Let’s rewind my life back six years ago. I had a two-year-old daughter with sensory issues whom I didn’t feel was adjusting to daycare. I LOVED teaching high school and my journalism students, but I had to make the difficult choice to leave my life as a teacher behind and put family first. Not to mention, I was always sick and tired and waking up every day to go to work was becoming more of a chore (a few years later I’d be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease).
Shortly after I quit teaching, most of my time was dedicated to my child, and, of course, my obsession with photography. While I was actively involved with my local romance writers’ group, I met two really nice owners of a new publishing house. I showed them my photography and PhotoShop designs (mostly of my little girl) and began working for them as a cover artist. That was almost six years ago. Since then, I feel I’ve grown as an artist and as a writer.
I also initially published my Whispers series with this publisher. We parted ways when they closed down their YA line, but thanks to the self-publishing boom, I was able to put my books back on the market. Thanks to the self-publishing, I’ve also developed a prolific freelance artist business. It’s the best of both worlds. I get to spend my days writing and designing artwork. And even though I’ve often thought about going back to teaching, my focus now has to be my family, my health and my writing/design career. I don’t know if I will be able to fit a full-time teaching career into the equation, not especially since I’ve made so many strides toward better health.
I’m busy working on book four with my new writing partner. Details coming soon, I promise. Let me just say that she’s a formatting genius, a very creative paranormal author, a practicing witch and a TOTALLY cool person.
In the meantime, I’d love to share some of my artwork with you. I’ve got many more covers on my site: http://www.tarawest.com but here’s a few I’ve designed for Indie authors. And believe me, I don’t want to slight any authors. Picking favorites was hard, so I’ve limited today’s covers to just those authors who write YA. After all, we YA writers gotta stick together.