I was raised in Reno, Nevada—just below Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains—with horses and dogs and Red Angus cattle. When I was little I had a colorful imagination (read: I was a cheerful liar), and loved to write stories. I rocked spandex shorts and slouch socks, put too many scrunchies in my side ponytail, and watched The Goonies approximately one kajillion times. For a brief time, I dedicated myself to a future in professional hockey after careful study of The Mighty Ducks.
Fast forward to high school, where I became a triple threat of awesomeness: Girl Scouts, jazz choir and marching band. When I wasn’t playing the vibraphone or winning Nevada State Drum Major (thank you very much), I sold shoes at a department store.
During this time I met The Boy, who was forced to sit beside me in freshman Biology because our last names began with the same letter. After the inevitable geek vs. jock standoff (just to clarify, I was not the jock), we became inseparable friends, and had many adventures—the kind that involved sneaking out, or driving a car into a lake, or getting separated in class. The kind that typically meant we couldn’t hang out for a while afterwards.
Later, when I was moving away, The Boy stood in front of my car and declared his undying love, thus beginning the greatest adventure of all. One that now includes a sweet baby boy.
I attended several colleges in several states before finally graduating with a B.A. in psychology and a master’s in social work from the University of Nevada. A passion for helping survivors of trauma and abuse led me to become a mental health therapist. An addiction to all things chocolate led me to become a Jazzercise instructor. And a love for the written word led me to where I am today.
Saturday at 2:00 pm
Grand Gallery Overlook E-F
Baby Got Back(story): Creating Characters with Depth
Join Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of Metaltown and the Article 5 series, in a discussion of how to create well-rounded, memorable characters in fiction. In this session, we’ll look at popular heroes and villains, the motivations behind what they do, and why they matter to us.
Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm in 742
Saturday from 3:15 to 5:30 pm in 742