My name comes from Guatemala and is pronounced ‘Shayla’. My mother served as a missionary down there and just loved the spelling ‘Xela’. While I love my name, and its origin, it does get a little repetitive having to explain it constantly, which is why I decided to go with a simple ‘X’ on my book’s cover.
I am a working mother of three, living in the Utah (USA). I have one girl (13) and two boys (5, 2). My daughter loves horseback riding and gymnastics, and my sons are very into science and roughhousing. My husband and I will be celebrating our ten year anniversary this fall, hopefully in Chicago at a Cubs game.
I am currently in my eighth year of teaching secondary education, a calling that I just love. After talking to students for years about following their dreams and doing whatever it takes to achieve them, I decided to take my own advice and complete my lifelong goal of writing a novel.
The idea of life on other planets has always fascinated me, and I wondered what they would think of us, which is what spawned the idea for the plot of “Understanding the Stars”. After working for over three years, I am proud to say it was published on the first of this year!
Publishing this book has been such an educational journey and it’s sparked such a passion in me, I now believe it’s something I will always be doing. You’ll probably find me squinting at my screen when I’m eighty, trying to write an epic finale for a ten-book series. I recently won an Honorable Mention for my writing in field of 136 authors, and was quite pleased to receive the recognition.
As a writer, it seems to follow quite naturally that I am a reader as well. My favorites are Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, and of course Harry Potter.
When I’m not playing Legos with my sons, or sorting through the endless laundry, you’ll find me watching The Walking Dead, horseback riding, or working on my next book.
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