One of the coolest things about being a YA author is all the opportunities we get even when we're not writing our next books or promoting our latest releases. Many of these opportunities come from knowing other authors, like the time Teen Fiction Cafe's very own Melissa Walker gave my name to her friend at MORE magazine, which resulted in my first-ever major magazine interview. Others come about when you accept an invitation to an event and make a good enough impression on someone there to be invited to something else down the line.
For example, I've been to a couple of author-student dinners at the local Olive Garden, an event organized by Cassie Cox (in the middle of the photo with the lovely long hair) who is an extraordinary English teacher at an alternative high school. Above is a photo from the latest one, which YA authors James Dashner (back row, v-neck sweater), Dan Wells (back row, glasses), Sydney Salter (front row, pink cardigan) and I (floral blouse on right side) went to. Later on, Mrs. Cox earned a grant to bring in two authors, Sydney Salter and me, to work with a group of teen writers at Two Rivers High School in Ogden, Utah. This 12-week period ended right before the holidays and I have to say it was definitely one of the highlights of my career thus far. Click HERE if you want to learn more about it.
Another amazing thing I recently got to do is edit an anthology, Pho for Life. It was penned by a diverse assortment of people, most having Asian roots or connections. Though it was my most challenging editing project to date, it was also the most eye-opening and fulfilling. We had a glamorous red carpet launch party in Los Angeles, California last month and it was wonderful getting to meet everybody in person. This is a photo of the editor-in-chief and man behind the project, Mai Bui. (photo by chrislynn photography)
Last summer, I ran a writing camp for kids and now that summer is long gone, I've made enough contacts in the community to become a "writing coach" for children, teens, and adults. I love helping people write stories, books, and practice for their SAT/ACT essays.
So, even though I consider myself an author by trade, I'm moonlighting as a teacher and an editor and I'm loving every minute of it! But enough about me! What are some things you've been doing behind the scenes?