Maria grew up in the small town of Wantage, New Jersey. In second grade, she wrote a report about what she wanted to be when she grew up — a veterinarian — but in subsequent years failed to keep any pets alive for a respectable amount of time, probably because she was too busy reading books. She decided instead to become a writer.
Since her auspicious beginnings, Maria's stories and essays have been published in international books and magazines. Tens of thousands of her notecard designs (paintings of books, of course) have been sold in Anthropologie stores and independent bookstores across the country. Her work has garnered mentions in The New York Times and Southern Living. Maria spent two years as a creative manager at the corporate HQ of a clothing company, has written for several national brands, and has taught as a faculty member on Semester at Sea while visiting Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
She has an undergraduate degree in English and psychology from Cornell University and a graduate degree in fiction writing from The University of Virginia, which boasts one of the top five MFA degree programs in the country. Some of Maria’s greatest talents include convincing her family to make music videos on holiday weekends, turning inside jokes into craft projects, and arguing on behalf of the oxford comma.