I am a gray-eyed native Aerodorian currently living in Texas (don’t know what an Aero is yet? You might have some reading to do… ) I grew up in San Antonio, graduated from Castle Hills First Baptist School, and was so blessed to have many adults, teachers, and ministers pour their time, love, and wisdom into me. I went to college at Oklahoma Baptist University where I graduated as a Family Psychology major in 2002. WARNING: Studying the human psyche deeper will only leave you with more questions than when you began. I loved it. After college, I married my best friend, Sam Dallas, and we moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area where Sam has been a full-time Youth and Apologetics Pastor at Reece Prairie Baptist Church in Burleson. Let’s see, Sam has a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible from OBU, a Master of Divinity from SWBTS, a Master degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, and is working on his doctorate, which will then be followed by a Ph. D…. Yeah. He’s very knowledgable and kind of, like, my hero. We both share the same passion for God and for teenagers and learning!
We have two wicked Yorkies appropriately named Elphaba and Luna. Elphie is our stubborn, but pure-hearted firstborn (named after our favorite heroine in the Broadway show, Wicked). Luna is her quirky, odd little sister (named after Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series). They were our only babies for seven years until our first human baby, Jasper Ray Dallas was born in September 2014. He is a fun, smart little kiddo who loves books and music and playing with his puppy sisters! We call him Jaz or SuperJaz for short. Up to this point, he is my greatest accomplishment and my greatest challenge. I love being Jasper’s Mommi. (And we spell Mommi and Daddi with ‘i’s because I’ve preferred the ‘i’ to the ‘y’ since I changed the spelling of my name in middle school. I know. Jasper’s Kindergarten teacher will hate me.)
In my twenties, I discovered a love for teaching; I was the Advanced English/Language Arts teacher at Springtown Middle School for seven years. Now I am at U.M.E. Preparatory Academy in Dallas where I’m able to teach part-time and write books and tour the rest of the time. I get to lead these wonderfully smart and energetic seventh and eighth grade students on perilous and personally-challenging adventures through literature and grammar. I have co-sponsored our school’s Student Council and National Junior Honor Society in the past and continue to stay involved with as many school activities as possible! I am so proud of my students – past and present – they inspire me every day to keep challenging myself.
When away from school, I work alongside Sam at Fusion Student Ministries (www.fusionrpbc.org). I have a passion for (and much experience) working with teenagers – a life that I love. That includes listening to the drama, the laughter, the tears, and the fears of adolescents needing a responsible adult to point them in the right direction. (I am not afraid of practicing tough love… as long as “love” is the key word.) My FSM teens are like my family.
In my seemingly nonexistent spare time, I enjoy singing on my church worship team (www.rpbc.org), and discovering magical worlds through books and writing.
The Phantom Island series includes Windchaser, Windfall, Watercrossing, Watermark and FOUR more planned books that are underway–and no, I cannot tell you what element comes next. It’s a seeeecret. Stay tuned!