I spent much of my childhood exploring the woods--those that surround the working-class neighborhoods of central New York and those that make up the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park, where the Miller clan would camp for several weeks each summer.
While my brothers and I hiked, biked, and sled through the woods, my mind swirled with stories of adventure: a family lost in a raging blizzard, soldiers infiltrating enemy territory, explorers battling dragons and orcs. When I wasn't outside, I dove into books featuring similar tales of heroics and eventually filled sketchbooks with my own illustrated stories.
My love of writing continued in high school and college. I wrote for the school newspaper, composed poems and song lyrics, and incorporated text into many of my illustrations.
After earning a BA degree in Fine Arts and English from SUNY Oswego, I worked with disadvantaged youth for a number of years. As a program coordinator, counselor, and teacher, I had the opportunity to grow close to many young people. Their stories of poverty, abuse, and hope in the face of hardship helped to deepen my sense of storytelling.
For my Masters' thesis at Binghamton University, I completed a novel about a teenager who must forge her own identity following the loss of her popular sister. Though I hadn’t yet heard the term ‘young adult literature,’ my path toward writing for young readers was set. Since then, I have taught college courses in literature, composition, and student success. Meanwhile, I have developed interests in photography, biking, and classical guitar.
I am the recipient of a first-place Florida SCBWI Rising Kite Award, a first-place prize in the Adirondack Center for Writing's annual awards, and a Pushcart Prize nomination. My work has appeared in literary journals such as Citron Review, Agave Magazine, Heater, Fiction Fix, r.kv.r.y Quarterly, and Red Earth Review. My picture book, Red's First Snow, and young-adult novel, Camper Girl, were published in 2020.
In addition to teaching, I volunteer as a youth mentor.
Since earning BA and MA degrees in English, I have furthered my education through UCLA Extension, Highlights, SCBWI, and Vermont College of Fine Arts.
MA: Binghamton University, English
BA: State University of New York at Oswego, Fine Arts and English
Certificate in Creative Writing: UCLA