I’ve loved the written word for as long as I can remember. I used to run my hands over my publisher grandfather’s walls of books, mooning over typefaces and plumbing his thesaurus for strange, exotic-sounding words. My first major works included two epic poems (one about my love for Batman, one about my fifth grade love triangle) and a picture book about a pink, foul-mouthed dragon. It wasn’t until college that I realized I didn’t just love the writing itself: I revel in the collaborative effort it takes to put together a piece of writing, the rounds of back-and-forth editing and the physical process of turning words into a book. I spent long days writing clandestine poetry and talking students down from the writing ledge in CNU's Writing Center, which taught me a lot about how to write. Then I went backpacking in Europe in search of trouble and good stories.
I traveled the world on the hunt for inspiration and found it everywhere. I discovered the joy of unearthing stories and uncovering the details that make a place special. My adventures led me to Australia, where I got a Masters in Journalism that allowed me to split my time between learning how to collect and express good stories without using one superfluous word. My degree gave me the time and the courage to start writing fiction in a more focused, serious way. My first stab at serious, start-to-finish novelling (2009) took me about a year, and my second (2010-2011) about as long as I learned to balance full-time work as an editor with my need to write, which was starting to border on pathological.
Now I split my time between teaching, writing, and working as an editor. Most of what I write is YA speculative fiction; I love writing "what if?" stories that explore truths by working through what could be. I'm passionate about reading and helping people become better writers in any way I can. I've got a professional website over at www.katejarmstrong.com where you can read more about my editorial work. I'm always on the hunt for book recommendations and am more than happy to read books for review!