My favorite part about being a young adult author, besides the writing itself, is going into schools to talk to kids. I hope I can inspire them to write or follow whatever dreams they have, and most of all, to believe in themselves.
For my two novels, I've done over fifty school visits around the US and Canada to all populations of students, and I also have over twenty years of teaching experience, first teaching English as a Second Language and after that, creative writing, to a range of ages. I believe in teaching in a multi-sensory, interactive, student-led, trauma-informed way. I was the first Curriculum Director of the famous nonprofit, WriteGirl, in Los Angeles. I also teach regular fiction classes online to kids and adults. You can look here for my teaching reviews.
I love connecting with students and seeing them laugh and get fired up about writing. At my in-person school visits, I do presentations or writing workshops. The talks center on writing, following your dreams, human trafficking, and mental health. The generative writing workshops always involve multi-sensory writing experiments with props, visuals and smells. On TikTok and YouTube, I post videos you can use for your students.
Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to talk to your students.
Discussion Guide for THIS IS NOT A LOVE LETTER
- What are the primary themes for this novel?
- Why do you think the teens all have different theories about what happened to Chris?
- Discuss the white bias portrayed in this novel.
- What did you think about the portrayal of the police in this novel?
Discussion Guide for TRAFFICKED
- What is Hannah’s life like in Moldova? Why does she want to leave Moldova?
- What are some of the cultural differences Hannah experiences when she comes to Los Angeles?
- What red flags do you think Hannah missed when the good agent first contacts her in the market?What does Hannah experience in her journey from Chisinau to Los Angeles? What do you think she could have done differently when things go wrong?
- How does Lillian threaten Hannah? What does she say? Why do her words have such an impact on Hannah? How does Lillian punish Hannah?
- Describe Hannah’s relationship with Sergey. How does she use his attraction to her to get what she needs?
- Early in the book, Hannah starts watching Colin, the boy next door. How is his life different from hers? How is it the same?
- Why do you think Lillian and Sergey took Hannah? Do you feel any sympathy for either of these characters? Which character did you find yourself disliking the most in the novel? Why?
- When the story ends, do you think Hannah and Colin will continue their relationship? Will they be friends or more?
- How do you think modern-day slavery can be stopped? What can we do to prevent it? How can we help the victims? Did you feel motivated to act in some way? If so, what would you like to do?