the short and sweet

I write YA novels about wildfire girls, Filipino legends, and family curses. My travels have taken me to over 30 countries, and I love soaking in new stories and wild spaces. 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 300,000 aspiring writers around the world. One of my manuscripts won for best YA manuscript at SCBWI’s LA Writer’s Day 2016 for my work-in-progress titled Blanca and the Ruins. In my professional life, I work with college kids every day, and they never let me forget the YA perspective. 

If you’re a fellow writer, feel free to reach out! I enjoy meeting book-lovers and honing my craft at writing retreats. Over the past few years, I’ve been accepted into the 2021 Tin House YA Fiction Workshop, the 2013 A Room of Her Own Writing Retreat at Ghost Ranch, the 2018 Madcap Writing Cross-Culturally Workshop in Nashville, among others. I actively attend conferences hosted by YALLWEST and SCBWI, and I’ve been a mentor for Author Mentor Match (an awesome program if you’re looking for a middle grade or YA mentor). Amidst my travels, 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! When I’m not adventuring in real life, you’ll find me diving into a good story: