I draw my inspiration from children's inquisitiveness, wonder, and imagination, and find my motivation in their joy in discovering the power of a good book. My audience keeps me writing, and my daughter is an unlimited source of story ideas.
Do you work on more than one book at a time?
I am always working on new books. When an idea comes to me, I immediately start working on the project. At any time, I have two to three books in progress.
Have any of your books earned special recognition?
Yes, my book COO COO DUCKLING was named a 2007 KIND Children’s Honor Book by the youth division of the Humane Society of the United States. Whenever I create a book, I hope to entertain and enlighten young readers. It is an honor when a work is recognized and reaches my audience as intended.
What gave you the idea for COO COO DUCKLING?
Since childhood, I have loved children's stories about ducks. One afternoon, I watched my daughter's encounter with a duckling during her playtime at a park. This moment inspired me to create a story about a little girl who helps a lost duckling find his family.
What did you most like to do when you were a child?
I created stories. When most of my friends were playing, I was scribbling and writing in my notebooks. I spent a lot of time imagining adventures and then wrote them down. When I learned about authors, I knew I wanted to be one.
What books influenced you most when you were growing up?
As a child, I was always reading, and had many favorite books. These are just a few that introduced me to the joys of reading and began my love of literature. WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein; HORTON HEARS A WHO! by Dr. Suess; BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson; THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE by C. S. Lewis
Do you write every day and do you have set hours that you work?
I write every day with a few set hours every morning. However, ideas for my work can come at any time. I carry a notebook with me wherever I go. When I get an idea, I jot down some notes and sometimes even beginning lines for the story. Then, at my writing time, I use the notes to get me started.
What do you most want the students to get out of your school visits?During school visits, I enjoy having the opportunity to meet students. I hope to educate them about my work as an author, and in turn, inspire them to create their own stories. I want to deliver the message that we are all storytellers, and we all have an important story to tell.