I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where I loved playing outdoors and ransacking the house on rainy days to build forts in the living room. In terms of writing, I remember very clearly how the whole idea came to me. When I was in the fifth grade, I often finished my classwork before the other kids so naturally, I entertained myself by bothering those around me. My frustrated teacher sent me down the long, tan hallway to the library, where the librarian put me to work. (Yes, we called them librarians back them.) I quickly learned to bind books and properly shelve returns, and in no time, I found myself with time on my hands…bored again. That’s when the librarian began recommending books for me to read. One of them was Roald Dahl’s JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. As soon as I finished it, I made a promise to write a children’s book some day.
Like most adventures, life took me on a different path. In middle school, I got hooked on science and it quickly set a priority for my high school and college years. I attended Michigan Technological University where I earned a B.S. in Medical Technology and met my husband. Upon graduation, we moved to Canada (his native land). Unfortunately, the Canadian system didn’t recognize my degree and wanted me to take the entire program AGAIN in order to work. Well, that just wasn’t going to happen, eh? So we returned to Michigan Tech where I earned my Masters in Physiology Education. With teaching certificate in hand, I jumped right into the world of academia teaching life science, biology, and chemistry in the public schools.
When my two daughters were born, I suddenly remembered my fifth grade promise. Intimidated by a full book project, I started slowly with educational articles for publications like Good Apple, Highlights, Oasis, and Campus Life. Then life took an interesting path. The editor of Good Apple magazine thought my article, “Dot-To-Dot Stories” (2000) would make a great teacher’s book. She asked me to put together a packet proposal for their book publishing department and SHAZAM….I got my first book published! (Here’s a peek at one page.)
Since then, it’s been a roller coaster of a ride, but I’m proud of every book I’ve had the privilege of working on. If you’d like to read a bit more of the adventures behind each of my books, visit my PUBLICATIONS section.
* Book Night at Country Buffet where two brothers were telling a tale of their own!
* The perks of being a writer? Meeting other great writers!
The wonderfully charismatic Sherman Alexie / The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Troublemaker and jokester Jon Scieszka / The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
The charming and generous Chris Crutcher (far left) / Angry Management and SO many more
Fellow chocolate loving writer Jay Asher / Thirteen Reasons Why
The AMAZING Lin Oliver / Coauthor of the Hank Zipzer series and Executive Director of SCBWI
Captivating Gennifer Choldenko / Al Capone Does My Shirts