COLETTE BALLARD grew up on a dairy farm in rural Kentucky. She survived the high school experience back in the day when Aqua Net was bought in bulk and mullets were cool. That’s also when she realized that her constant daydreaming wasn’t a curse, but a useful skill—one she used like a lethal weapon to combat her frustration in algebra class over the haunting question: What does the alphabet have to do with math anyway? Unfortunately, her ninja daydreaming skills only increased her desire to write—not her algebra grade.
After surviving the hairstyles and torturous math classes of her high school years, she wandered a bit—even moving to the farthest northwestern corner of the United States, then to the farthest southeastern corner. She finally settled in the one-red-light town she started in, where she continues to live today with her husband and three children.