LeslieCalderoniBioPicWho’s That Girl

I’ve loved reading and writing since I was a little girl. I spent hours writing stories and poems, and even scripts for plays my friends and I would “produce” in our neighborhood. I lived for creative writing assignments in junior high, and high school, and entered every writing contest I could find. As I got older, I wrote funny stories and essays that I would share with friends.

I was born in Silicon Valley, California. Like a lot of people here, I ended up with a career in high tech. I’ve worked for lots of different companies including Yahoo, Electronic Arts, and Google. I had a great time working for those companies, but I wasn’t doing much in the way of creative writing. In December of 2013, I decided it was time for me to write my first book, Charms. I finished the first chapter on Christmas Eve while housesitting for close friends. I’ll never forget sitting in their kitchen, staring at my laptop, and realizing I had eleven more chapters to write!

 

She Takes a Leap

It took me two years to write Charms. It’s very special to me because in addition to being my first book, it represents a scary, but important, choice for me: In 2015, I decided to leave behind what was comfortable and safe—a steady job and a regular paycheck—and devote all my time to writing. While it’s very challenging, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had and I love bringing my stories to life for other people to read and enjoy!

 

Dream Girls, Brave Girls

I had the idea for Charms in mind for about five years before I actually started to write it. I’d daydream about what my characters were like, where they lived, and what made their individual personalities unique. I’d get excited every time I thought of a new part of the plot.

I’m proud that my book has strong, smart, female characters who face life with humor and bravery. It’s not that my characters don’t get scared, they do, but they forge ahead! It’s how I feel we should all approach life; try new things and see where it takes us. You never know what can happen if you give your dreams and interests a chance. It’s the very best way to find out what you love to do.

 

The Theory of Awesomeness

Charms also incorporates my love of physics. It’s the real magic in our world—how matter and energy interact. We see it every day, in every way: the gravity of leaves falling to the ground, photons in the rays from the sun shining on us, air pressure when music reaches our ears! These are just a few examples of the awesome ways physics and science make our lives amazing. To learn more, you can check out the fascinating (I promise) physics pins on Pinterest and Derek Muller’s channel Veritasium on YouTube. I love that guy!

 

Puppy Love

In addition to writing, and physics, I love animals! I have three dogs that I rescued from animal shelters: Chili, Drama, and Cash. I also have a rescued cat named Pru, and a hamster named Jack White. I support animal rescue organizations like National Mill Dog Rescue, which helps save dogs from “puppy mills,” and Fences for Fido, which builds fences for dogs who’ve spent all their time chained up. It allows them to run and play freely in a safe, fenced yard. What’s better than that? Not much!

 

Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Kidney

In 2014, I was at work late one evening and I came across a story on Facebook about two high school kids near Atlanta, Georgia who were trying to find a kidney for their grandmother. She needed a transplant and none of their family or friends were a match, so they took to the internet for help. I decided to volunteer and, although I wasn’t a direct match, we entered the paired donation program and we swapped donated kidneys with another donor/recipient team. My left kidney was removed and flown to someone in New Jersey, and a healthy kidney for the grandmother was flown from New Jersey to Atlanta. We all had our surgeries on the same day, and while I don’t know who has my kidney now, I hope they are having a blast with it! I became good friends with the family I helped and the grandmother is happy and healthy today.

I am asked over and over why I would donate a kidney to someone I didn’t know. I decided to do it because I thought about how it might feel if I needed a transplant and none of my family or friends were a match; I would hope someone would volunteer to help me. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Because I’m a living kidney donor, I have a special place in my heart for organ donation. Taylor’s Gift raises awareness of the need for organ donation and encourages donation registration.

 

Music, Food, and Waves…Oh My

When I’m not writing, I love going to concerts to hear live music. I took each of my children to their first concert and I’m proud that I got to share their first experience with live music. Those memories are precious. Sharing a love of music and going to live shows is a wonderful way to bond with the people you love. You can also meet some amazing, weird, and wonderful new friends at shows, too. Much like language, music bonds us together as it weaves through our lives like a ribbon.

I also love cooking, having coffee with friends, and sneaking in a nap here and there. I really enjoy visiting the beach in Santa Cruz near my home. It’s a great place to play, think, create, and dream. Come visit us some time! We have a vibrant downtown, a wharf with great food where you can watch sea lions, sea otters, and, the surfers of course! And, we have the world famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with the Giant Dipper rollercoaster.

 

Let’s Hang Out

Thanks again for visiting my site. Be sure to visit me on Facebook, and come follow me on Instagram.

Life is good, physics is magic, and you are awesome!

LC