While I primarily grew up alongside the Gulf of Mexico in the American South, I moved often as a child. I switched schools nine times before entering high school. Being the new girl in school meant long bouts of isolation. Solitude fostered my imagination. I savored escapism—reading voraciously, daydreaming recurring storylines in my head, writing poetry and full-length books and screenplays, and directing short films on the family camcorder. Bringing my imagination to life, through storytelling, impassioned me as a child and created a safe playground for an outsider.
I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University in Extension Studies (Concentration: Psychology; Minor Concentration: Creative Writing) and received a Dean’s Award of Achievement. During my undergraduate years, I studied as a Visiting Student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and spent two terms at Cambridge University (St. Catharine’s College), studying Shakespearean Theatre and Theatricality and English Literature.
I am in the final year of my studies towards the Master’s of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies (Concentration: Creative Writing and Literature) from Harvard University. I have a 4.0 GPA with only my thesis and a few courses remaining. My Master’s thesis is a novel that follows three characters in search of varying definitions of freedom during the Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow South. When all three narratives collide, so do issues of racism, sexism and white supremacy, creating violent upheaval in a small southern town.
I have had my writing published in the Harvard Summer Review and am currently co-editing an anthology on women’s resilience with Harvard instructor and published author Dr. Elisabeth McKetta.
As an adult, I am not only interested in telling my own stories but I am also interested in helping others champion the courage and skills needed to tell their stories, be it through fiction or nonfiction. While I may spend hours editing and working one-on-one with a writer to bring out a story that feels complete and truthful to them, the time I spend as an editor and consultant feels effortless. Working with both novice and experienced writers is an immensely fulfilling and purposeful role that I am humbled and honored to fill.
I currently spend my time between my home in New York City and my late grandmother’s cabins that I’m restoring in the Southern Appalachians of North Carolina. I have traveled to all seven continents, setting foot on my seventh continent, Antarctica, in 2016. Learning new languages, immersing myself in new cultures, and seeing all that our planet has to offer is an endeavor that will never grow old (that is, until I do).
My best friends are two rescue mutts, Louis Armstrong Garvin and Ella Fitzgerald Garvin (named after two of my favorite musicians, of course). When not writing or editing, I can be found walking my pups in parks during the day and taking in live music in the darkened old ballrooms of New York City at night.