I am a Texan, born and raised, now living in Chicago with my spouse. Growing up in Texas, I lived mostly somewhere along I-35 from the border with Mexico to the border with Oklahoma, with some of my formative years in an East Texas community where his and her spittoons were not unheard of.
I was born a mestizo, a mixed child of Anglo and Mexican parents. Both my parents were fluent in Mexican Spanish and the community we lived in had no need for the English language, so I didn’t learn English for many years. When I did, the circumstances caused my native tongue to almost completely fade. I enjoy opportunities to improve my bilingual skills.
I’ve always had a passion for reading. Public libraries were my most often requested destination for an outing. As a pre-teen, I was so enamored with Piers Anthony's Xanth series that my librarian couldn't keep up with my reading pace and sought to interest me in other opportunities to share my enthusiasm for reading. So, I volunteered at my local public library as a reader during the summer. I read non-fiction, historical, sci-fi, and fantasy books to younger (and some older) library patrons and received a Certificate of Excellence for the number of hours I completed. This awakened my passion for narrating and I continued to volunteer with public libraries and other organizations.
My family shared their favorite authors with me as well. My mother introduced me to her favorites like Jean M. Auel, Sidney Sheldon, and Anne Rice. My uncle lent me his coveted tomes from Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, and Sir Terry Pratchett. I was always a fan of scary movies so when I was ready for something really scary, he brought me books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Clive Barker.
Flash forward and I have earned an undergraduate degree in Accounting and a graduate degree in Educating Adults. I have been a facilitator, instructional designer, and learning strategist at technology, pharmaceutical, and medical insurance companies. During my career, I recognized the importance of story in building relationships with people, ideas, and culture in an organization. I have been the voice of hundreds of elearning courses, explainer videos, facilitated sessions, moderated panels, and even a few phone trees.