Exploring Diversity

I've never been a check-one-box kind of person.

Cynthia has lived all overI've lived in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. I went to journalism school in Kansas, law school in Michigan, and studied abroad in Paris. I'm trained in public relations, news/editorial, and law, but the primary focus of my work is writing fiction for young people. I'm also known on occasion to teach. My family is American Indian, Western European American, and on my husband's side, Asian American. I've lived with cats and dogs. In the suburbs, in small towns, in cities. Celebrated Christmas and thanked Mother Earth.

But probably the most obvious manifestation of my diverse background and interests may be found on the bookshelves of my home.

At the moment, my office houses books on palmistry, red wine, mammals, fairy tales, holidays, writing, and several copies of Dracula. The upstairs hallway bookshelf offers four stacks of more writing books. Children's and YA novels fill the shelves in the upstairs library and are stacked on its floor. My nightstand is piled with picture books. Hundreds more children's and teen titles are still in the attic, awaiting more shelves. The foyer downstairs holds historical non-fiction. The parlor offers biographies. And books by Texas authors are displayed in the sunroom.

This beloved (and always growing) collection includes fiction and non-fiction, the contemporary and historical, the realistic and fantasy. Picture, early chapter, middle grade, 'tweener, young adult, crossover, and adult books. I've been a graphic novel reader since they were just called "comic books."

But it's not about having the books. It's about reading them.

And once I've read a wonderful book, there's nothing I want to do more than talk about it. To spread the word so that other readers will find and enjoy it, too.

I'm betting that no matter what kinds of books you like, you'll find some suggestions on these pages that will wow you. Enjoy!