Hi, I’m Tori.
I write like a fisherman uses a net. I cast my net deep into the murky waters of the ocean and then pull it ashore to see what kind of treasures I’ve collected. Often there’s a lot of seaweed, broken shells, and trash, but hiding in the muck, there are always a few good sentences to keep. And then I start the process all over again.
This slow and steady approach is why it took me ten years of on-again, off-again writing to complete this book. Experts say when you set a goal, you should determine the “why” in order to keep you going through the hard times. I didn’t have an overly ambitious reason for writing a novel—I simply did it because it was my dream. As a kid, I always loved writing stories and I excelled in high school English classes. I graduated college with degree in journalism and although I wrote a novel in my early twenties, I chucked it years ago.
My dream continued to linger in the back of my mind through the ups and downs of life: marriage, babies, careers, and stay-at-home mom musings. Until finally, when my youngest son was a baby, I wrote the first draft of this novel during his naps. Once I completed it, however, he was diagnosed with apraxia of speech and multiple food allergies. Teaching him to speak and safely nourish his body became my top priority.
I put my book on hold and started a blog—Jake’s Journey with Apraxia—to document our journey and to connect with other moms. This was back in the days when blogs were fresh and new. I loved every minute of this experience—I formed close friendships with the ladies I met, and we worked together heart-to-heart to heal our kids. The blog ran from 2012 to 2016 with the help of contributing writers. During this time I also wrote articles for various special needs websites to raise awareness for apraxia.
Once my son’s health improved and he started school, I jumped all-in with my novel. I ended up completely redoing that first draft and began learning the craft of storytelling. I continued a little bit at a time until Crazy Free was finally complete.
Currently, I’m taking classes to become a holistic health care practitioner. In my spare time, I like to read, run, snuggle my sweet animals, chat with girlfriends, watch my boys play sports, and spend time outside with my husband.