About Me

I’m a Third Culture Kid (TCK for short), which means I was born in the U.S. but spent a good part of my childhood living in a culture outside the U.S. I lived in Central and South America from ages 7 to 14, then back in the U.S. through the rest of middle school and high school. As an adult I have traveled and lived in Europe, Africa, and Asia. (I have yet to visit Antarctica or Australia. They’re on the list.)

I have loved writing since I can remember. I used to dream of becoming a published author like my gran, who was a prolific romance novelist. I also dreamed of changing the world (or at least one person’s life) for the better.

My love of writing and my desire to make a difference ultimately led me to pursue a law degree. I graduated from the University of Michigan, and after clerking for the Court of Appeals in Alaska, I worked as an appellate public defender for six years. Representing my clients in their felony appeals was rewarding, and it required a lot reading, research, and writing, which I loved; but I missed creative writing.

Then my family relocated to the beautiful western slope of Colorado, and I took the opportunity to work part time and focus more on my children and my own dreams. What I discovered in the process was a long-neglected love of children’s literature and creative writing – and a new way to make the world a better place … one story at a time.

I have since joined the SCBWI, two online critique groups, Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 picture book challenge, a local writer’s group … and Twitter (@rachel_funez). I’ve attended Big Sur in the Rockies, regional SCBWI conferences, and local presentations. Along the way I’ve met an amazing community of creative, supportive, and inspiring friends, learned a ton, and enjoyed every minute of the creative process!

Honors

I was selected as a runner-up for Denise Vega’s Believe Scholarship in 2018.

I was honored to be selected as a mentee by the amazing Anika Denise, as part of the 2019 inaugural 3-month #PBChat Mentorship.

Works in Progress

I have several completed picture books and I’m working on my first YA novel (a legal thriller of course!) I am actively seeking agent representation. Check out my works in progress page for a few of my picture book pitches.

Someday I hope to collaborate with my sister, Jen Callison, a talented artist and aspiring illustrator. Please check out Jen’s portfolio, too.

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