I’m the author of the YA science-fiction thriller, Variant (HarperTeen 2011), and of Feedback (HarperTeen, Oct 2012). Variant was named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2011, and one of the YALSA Picks for Reluctant Readers.
I began writing professionally (and poorly) as the theater critic (live theater, not film) for Red Magazine, an arts weekly at the University of Utah, in 1999. I started writing my first novel shortly thereafter, and it was terrible.
My first published novel, On Second Thought, was released in 2004 through a regional press. That book was a romantic comedy based on a small town in New Mexico where I lived for about a year. I followed that book with two more, Wake Me When It’s Over and The Counterfeit, both political thrillers and both attempts to use my poli-sci degree for something, since it definitely wasn’t getting me a job in the field.
Because it wasn’t getting me a job, I returned to graduate school in 2007 and got an MBA in marketing at Brigham Young University. With a background in sociology, I developed a great love for the squishier sides of business–particularly consumer psychology and behavior. I split my time between homework and writing, and it was during this time that I decided I wanted to write YA for the national market.
And, when I graduated in 2009 with the stock market at record lows, and I once again couldn’t find a job, I spent my unemployment writing Variant. I have been writing fulltime since 2011.