The Short (like me) Version
I write middle grade fiction and am represented by Tamar Rydzinski at the Laura Dail Literary Agency. I'm married to a city planner, and when I'm not writing, I'm often chasing our two sons around our home in North Carolina.
The "If you really want to hear about it" Version
I was born in Hong Kong and came to the United States at age two with my parents. We lived in and then near Manhattan's Chinatown, where my parents worked in restaurants and garment factories.
Some of the institutions that contributed to forming me were:
- Hamilton-Madison House Head Start in Manhattan
- P.S. 126 in Manhattan
- P.S. 11 in Jersey City
- AEP in Jersey City
- Academic High School in Jersey City
- Livingston High School in Livingston
- Yale University in New Haven
My grandmother was the boss of us all. My parents worked hard, as did my aunts and uncles. And while our parents hadn't attended college, it was assumed that my cousins, brother, and I would.
Still, when I was accepted at Yale, my father's first words were, "Did you apply anywhere else?" Anywhere closer, he meant; I wasn't supposed to leave home.
They let me go.
On a whiteboard in a Yale classroom, a professor scribbled code for a computer program that could understand itself. Then he sat down and pressed play on a small stereo. Classical music (I didn't know enough about music to recognize the piece or the composer) wafted through the room.
And so, I majored in Computer Science.
For over a decade, I worked in technology and education. I lived in LA, then Hong Kong. I traveled to France, then moved to San Francisco.
There, I remet an old friend, and we married and moved to the South, where he had grown up.
All the time, I read and I wrote. Yet I never imagined being a Writer. I imagined Writers were people who wore fancy suits and pocket watches, or else they had slipshod hygiene and awful hacking coughs.
But when I became a mother, and when my grandmother died, suddenly stories mattered urgently to me. Writer or not, suddenly I had stories I needed told.
So I began to write purposefully.