¶Welcome to my website! This site is focused on writing, which is my main paission. Some of my blog posts may also touch on other aspects of my life including my work in international development and my athletic interests (primarily pole dancing).
Growing up, I spent a large amount of my time devouring the books on my father's bookshelf, one by one. I procrastinated studying for my finals in high school with the characters created by Frederick Forsyth, John Grisham, and Michael Crichton. I didn't realize where that passion would lead me until much later.
I had a lot of different interests, so I chose to study in the M&T Program, an Engineering and Business program at the University of Pennsylvania, housed within the School of Engineering and The Wharton School. While I enjoyed the quantitative and analytical basis of the program and the work I did afterward, I always felt like something in my life was missing.
The idea for The Ahriman Legacy struck me when I was visiting my family in Kuwait. I was working and living in New York at the time and while I committed to eventually writing the book, it took some time before I sat down and finished my first draft. A friend of mine pointed me toward the National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and I committed to putting my thoughts on paper – 50,000 words in 30 days. At the time I was in graduate school in London and I wrote every moment that I could spare during that time. I was shuttling over to Paris on a regular basis because my husband (at that time, my boyfriend) was living there. I wrote on the train, in flight, on the metro, and sometimes even in class. When the thirty days had passed, I had written over 50,000 words, but only a little over half of my story. Over the next few months I finished it, finally completing my first draft during a month off of school that should have been devoted toward my masters' thesis.
In the process of writing that first draft, I discovered my calling and the mold that has now become the central part of my professional life. Writing is my center and while I do spend my time on projects outside of it, they are all structured around hollowing out space so that I have time for it. Sometimes when I tell people about writing, they ask me if this is a hobby or something more. Initially I used to call it "a little more than a hobby". That was true, but I no longer phrase it according to that reference. First and foremost, I am a writer, although I may do many other things outside of it to support myself and my family financially. Someday hopefully I can do this full time, but until then I am content with splitting my time while allowing writing to be at the center.
Outside of writing, I do financial consulting work, mainly in international development. My interest in international development and travel started at childhood. My parents have the travel bug and that's something they have definitely instilled in me. I grew up in Kuwait and Toronto, but have also lived in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, London, Paris, and now the Washington DC area. I work as a consultant with the World Bank and get to travel to lots of interesting places. These include Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Mozambique, South Africa, and Afghanistan. My travels also inform my writing, especially as I incorporate new experiences and places into my future projects. Since the idea for Ahriman: The Spirit of Destruciton first came to me in 2008, I've also started working on a number of other stories, including the sequel and a couple of standalone books. Many of these places have already and will appear in my work as I move forward with my writing.
My friends will tell you I've always been a bit of a fitness nut. I ran track and cross country growing up and was also a figure skater and long distance swimmer. I try to keep up with at least some of these when I can, but I tend to go in phases. My most recent athletic passion is pole dancing. I started pole a few years ago with Elainea Emmott in London. I thought I would just give it a try and ended up falling in love with it. Now I have my own pole at home and take classes at Pole Pressure in downtown DC whenever I can. My travel schedule makes things a bit erratic, but whenever I'm home, I spend a good amount of my time practicing - either at home or at their studio.
I've only recently started blogging, but am going to continue with it. I write a new post every Monday and will also be posting my reviews of different books that I am reading on this site. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. If you have thoughts or ideas for future posts, I would love to hear them, or even if you have suggestions for interesting reads. Historically, I haven't been great at being present on social media, but I'm working on it. I hope to connect with you soon!