Helen Landalf has always loved creating characters, both on the stage and on the page. In her college years, she attended the Professional Actor Training Program at S.U.N.Y. Purchase and dreamed of becoming a famous actress. But after realizing that she needed to set her sights on something a bit more practical, she moved to Seattle and earned her K-8 teaching certification from the University of Washington. She currently teaches Creative Dance to preschoolers and Pilates to adults. Although she had written for enjoyment since childhood, Helen didn't begin to pursue publication until she was in her 40s. Her debut Young Adult novel, FLYAWAY, appropriate for ages 14 and up, explores the impact of a parent's drug addiction on its teenaged protagonist. The novel released from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011 and was named a Top Teen Pick by Kirkus the week of its release. Thanks to her background in performing and her 25-plus years of teaching experience, Helen is comfortable presenting to groups of any size. Her signature school presentation, "Keeping it Real: Bringing Truth to Fiction" focuses on how fiction writers use research to make their stories seem authentic. "From Inspiration to Publication" follows the journey of a book from the first seed of inspiration to the finished product on bookstore shelves. The classroom writing workshop "Show, Don't Tell," gives students an opportunity to try their hands at crafting a short fictional scene. Helen's presentations are geared toward upper-middle-school and high school students.