I began writing at the age of 12 or 13, horribly angst-ridden poetry about pain and about my search for the different threads of my identity. I turned to punk rock at 15 and cut my hair into a mohawk to honour that part of me in the most physical and awkwardly teenage way I knew how. When I began writing my first fiction in my mid-20s, they were imagined stories from the real country and people who are a part of me, and that I remain a part of. When my first novel won the only Indigenous prize I’ve ever won, I split the winnings evenly with the other four shortlisted writers as a way to say thank you for including me in their community. All of these experiences, I realize, really are amazing gifts that I’ve been given.