© Sarah Bohne

As a freshman at the University of Colorado, Natalie Mae decided to pursue Information Technology because classmates said “no one could make a living” with an English degree. It wasn’t too many years later she realized it didn’t matter what the job paid—nothing would ever be as fulfilling as writing. Programmer by day, writer by night, it was only a matter of time before the two overlapped. Her debut, a cyberthriller about a teenage hacker, released in 2015.

She now writes in her home office with a bag of dark chocolates in one hand and a leopard cat on her lap. She is most definitely not checking Instagram right now.