I grew up in Gary, Indiana with one sister and two brothers. I liked to ride my bike, and play games with my older brother and the other kids who lived on our street. I also liked going to the beach on Lake Michigan in the summer, and ice skating in the winter. I liked reading all year long.
After high school, I went to nursing school and became a registered nurse. My first nursing job was as a Pediatrics nurse, taking care of children. A year later I met my husband and we got married the following year.
I enjoyed writing as a child, but it was not until I had children of my own that I began to write with the thought of being published. It was especially fitting that my first book was a Little Golden Book, since my favorite books as a child were the Little Golden Books that my mother read to me.
Besides writing for children, I am a retired registered nurse and have worked with children in schools and hospitals.
My husband and I have six grown children and 11 grandchildren. We live in O'Fallon, Missouri.
I enjoy reading mysteries, doing word puzzles, walking, country dancing, and spending time with my family.
My picture book, TOAD IN THE ROAD, just won the 2015 Society of Children's Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) award for a Work-in-Progress!
And I am now represented by Kirsten Hall of Catbird Agency!
I've been working on polishing up several picture book manuscripts over the last couple of years. Those include a book about some animals with very unique teeth, which combines a fun poem and facts for each animal; a Halloween poetry collection about characters who are a bit like us when it comes to Halloween; a pirate story; and an early reader about Dr. Bones, a little witch, and a cat. And I'm always thinking about new ideas!
The Dog Made Me Do It! (How I became a poet)
In 1999 we had 2 weddings in 2 months. Four months earlier, we had gotten a puppy. She wasn’t just any puppy! She was adorable, cute, and funny. Besides that she peed on the floor and chewed on our new kitchen cabinets. She pulled the tablecloth off the kitchen table and ate my chocolate cupcakes. She sat in my garden, and ate my flowers. So much to write about! And, with two weddings coming up, so little time to write it.
I had to find a way to remember it all. The answer, I thought, was poetry. Poetry was short. It didn’t matter how good it was, since it was only to help me remember. It would help save all of those memories and the stories that went with them for later when I would sit down and write about them.
So, I wrote poetry. Bad poetry. I thought it wouldn’t matter. I thought I could handle it. I couldn’t stand it! So I read poetry, read about poetry and wrote poetry. I wrote more poetry, then re-wrote it all. And in the process, I learned how to make my poetry better.
I like to do crossword puzzles and sudoku, but I really love solving cryptoquotes. A cryptoquote is a quotation, usually by a famous person, in code. In a cryptoquote the letters of the original message are replaced by other letters.
Here's a cryptoquote for anyone with dreams for the future (hint: all the p's = t's):
Pec hapanc lcrgykb pg pegbc deg lcrmcsc my pec lciapo gh pecmn uncifb—Crciygn Nggbcscrp.
(the answer is below).
When I sold my first book, we used the money I received to buy a used camper. We camped with our six children for many years and made many memories. Once an albino skunk decided to spend the night underneath our camper! Another time a raccoon opened up our cooler and helped himself to the raw eggs and fruit that he found.
My favorite foods to eat at Thanksgiving are pumpkin pie and----turkey!
Answer to cryptoquote:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams—Eleanor Roosevelt.