OUR SECRET SELVES is the story of Via, a seventeen-year old girl whose struggle with trichotillomania, hair-pulling disorder, turns out to be the least confusing part of her life after the new girl in town makes her question not only her sexuality but also her sanity.
Eight years after witnessing her father’s death—the initial trigger for her trichotillomania—Via appears to be fully recovered. If she has bald spots, no one can see them. Whether she is still pulling or has just become better at covering it up is a secret only Via can tell, and she frequently has trouble telling the truth—even to herself.
When her boyfriend leaves for college, the sense of normal she’s carefully cultivated through lies and deceit comes crumbling down. Enter Ann, the captivating new girl in school. She sizzles and Via welcomes the heat. Their friendship ignites quickly, feeding Via’s need for emotional and physical intimacy. Yet Ann has her own secret self to hide. As Via’s relationship with Ann consumes her, Via starts to lose more than just her hair. Now she must shatter her ideas of what it means to be normal or risk losing her grip on reality for good.
OUR SECRET SELVES is a contemporary YA manuscript complete at 75,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Nina LaCour and Christa Desir.
Producing quality and diverse literature for young people is my passion. Based on a partial draft of OUR SECRET SELVES, I was awarded a fully funded, month-long writing residency at the Djerassi Artists Residency. I’ve been mentored by author Sarah Aronson, and have worked on portions and/or whole drafts of this novel with authors Nova Ren Suma and Nancy Werlin. I earned an M.A. in Teaching and Education from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from George Mason University. I am a former inner city high school and middle school teacher in Baltimore and Boston.
Thank you for your time and consideration.