How did I become a children’s author?

The seed was planted even before I could write.  When I was very young, my grandfather 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 grandfather to record.  Later, I wrote my own words.  I usually didn’t plan the stories ahead of time.  I just keep 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, Maci, Ethan, and Ben, 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 mountains 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 and poems.  I also nurture a love of reading and writing with my students as a middle school language arts teacher. When I’m not teaching and writing, I love hiking, biking, and exploring local farmers markets. Being outdoors is still where I cultivate my best ideas!