Previously in the life of Iva-Marie Palmer…
1977: Born June 21 in Evergreen Park, Illinois and weighs only 4 lbs, 8 oz. Her small newborn stature prompts Iva’s dad to, each year, hold his hands very close together and say, “I remember when you were this big.” Sometimes, he adds how close in size she was to a smallish burrito.
1980: Rebels in preschool by refusing to color because her margarine tub of crayons features a pickle scratch-n-sniff sticker, while all other children’s feature an ice-cream scented one. Teacher does not remedy this injustice with the gravity Iva feels it deserves.
1986: Iva writes and edits newspapers containing fake tidbits about imaginary people. She sells these to her parents for $1 each. Though she will go on to become a real reporter, those dollars mark her most financial success as a journalist.
1989: Starts Junior High. Founds and edits school paper, but realizes she should have worked the yearbook when her 8th grade photo — the focal point of which are her very silver, vintage (read: extra-large) braces — is captioned Ivan Palmer. (Fate as a young adult author is sealed.)
1993-1995: Gets first summer job as a swim teacher the summer of her sophomore year. Adds caddying and a job at the mall after that. Tells self she is gaining life experience for future writing, but is most proud of having keys to the mall.
1997: Makes her first indelible mark on the Internet when she writes in to a grammar website with improved examples of parallelism. Total nerd status cemented.
1999: Graduates from Northern Illinois University and three months later begins work at The Reporter, a community newspaper that covers her hometown (and surrounding environs.) First week on the job leads her to interviewing the school board president, who wears his very velour, very short bathrobe for the occasion.
2000: Wins 5 Illinois Press Association awards, including a first-place prize for community service journalism. Celebrates by jumping on the bed of her Springfield hotel room, just like Abraham Lincoln did after winning the presidential nomination.
2001: Begins work at The Star Newspaper as an associate editor. Meets Steve Stanis on the first day. He thinks she is probably a snob. She thinks he is a sarcastic smart ass (in other words, her type.)
2001 (later): At company outing (read: at a bar near closing time), Iva shows off by tossing around a bocce ball. Hits self in head. She and Steve begin dating. The two incidents are not related.
2004: Second indelible mark on the Internet is made when Iva is interviewed by Black Table and admits to drinking her first Diet Coke of the day while in the shower — references to Diet Coke dominate when you search for Iva-Marie Palmer. Coca-Cola Company never thanks her for bringing more awareness to its products.
2004: Marries Steve Stanis and the couple marks the occasion with awesome dance moves and no head injuries. Wedding day spray tan also marks a pigment high point as her normal coloring is that of a particularly reclusive ghost.
2005: Moves to Los Angeles, California. Glamorous life off to auspicious start at a temporary-stay apartment where “that weird red-haired kid with the face from that one show, you know, with the parents” once lived.
2008: Ghostwrites the first of three young adult novels about really rich, fabulous Los Angeles teens while living in a half-bedroom guesthouse behind her parents’ garage.
2010: While pregnant with her first son, works on THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. Also rewatches her favorite TV series, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, in its entirety. This perhaps explains why son Clark now smiles at blondes, picture books featuring monsters, and quippy dialogue.
2012: Completes THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.