RIPPLE, published in September 2016, is based. My short stories have also appeared on the online journal the Young Adult Review Network (YARN) and in SPIDER magazine. I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) as well as a member of the Young Adult chapter Romance Writer's of America (YARWA). I live in Michigan with my husband and two sons.