About me

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When I was four years old, my family moved from Brooklyn, New York, where I was born, to Boston, Massachusetts, then across the bridge to Cambridge. After a few years, we moved to Concord, New Hampshire, then to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then back to Cambridge, where I finished high school. One of my strongest childhood memories is of lying on the backseat of our car, watching the pine trees along the highway whiz by as we chased the moon.

As a child, I loved arts and crafts. I drew, colored, and painted, made wire dolls for my dollhouse, and little outfits for my collection of trolls. I also liked to make up stories. Once I wrote and illustrated a newspaper with stories about animals that lived in the forest. When I graduated from sixth grade, the kindergarten class predicted that I would become a writer.

redshoesI was instantly hooked, in the eighth grade, when I substituted modern dance for gym class. (I hated gym. I was always the last kid chosen for any team.) I studied modern dance, ballet, and African dance throughout high school and majored in modern dance in college. After college, I moved back to New York to become a dancer but it was never meant to be.

I have a disease called Lupus. It made my joints swell and hurt so much that eventually, I had to quit dancing. The year after I stopped dancing was a very sad time for me. I loved to dance and didn’t think anything could take its place. Then one day I started to draw, and it became my new passion. I studied drawing and painting at the Art Students League of New York for four years, spent one summer at very cool place in Maine called the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, then went to graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art. After graduate school, I moved to Tampa, Florida, where I made art and taught sculpture at a university.mhmh

All the while, when I was dancing and making art, I kept a journal, wrote poetry and short stories. In 2007, I started writing novels. My love of the arts shows up in my stories, which tend to have characters who sing, dance, play music, and draw.

Yemi pro photoI share my home in Tampa with a tortoise cat named Brandie. When I’m not writing or making art, I like to walk in the woods and kayak through the woods on the Hillsborough river. And, of course, I’m an avid reader.

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