The Art of Being Ugly Series

Ugly, #1

released June 7, 2022

Ugly was an Honor book for the 2022 SCBWI Spark Award in the Older Readers category and  a semifinalist in the 2019 BookLife Prize Children's and Young Adult category.

Sophomore Nic Summers tries to ignore the taunts of “ugly lesbian.”

Because she’s not sure they’re entirely wrong. But she also has bigger concerns for now, including prepping for the school’s art contest. And while she isn't certain of her sexuality, she does know her life is on the verge of falling apart when her best and only friend, Sam, drops the bomb that her family’s moving to Scotland. Together, to soften the blow and distract themselves from the inevitable, they start Operation Social Interaction for Nic—or OSIN for short—to try to find her some new friends.

But it’s an uphill battle for the introverted teen artist.

As Sam’s last day nears, Nic's self-confidence wavers even more, and she starts questioning everything. If lesbian doesn’t feel quite right, maybe she’s transgender? It isn’t until she stumbles across the label “gender nonconforming” that things start to make a little more sense, and fall into place. But finding the right label doesn’t really tell her what to do next, and before she knows it, Sam is gone.

Mustering all her resources, Nic realizes she needs to find her own path and live her own truth.

This book was previously published on Kindle Vella as a serial, in fall 2021/winter 2022.

Uglier, #2

Uglier book cover

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released August 1, 2022


A new school. An opportunity to fuel her passion. A mean girl waiting in the wings to burn it all down.

Oklahoma City. Nic Summers is ready for a fresh start. Entering her first semester at a boarding school far from her narrow-minded hometown, the talented teen artist hopes to continue exploring her gender identity in a safer environment. And after meeting a boy she likes, connecting with another student, and discovering a supportive teacher, she’s relieved things are looking up… until once again she faces a cruel bully.

Trying to stay positive, the shy creative focuses on nurturing her fledgling friendships and honing her skills under the guidance of a kind mentor. But after Nic’s crush is vengefully outed as trans, she blurts out something awful and fears she’s ruined everything.

Can she mend shattered trusts and reclaim her authentic self?