The Early Years

I learned to entertain myself early, being an only child in a family that moved a lot. I attended 6 schools in 8 years, spanning 3 states and 5 cities. And that doesn't even count the umpteen cities we lived in before I started school. I was shy and insecure, but I always managed to make a few friends along the way.

My pet bird, who I strategically named Bird

My froggie friend, who also happens to show up in several of my stories.

Okay, so I wasn't crazy about making friends with ponies.

The Reluctant Reader

Because my family was so mobile, I didn’t attend Kindergarten and since I had a late birthday, I started first grade at 5 years old. Right off the bat, I struggled with reading, writing and spelling. I continued to be a reluctant reader all the way through high school. As a young child, there was one thing I loved about books: the pictures. Picture books had a way of showing me the words that I couldn’t read.

My First Book!

When I was about eight years old, I wrote my first book. I found an old torn-up picture book with illustrations and no words. I wrote words at the bottom of every page and viola! My first published picture book. Of course, we don’t have to tell Mr. Mercer Mayer that I took his story, claiming it as my own. Let’s just keep that part to ourselves, shall we?


The important explanatory words…

Notice my natural knack for inner rhyme, right off the bat…

So that was the start of my writing passion. Soon, I found a true love for poetry. I wrote most of my poems in rhyme. Later, I realized there were boys in the world and I wrote a LOT of romantic poems. In fact, I once had a poem, Cries of my Heart, published in the school newsletter. “The cries of my heart call out to you… It speaks of the love that’s shared by us two…” Pretty profound, aye?
Writing for Children: The Inspiration

Reading for my own children was the seed that would soon grow into my love for writing for children. I started writing my stories down in 2008. My first few projects were chapter books and early readers. Then one day it happened. I wrote a picture book manuscript. Once I wrote it, I knew I was on to something.

The Path to Publication

I quickly started networking and meeting other writers. I joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I purchased my Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market by Alice Pope. I attended workshops and conferences. And best of all, I read, read, read every picture book I could get my hands on.

I recently decided to enter one of my stories into two contests and I ended up winning, two-for-two. I won my local SCBWI-LA Writer’s Day writing contest in the nonfiction category and also won the 2010 SCBWI Barbara Karlin Runner-Up Grant.

And so the journey continues. I keep writing. I keep studying. I keep submitting. I keep walking through open doors. And of course, I keep dreaming, hoping, and learning all along the way.