About Your Instructor

Author Christina Hoag is a former journalist who has had her laptop searched by Colombian guerrillas, phone tapped in Venezuela, was suspected of drug trafficking in Guyana, hid under a car to evade Guatemalan soldiers, and posed as a nun to get inside a Caracas jail. She has interviewed gang members, bank robbers, thieves and thugs in prisons, shantytowns and slums, not to forget billionaires and presidents, some of whom fall into the previous categories. Now she writes about such characters in her fiction.

Christina’s noir crime novel Skin of Tattoos was a finalist for the 2017 Silver Falchion Award for suspense, while her YA novel Girl on the Brink was named one of Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2016 for young adults. She also co-authored the nonfiction book, Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence, which is used as a textbook at University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and other academic institutions.

She has had numerous short stories, creative nonfiction essays and poems published in literary journals including Shooter, Echo Press Literary Journal (UK), San Antonio Review, Santa Barbara Literary Journal and Lunch Ticket, and won Honorable Mentions for essay and short story in the International Human Rights Arts Festival’s Literary Justice 2020 contest and for essay and novel excerpt in the Soul-Making Keats Writing Competition 2020.

She’s a former staff writer for the Miami Herald and Associated Press and reported from 14 countries around Latin America for Time, Business Week, New York Times, Financial Times, Sunday Times of London, Houston Chronicle and other news outlets. A graduate cum laude of Boston University, she won two prizes from the New Jersey Press Association in her newspaper career.

Born in New Zealand, Christina grew up as an expat around the world. She now lives in California, where she has taught creative writing at a maximum-security prison and to at-risk teen girls. She is a regular speaker at women’s conferences, writing conferences and organizations, book clubs and stores, and libraries.