photo of author E.A. WestReading has always been a staple activity in my life. My mother instilled a love of books in me when I was very young, and I learned to read when I was three. The first book I ever read was Miss Polly’s Animal School. It will always hold a special place in my heart thanks to the cherished memory of sitting on my mom’s lap in her rocking chair while I read it to her.

Since my preschool days, I’ve never been far from a book. My family took weekly trips to the local library, sometimes more often, where we all loaded up on plenty of reading material. When I was old enough to walk to the library on my own, I visited more often. Daily trips in the summer were a common occurrence. I like to joke that I read my local library for my high school education, but there’s a surprising amount of truth to it.

Despite my love of reading, I didn’t discover a love of writing until my freshman year of high school. Until that point, I had done my best to avoid writing. Between dyslexia and other learning disabilities, writing was difficult at best. Then I took a creative writing class for English credit and fell in love with creating characters and telling their stories. I haven’t stopped writing since.

In 2004, I joined an online writers’ group. That was my first contact with others writing with the goal of publication, and through their critiques, I quickly found out how much I had to learn. With their guidance and encouragement, I learned the craft of writing and editing. In 2008, I became an editor for a small publisher and received my first contract for a short story. Much of the credit for both of those accomplishments goes to the online writers’ group that taught me so much.

In addition to writing and reading, I’m addicted to yarn crafts, knitting and crocheting in particular. I love to be outdoors when the weather allows, and you can usually find me sitting on my porch with a book or notebook in hand during warm weather. When I’m not writing or reading, I enjoy brushing up on my dog training skills with my canine family members.

I currently live in Indiana with my family and a small zoo of pets: three dogs, a cat, a ribbon snake, and three African water frogs.

Did you know?

When I was in my late twenties, I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It explained so much of my life and confirmed what I had suspected since the high school speech class where I first learned about autism.