When I was visiting my family, my mom gave me some old pictures she found. This is a picture from my desk bookshelf when I was a teen. Note the Elvis card, the Grant Hill mini basketball hoop, the General Hospital book, and what appears to be a small shrine to Troy Aikman....what is that about? Did I really like him that much or was I just a football fan? I do remember my dad buying me the small Troy near the bottom left.
The clown doll was something I won for the first writing contest I ever entered. It was a schoolwide (1st-8th grade) essay contest on name the teddy bear they were giving away in a raffle. I remember my first line was, "I think the bear should be named Taffy because he's sweet like candy." Just take a moment and let that brillance wash over you. How could they NOT know I'd go on to become a writer with that genius brewing??
The aqua fridge is actually filled with food shaped school supplies because I have loved cute office supplies forever, you can also see a few of my trophies from dance (ballet, tap, jazz, and baton twirling), and the pig in the far left corner was my grandma's cookie jar. I have that cookie jar in my house today.
This picture is such a time capsule and explains so much from the writing award clown to the picture of me modeling in a back to school fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue and now I write about a teen model named Landry. When writing young adult books I always get asked if it's weird, embarrassing, and awkward to revisit those teen years...actually, if I'm being truthful, the most common question I'm asked is from people I went to middle school and high school with and that's, "Am I in the books???" I think if you're going to write, you have to be able to be authentic and real and show the truth...even if it means admitting you once had an Aikman shrine in your bedroom.
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True