One of my favorite letters I’ve collected is from my fifth grade teacher:
I was born and raised in Downers Grove, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. I grew up in a family surrounded by singers, dancers, writers and teachers. My first memories of writing are with my grandpa. I loved the visits when he’d take out the massive tablet of paper and tin cup full of pencils. I knew I was in for the adventure of my life.
For years I expressed my storytelling obsession through acting and writing screenplays. Then I was introduced to the wonderful world of children’s literature when working at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, California. I found my avenue.
I am a picture book and young adult book writer. My picture books, Grambo (2014) and Kiko the Hawaiian Wave (2016), were published by Be There Bedtime Stories.
I am a proud member of The New Hollywood, a women’s goal group that supports each other to achieve our personal and professional goals while giving back to the community.
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is a big part of my writer-ly life. I was the editor of Kite Tales, Southern California’s newsletter turned blog for four years.
I know I’m meant to write because if I don’t do it everyday I feel a compulsion to rip my eyebrows out. I need to read books like I need air. Music is my daily vitamin. List making is my obsession. I love seeing pictures of destroyed and abandoned things (there are stories inside them) and of things ordered neatly. I love maps. One of my dreams is to have a young adult novel published with a map inside it. I collect letters, ones I have received (my grandpa was a genius letter writer) and ones from strangers I find at flea markets. I love pie of all sorts and chocolate chip cookies (but only if they are fresh out of the oven). And I get endless inspiration from my daughters.
2016- SCBWI Work in Progress Award for Young Adult fiction for The Edge of the Miraculous
2015- The Edge of the Miraculous was named a stand out manuscript for the Sue Alexander grant
2013- Honorable mention for Abel for the Sue Alexandar grant
2012- First place Young adult fiction for Abel at SCBWI LA Writers Day
I was nominated in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 for a Los Angeles Business Journal Women Who Make a Difference award for my writing, specifically my parenting blog, Mother-naked.
What’s with the logo Beth?
It’s something my oldest daughter drew one day when she was three. It was a bad day for both of us or at least I thought it should have been for her. We got some bad news. But she, in her wonderful innocence, carried on without a care in the world and drew me that picture. She actually draws that face a lot (a little weird, but hey it’s my daughter). It’s a great reminder for me to let the creativity flow, open up to that childlike wonder and remember that no matter what’s going on that I always have an artistic outlet.
Photos by Ragan Wallake
Styled by Tara Aquilina