About Me

I was born in Chicago and raised in St. Louis, MO. I’m the oldest of three girls. My dad was an accountant, and my mom was a housewife – though she later owned a dollhouse and miniature shop. I come from a family of readers, although my father did read much besides the daily newspaper until he got older – and loved nothing more coming home from the library with a whole stack of new books. When I wasn’t reading, I was riding. As in horses. My youngest sister and I rode and showed horses all over the Midwest, while our middle sister thought horses smelled, and promptly took up ice skating!

I’ve always loved to write, and actually still have many of the stories I wrote over the years, as far back as second grade. But I never thought about having a career in writing until third grade, when my teacher called all the other classes together to share a poem I’d written. The feeling that welled up inside of me as the teacher read my words – MY WORDS! – was the most marvelous mix of excited and proud, and I knew I wanted to have that feeling again and again. So I decided to become a writer.

In fifth grade, I won first place in a Thanksgiving poetry contest sponsored by a local radio station. The prize was a turkey – literally! – but it validated my third-grade experience. When I was seventeen, I had my first article published – in  Seventeen magazine – and got my first check. That’s when I learned that I could get paid for what I loved to do. Sure, I’d only earned fifty dollars for that article, but it was the first of many magazine stories to come.

Over the years, I’ve worn lots of different hats as a writer. I’ve written for national magazines and newspapers, worked worked as a radio station copywriter, a public relations writer, an editor and writer at a bed-and-breakfast travel magazine, and as a writer at several different advertising agencies. I’ve worn a few other hats, too – elementary school counselor, licensed professional counselor (LPC), even Starbucks barista. I acquired the hat I’m wearing now – that of a children’s author – when I started having children. Reading to my three boys got me thinking about writing for kids. So, I decided to try, “try” being the operative word here. That’s because picture books look deceptively easy to write — and amazingly hard to get published.

After almost ten years of collecting enough rejection letters to wallpaper all three of my kids’ rooms, I made up my mind to get serious about the whole business of selling a children’s book. I did what I tell anyone to do who wants to write for kids: I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), attended conferences, workshops, and critique groups, visited book stores to see the latest picture books, bought a copy of “Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market,” kept writing, and kept submitting.

It took about eighteen months to sell my first picture book. Surprisingly enough, I sold a second book within three months. Although the third book took a bit longer to find a “home,” I now have nine published picture books with four different publishers, with more in the works.

I still think of reading as my favorite pastime, and I’m happy to have raised three book-loving boys. But I also love spending time outdoors, bicycling, kayaking, rock hunting, geocaching, and walking my two dogs, Nemo and Sadie. I travel as often as I can between my home in St. Louis and my happy place in Upper Michigan, and always know where there’s a Starbucks.