the short and sweet

I write YA and kids books 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. Roman the Renegade, my middle grade graphic novel about street art, Filipino monsters and messy friendships is coming to life! Lee and Low Books has offered to publish my graphic novel and awarded me their New Visions Honor (forthcoming in 2023-2024)

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, SCBWI conferences, among others. 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: