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Maura Jortner

The Backstory

I was born in New Hampshire, and I loved it there. I still miss living in New England. But I moved to Ohio to go to college and after that, I lived in Cincinnati for a few years. I worked as a stage manager and a puppeteer. I think I would have continued on as a puppeteer forever--the job was great and the puppets were amazing--but I couldn't pay back my student loans, so I returned to school. I earned my MA in literature at Xavier University, and through that experience, I remembered how much I loved school! I wanted to keep learning. I applied to lots of PhD programs and chose the University of Pittsburgh. In 1999, off I went! I studied theater history, focusing on American drama in the 19th century. In 2008, after getting that diploma, Baylor University hired me to teach in the English department, and I moved to Texas. Now, I nerd out with students about American literature, British literature, and creative writing. It's a great job. In my spare time, I write novels.

I spent ten years writing and trying to get a book published. I believe in persistence and following your dreams. I hope you do too!

Notebook and Pen

My favorite pet

I've taught my cat, Shiloh, some tricks. (He's smart and food-motivated.) He can do "dance," "high five," "kiss," "shake," and "up," which means he jumps onto my shoulders.

me and Shiloh.jpg

It all began a long time ago...

When my oldest daughter was four, she asked me to tell her a story. She didn't want me to read her a story; she wanted me to tell her one. Okay, I did. But it got long and I couldn't remember all the details, so I started writing it down. That became my first novel. It was terrible, truth be told, but my daughter loved it, and it started me on my journey to publication.

Since then, I've written thirteen books. One of them finally made it.


My favorite place in the world

Can you guess where I am?

Me and the Haunted Mansion_edited.jpg

Read about my favorite books that I read this year

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