Jessica first discovered her love of writing when she tried to win a young author’s contest as a fourth grader (she didn’t win). In seventh grade, she became captivated with poetry, and by high school, when a clever teacher used picture books to model writing lessons, Jessica found her calling. And ignored it. She had other callings that excited her too, but on her 35th birthday, she decided to take her passion for writing children’s books seriously. At the time, she didn’t have room for another commitment in her life, so she experimented with finding nooks-and-crannies of space in her schedule to practice. All her first stories were written on her iPhone while nursing her baby in the rocking chair. After a lot of thumb-typing, she went from first draft to book deal with so much learning in-between. The baby outgrew nursing, learning never stopped, and she still likes to write in the rocking chair (mostly from a laptop now).
Today, Jessica balances full-time teaching with writing and homeschooling. Lots of people ask her how (hint: she has the support of family and friends and she wakes up really early!). Jessica has a M.A. in Teaching and loves to use picture books in as many lessons as possible, no matter the age of the student. Jessica’s nonfiction debut, Before We Stood Tall: From Small Seed to Mighty Tree, sprouts on bookshelves September 7, 2021 with Kids Can Press. Her fiction debut, First Notes of Spring, will publish with Bloomsbury in 2022, followed by Hiders Seekers, Finders Keepers with Kids Can Press in 2022. Jessica lives in Central California with her husband and three kids. When she’s not teaching or writing, she can be found wondering what’s next.
Jessica is represented for all literary projects by Tracy Marchini and James McGowan of Bookends Literary Agency.