How did I become a children’s author?

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The seed was planted even before I could write.  When I was very young, my grandpa used to help me “publish” books. We’d cut, fold, and staple sheets of paper.  Then I’d draw pictures and dictate words for my grandpa to record.  Later, I wrote my own words.  I usually didn’t plan the stories ahead of time.  I just kept writing and drawing until I ran out of pages. Sometimes I had to come up with some pretty quick endings!

While I enjoyed writing and reading all through grade school and high school, the idea that I might actually become a writer was snuggled deep in my mind until the end of college. In my final semester, I took a creative writing class for fun. During one critique session, a classmate pointed out that my main characters were always kids. When she asked, “Have you ever thought about writing children’s books?” the idea finally broke through and began to grow.

When my three children were young, I snatched an hour here and there during nap time to cultivate ideas for stories, poems, and magazine articles. I honed my craft by reading them mound of books.  I also gathered ideas on our many nature walks. I finally sold my first article, “Many Moons, Many Names” to Highlights Magazine in 2005.  What a thrill it was to see my ideas bloom on the page for others to enjoy.

Since then, I have published many magazine articles. My poems appear several anthologies, including in Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud and The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations.  In 2015, I received the email that all aspiring authors hope for:  Charlesbridge was interested in publishing my picture book poetry collection, Fresh-Picked Poetry:  A Day at the Farmers' Market.

Today,  I continue to hone my craft as a writer while also nurturing a love of reading and writing with my students as a language arts teacher and tutor. When I’m not teaching and writing, I love hiking, biking, and exploring local farmers markets with my husband and three kids from our home in Downers Grove, Illinois. Being outdoors is still where I cultivate my best ideas!

Learn more about me and my books from these online interviews: