My name is Crystal Watanabe and I am a 37-year-old wife and mother to three living in Honolulu, Hawaii. I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii in a quiet little town called Hilo. My family was in the floral business, so I grew up on a chrysanthemum farm in an area called Mountain View. My summers and holiday breaks in high school were spent de-thorning roses and delivering flowers until dark. In 1997, I graduated high school and moved to the island of Oahu to attend college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where I eventually earned my Bachelor’s degree in English.
In April 2007, I began a blog documenting my lunches as I lost weight with Weight Watchers. After losing 22 pounds in 4 months, Adventures in Bentomaking became a regular thing for me and landed me a cookbook deal with Quirk Books in Philadelphia. In June 2010, Yum-Yum Bento Box was released and I officially became a published author. A former hardcore gamer, I am now a blogger, a freelance editor, and a podcast host.
In 2011, I joined the staff of Mockingjay.net, the oldest and largest fansite community for The Hunger Games. I became the Director of Content for the site in August 2012 until February 2014. I now own and operate Jabberjays.net, which is staffed by 19 Hunger Games superfans from around the world. In 2013, I got the amazing chance to attend the Ender’s Game premiere in Los Angeles. (pictured above)
In 2012, I did a beta reading for Hugh Howey, bestselling author of Wool, for Third Shift: Pact. He was so happy with my feedback, he offered to send referrals my way for editing if I wanted it. I was working in a career in administration at the time, so I wasn’t ready. A year later, I lost my content writing job in a devastating company layoff and the discovery that my little Third was on the way prompted me to finally take him up on the offer. I began editing full time in late summer 2014. I am a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), a founding member of the Association of Independent Publishing Professionals (AIPP), and I have been a supporting member of WorldCon since 2016.
The sequel to Yum-Yum Bento Box will be released in late 2016. I am also working on a parenting humor picture book called Revenge on My Kids.