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Hi! My name is Mara, and I’m eighteen-years-old. Allow me to tell you a little bit about myself.


I was born in Chicago, Illinois on a frigid January 14th, 1994. My parents had a difficult time having me, and my mom’s pregnancy was high risk. Luckily, though I was a month premature, I was healthy, if absolutely tiny (a fact that still remains true about my height). My mother almost died after I was delivered, but thanks to her wonderful doctors, she was fine in the end.


My parents discovered my creativity at a young age. As a toddler, I would push my toys into their hands and ask them to make up stories for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t always like what they came up with and didn’t hesitate to correct them. I quickly learned that I got far more satisfaction from making up my own stories. I made up stories with anything I could get my hands on, from the golf tees in my triangle pegboard game to the turkey salt and pepper shakers at one of my favorite restaurants.


My first stories were written in enormous handwriting on blank computer paper, complete with pictures that I drew myself. I soon graduated to the computer, where I taught myself to type and dreamed of writing my first novel. A typical day in elementary school would consist of me going to school, becoming inspired to write some story or another, and then rushing home and typing up the first three pages in size 18-font on our Mac computer. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the patience to stick with these stories past the initial pages, and every day, the cycle would repeat.


The summer I was eleven, I started working on the story that has brought you to this site. You can find the full story of my journey writing The If Duology on my Backstory page.


In 2006, we moved from the sand dunes of New Buffalo, Michigan to Tucson, Arizona for a new adventure. We are now surrounded by the saguaro cactuses of the Sonoran Desert. I’m currently finishing my senior year of high school at Laurel Springs Academy for the Gifted and Talented and will dedicate the rest of the year to finishing my books, before heading to college in the fall of ’13.


Besides writing and reading, I love to act and sing and have been performing since the age of eight. Some of my favorite roles include Wendy in Peter Pan, Rosie in The Wedding Singer, Snoopy in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and, most recently, the Wicked Witch of the West herself in The Wizard of Oz. I also love psychology and helping children and animals.


I’m not sure what life will bring me after college, but I know I want to spend my life writing, performing, and helping children learn and grow from the arts. What kind of writing is still up for grabs; I know I want to eventually publish an original novel, but perhaps I will also write a libretto for a musical or a screenplay for a television series. We’ll see what happens! If there’s anything I’ve learned in my short life, it’s that life is impossible to predict, and I’m excited to see where my life takes me next.