I have always loved reading. When I was little my mom would tell me to go outside and play, so I would take my book outside. I brought books to restaurants and grocery stores and doctor appointments, and definitely on trips. I loved Ramona, Meg and Charles Wallace from A WRINKLE IN TIME, and Anne with an “e” of the Green Gables fame. Encyclopedia Brown and Henry Reed and Fudge were all friends of mine.
All that reading, but I never thought about being a writer. Not until after I had graduated from college, and was working at a job that involved lots and lots of numbers, did I realize how much I was longing to work with words. I got a different job at an independent children’s bookstore called Toad Hall. I brought home crates and crates of books, old ones and new ones, thin ones and fat ones, good ones and bad ones. I started the Austin Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I sat alongside the owner of Toad Hall as she talked to publishing salesmen, I learned about the industry, and I began to write.
I wrote and wrote and wrote, and learned and learned and learned with each new version, but that’s not all I did. I got married and had three children, stayed home to raise them, and I kept writing. We took the kids out of school one year and traveled around the world, and I kept writing. I went back to school, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and became a better writer as I earned my Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. I got an agent, and she encouraged me to keep writing. So did other writers, and friends, and family. And so I did.
You can read about some of my most recent work on the projects page of this website and find even more stories on my blog. What do I write about? The poet Mary Oliver says “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” And so I do.