|Photo by Erin Summerill|
Veeda Bybee is author of COURAGE ON ICE (Jake Maddox Series, Capstone), LILY AND THE GREAT QUAKE (Girls Survive series, Capstone winter 2020) and part of the RURAL VOICES YA anthology (Candlewick, fall 2020). She grew up collecting passport stamps and dreaming of castles in far off places. A former journalist, she has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family in the West where she reads, writes and bakes.
I started out as a reluctant reader.
Thanks to a library summer reading program, my mom and an older kid, this changed.
At the end of first grade, Mom signed me up for a library summer reading program and insisted I write a one page book report for every book I read. The librarians didn't want a book report -- but my mother did!
One summer day at the library, a second grader saw me holding a copy of Ramona Quimby Age 8. She said, "I love this book! You will, too!"
I was so surprised this cool, older girl was talking to me. I decided to give Ramona a try.
She was right. I loved Ramona Quimby.
I wanted her spunk (I was shy).
I wanted her haircut (still go back to bangs now and then).
I wanted be friends with all the kids on Klickitat Street (still do).
I read all of Beverly Clearly's books.
Discovered E.B. White's Charlotte's Web.
Got lost in Roald Dahl.
Then, any series I could get my hands on.
Sweet Valley Twins. Nancy Drew. The Saddle Back Club. Pen Pals.
The library became my happy place. It still is.
My heart is most at home when I'm surrounded by great literature. Some of my favorite books are Holes by Louis Sachar, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia and Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.
|The very first book I wrote and illustrated, Veeda, age 7.|
All this reading inspired me to write my own stories.
I wrote and illustrated The Little Girl and the Dragon, in third grade. It was my very first completed book. I was so proud and still have this book today.
My military family was living in West Germany at the time (when there was West Germany), and I was in country that had real castles. Stories of actual princes and princesses.
Fairy tales, fantasies and far off places still have a special place in my heart.
|Mom and me at the Great Wall of China.|
I've lived in many states in the U.S., but also Germany, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. I have a bad case of wanderlust almost always.
In college, I majored in print journalism. After I graduated, I interned for a lifestyle magazine in the Philippines where I got to interview chefs and artists. Write about people and their home and house decor.
While an intern in the Philippines, I also lived out my young adult dream of being in the pages of Seventeen magazine:
|I've been super into pies lately.|
I had some great internships perks! Since then, I've worked as a newspaper reporter, copy editor, freelance writer and magazine editor.
I also went on a cooking show with my family and made food from our Asian American heritage. Seeing myself on TV wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be! It was so fun to be on Dinner Takes All.
To watch, go here:
Dinner Takes All
If I'm not baking something for my family, I'm writing or reading. Or, eating something I just made while writing or reading.