the short and sweet

I write YA and graphic novels about wildfire girls, Filipino legends, family curses and graffiti magic. I’m rep’d by Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (EMLA), and I love being a part of the EMLA community of writers and illustrators. I’m a sucker for street art and hiking mountains. I’ve traveled to over 30 countries to learn more about people and places and all the things. And yet, my bucket list is endless. Let me tell you a secret: I wanted to grow up to be Indiana Jones, but now I want to write my own version.

Coming from a mixed Filipino-American family, I’m determined to bring more diverse voices into mainstream fiction. I’ve interned at NaNoWriMo where I wrote inspirational blog posts broadcasted to 400,000 aspiring writers around the world. Recently, I won for best YA manuscript at SCBWI’s LA Writer’s Day 2016 for my work-in-progress titled Blanca and the Ruins.

For my day job, I work with college kids, and they never let me forget the YA perspective.  I enjoy meeting fellow writers and honing my craft at writing retreats. I’ve attended the 2013 A Room of Her Own Writing Retreat at Ghost Ranch, the 2018 Madcap Writing Cross-Culturally Workshop in Nashville, YALLWEST, and various Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) workshops. I’ve been a mentor for Author Mentor Match (an awesome program if you’re looking for a middle grade or YA mentor). I’ve also taught English to eager students in a village in Thailand and in the breathtaking city of Prague. Read more about my writing and travel adventures!