I’m a storyteller.  Or rather, I really enjoy making up my own stories.  I’ve done it for years (and years and years).  It started before the internet and the term “fan-fiction” was coined.  I used to take the characters from my favorite television shows and create unique stories with added characters.  I wrote in script and short story formats.

Fast forward a couple years before I got any type of “formal” training.  There was a series of workshops that my school offered afterschool for playwriting.  The hope was students who participated in the workshop would submit a completed play for a competition.  My friend and I worked on a script that first year.  After over two years, I finished and submitted it.  There were a few “best parts” of the experience – writing it, seeing what I saw in my head on the page and getting feedback.  I didn’t place, but I was the only one from my school who submitted a finished script in the three years I was at my junior high.  Yes, junior high, that’s how early I was bitten by the writing bug.

Of course life and other priorities came up.  I was also interested in computers and science.  So, during high school, that’s where my focus laid – at least to the outside world.  No one knew I wrote.  I wrote for myself.  Just for myself.  Most of my stories still revolved around existing characters in script format.  I always thought when I “became a writer” it would be scriptwriter.  Television, most likely.  That’s where my writing fanned from, that what I saw myself doing.

Life is funny.  It’s cyclical.  It morphs yet remains the same.  I’ve done the science and engineering route.  I’ve worked as a software engineer.  All the while, I volunteered with the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.  I enjoyed working and mentoring students.  I was in the Fair as a kid and have never left.  A couple years after I became the Director of the GSDSEF (still a volunteer position), I decided to switch from engineering to teaching.  I wanted to work with high school students full time.  I say life is cyclical because my first three science fair projects dealt with learning and here I was switching to a career that focused on that.

So, I’ve returned to high school.  Every day is different.  My students make me laugh, break my heart, make me proud and enrich my life.  Okay, I’ll admit that’s the rose colored glasses view – with the exception of the break my heart part.  But it is nothing like working in an office.  I really do enjoy the interaction with teenagers.  When asked what I teach and I respond “high school” – people think I’m a saint.  Teenagers are viewed as troublemakers or something negative.  I think it’s the best age.  I can have conversations with them.  They can understand reason.  They have distinct personalities, hopes, dreams, and problems (some big, some small).  They are people.

In some ways, I don’t think I ever grew up.  That’s why returning to high school, ironically my alma mater, works for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have tons of responsibilities and take life very seriously.  But I can relate to them and they to me.  That’s what makes the young adult fiction genre a natural fit for me.

I’ve had an idea for a long time.  It’s bubbled in my brain.  A scene replayed and replayed in my head, but with no names to the characters.  Aside from that specific scene, I didn’t know what happened before or after it – specifically at least.  After years of nagging (lovingly, of course) by my husband to actually write out the scripts for the stories in my head, he said, “Why don’t you write a book?”  It made sense.  While part of my brain had always ‘thought’ in script format, one of the things holding me back from doing it was the other half didn’t.  A book was the perfect vehicle for me to tell me stories.

Now, unlike some authors, I’m not a big reader.  I used to be when I was a kid, until around ninth grade or so.  That’s when schoolwork didn’t allow me the time to read as much or at least didn’t seem quite as much fun.  There were books I had to read for school and not necessarily for fun.  I had exhausted all the series that I liked.  Heck, that’s why I was making up my own stories.  My own imagination took over – big time – and even if I found a book and time to read, I was much more interested in writing my own stories (in my head, on scratch paper, etc.).  Ironically, this is still true today.

So, finally, after years of creating characters, stories, and scripts in my head (and random notebooks and notepads), I sat down and started writing my first book based on that one scene that’s been with me for years.  That one scene has unfolded a new world to me that I easily can see into several (if not many) books.

I’m enjoying the ride.  I hope you do too.

23 Responses to About

  1. Mackenzie Davis says:

    I have to say, I’m really glad you started writing. I was a big reader until, like you, I got to the ninth grade and didn’t really have the time. (I’m in tenth now) but just the other day I downloaded some app that had a list of free books on amazon an that’s how I found your book “Falling” so I figured I’d try it out. That was just two days ago, and haven’t been able to put it down since! I really love the story and it is so easy for me to connect to Liz. I feel like I’m a part of the crew when I’m reading it! I also really like your style of writing. You’re so real with your words, and the language is believable for highschool students. you’ve become my favorite author! I just finished “Falling” and I’m about to start “Winter Solstice”. Can’t wait for the next book to come out!
    A huge fan(:

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      Thank you so much! Your message means a lot to me. I enjoy writing and finding out what happens to Liz, Patrick and the crew. I’m thrilled that you feel like a part of the crew and can connect with Liz – she needs all the friends she can get! I hope you enjoy Winter Solstice. Join theBits and Pieces (The Series) Facebook page to know when Wintering (Book 3 of the series) is released!

      Thanks for reading!

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      Hi! I wanted to make sure that you “liked” the correct Facebook page. The link that I provided you before was the old one — the correct one is in the top right corner of the website (https://www.facebook.com/BitsAndPiecesTheSeries). The old page will be deleted soon and I wanted to be sure that you connected with the right one so you’d know when Book 3 was released – and other news. Sorry about the mistake!

  2. Lorelei says:

    I’m a bookworm. And I’m so glad I found “falling” as a free download! Right after I finished it, I purchased “Winter Solstice” –money well spent! I could totally relate to the relationship between Liz and her mom, the divide, the disconnect, the awkwardness of longing to be close to your parents but hating the endless critiques. It was a great insight into the teenage world of relationships and bullying and the whole 9. While I can go on and on about how much I enjoyed reading your books, I have to ask the one question that has been on my mind since I’ve finished “Winter Solstice”: when is “Wintering” coming out?

    -an excited fan

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      I’m glad you found “Falling” an “Winter Solstice” too! Thanks so much for your comments about how relatable Liz is to you. That means a lot to me!

      “Wintering” is planned to be released in July. I’m working on the cover art and final edits. I’m also working on writing Book #4!

      Tell your friends!

  3. govanna cissna says:

    I purchased Falling from Amazon as well, as a free kindle download. I immediately purchased “Winter Solstice” after finishing “Falling”. Loved them both and have grown attached to the characters..will there be a book following “Winter Solstice”? I cannot wait to keep up with what is going on. Thanks so much- a new big fan!!

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      Yes! There will be a book following “Winter Solstice”! Its called “Wintering”. It should be out sometime in July. I’m currently writing Book #4.

      I’m glad you love the books and care about the characters! Like the series’ Facebook page (see the right side for the link) to keep updated on the latest news. And tell your friends!


  4. Patricia Dorwin says:

    I left a note on the Facebook site and I have just one more comment. Hurry! Please! One cannot help but think that if every teenager had a “crew” life would be so much simpler for all concerned. It is very hard to wait for the next installment. I am a grandmother raising a granddaughter who is now 13. Many of the situations in the books are very familiar. We have friends who have moved here from the Phillippines but, they are the direct opposite of Liz’s parents. They are encouraging, supportive and generally all-around good people. They have two boys in college and a daughter, with a great talent for singing, dancing, and acting, still in high school. Much more like Patrick’s family. All this being said, keep up the good work. Lots of us are anxiously awaiting “Wintering”.

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      Thanks so much! I’m working hard to get WINTERING out to everyone. I’m thrilled that you want to find out more about Liz, Patrick and the rest of the crew. They’re adventures do continue – I’m currently writing Book #4.

  5. aileen salomon says:

    I came across your book on amazon when it was offered for free. I didn’t think to much about your book, but from the moment I read it I couldn’t put it down. Your character’s and your writing is memorable. It was a book that I couldn’t book, and immediately bought the second book. I was sad that it ended and and cannot wait for the third and final installment of the series. Thank you for these books.

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      I’m glad that my book was a pleasant surprise for you! Thanks for reading! Keep an eye out for the third book in the series!

  6. Lisa Adams says:

    I love reading books it helps me to relax. When I started reading Falling I couldn’t put it down after reading the first book I had to get the second book which was great too I had trouble putting that book down too when the ending came I didn’t want it to end I was ready to read more. I can’t wait for the third book to come out from this series. I look forward to reading whats next to come. I was able to follow the stories and couldn’t wait for the next page to see what would happen to Liz, Patrick, and the crew. I could understand where Liz was coming from and how she felt. You are a great writer and your books are great it was like I could see and hear the words off the pages I do look forward to reading more of your stories can’t wait for the next book to come out.

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      Thanks so much! It means a lot to hear that you enjoy the series. I’m working hard on getting the third one finalized and the fourth one written.

  7. Rochelle Albanez says:

    Hi! I just started reading Falling after getting it for free on Amazon. I totally am in love with the book and I must say I could relate with Liz. I have a question though, what is Liz’s ethnicity? I’ve been guessing she’s Filipino but I’m not entirely sure. I just have to know because it’s bugging me. Anyway, I love your book and I already can’t wait to start reading the rest of the series! Keep them coming! Thank you!

    Your new fan!
    Rochelle 🙂

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      I’m happy that you are enjoying Falling. To answer your question, your guess is correct. It is stated in book 2 – Winter Solstice – what her specific ethnicity is. Thanks for reading!

  8. Hi, I’m a fan and a librarian at Goodreads.com. I would like to use your bio from Amazon, or one you send me to post on your author page there. It has no information right now. I’d also like to add a cover to Winter Solstice becasue on Goodreads they have no cover art for that. We are not allowed to use images caputred from Amazon though. If you could email me one or show me where I could legally download one for that purpose I would be glad to add it.

    I’d suggest you might want to claim your page there too and interact with people. There is a vibrant and growing Young Adult base of fans there. Sarah Dessen, Srarah Ockler, and many others are actie on there and I think they find it a profitable use of time.

    If you like you can just email me things and I’ll post them for you, or however I can help. Loved your books and cannot wait for the third one. thank you.

  9. Amy Littlejohn says:

    Just finished reading Falling, and I immediately purchased Winter Solstice on Amazon. I can’t hardly wait to be fully engrossed in another one of your books. I am 22 years old, and at that point in life where I wish I was back in high school with not a care in the world. Your book has made me reconnect with my high school life and actually with the characters in your book as well! You did an AMAZING job and I will be looking forward to reading many, many more of your pieces of art! I feel like I know each and every one of the crew members and can’t wait to see where they will take me next!!

  10. Erin Ferguson says:

    I hope you publish your books on Barnes & Noble. I’m currently reading Falling and am loving it. I teach middle school and can relate a lot to Liz, both as a person and as a teacher. I have a NOOK, though, so reading the others on Epub format would be great! Please consider self-publishing on B&N. I would buy the other books in a heartbeat… I know other teens and adults would love to read about Liz’s troubles and triumphs…

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      I just recently got Falling published on Barnes and Noble and other e-formats. I plan to get Winter Solstice up in the next couple weeks. Wintering and Springing will be available in the coming months!

      Thanks for reading and being a teacher!

  11. Cordelia says:

    I just got into your books and I was sooo enthralled I bought all of them last week!
    This series definitely has me hooked! I can’t wait to read the fifth book. Please tell me it’s coming out really soon!

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      Thanks so much, Cordielia! I’m thrilled that you are enjoying them. I’m still working hard writing the fifth book. I’d appreciate if you post a review for each of the others on Amazon. They give me encouragement! =)

  12. megan says:

    Hey, I love your series and I was wondering if you have a set release time for summering yet……. I’m addicted to checking like every day :O thanks

    • Shirley Miranda says:

      Thanks, Megan! There’s not a set release date for Summering yet. I’m working hard on it. Please post a review on Amazon for each of the books – they remind me how much people love the series and are waiting for the next one. =) Like the Series’ Facebook page. I’ll posted updates on this website as well as on Facebook with news and little behind the scenes stories. =)

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