It’s hard to know exactly when and how my journey as a writer began.
Did it start when I was four, and my parents read me books like Where the Wild Things Are, One Morning in Maine, Frog and Toad, and The Cat in the Hat, over and over again?
Did it start when I was seven, and I loved typing stories on my father’s typewriter? It was so much fun to see the typewritten text come out on the paper, and then illustrate it with a fresh box of Crayola markers, right there on the page.
Did it start when I was in fifth grade, and read all the time? I used to lie on top of the radiator in the front hall of our chilly 100-year-old house and read. I loved mysteries like Nancy Drew, horse books like Misty of Chincoteague, magical books like those by Edward Eager and E. Nesbit, and creepy witch stories like those by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Later, I grew into reading the Anne of Green Gables series, Agatha Christie, Madeline L’Engle, Cynthia Voight, and Dick Francis.
Did it start with encouraging teachers, like my middle school and high school English teachers who praised my writing, and taught me so much? I can still remember the “Preposition Song” that my seventh-grade teacher taught — and I still know all my prepositions!
Did it start when I majored in English in college, and wrote articles for the student newspaper? One hard-hitting story exposed the dire need for a new printer in the campus computer center to cut down on wait times.
Did it start when I worked as an editor and producer in educational publishing and software development? These jobs required both creativity and organization, and lots of time thinking about what kids would like and be engaged by. (Oops! Looks like I ended that sentence with a preposition!)
I like to think that all of these experiences are pillars in my foundation as a writer. But it wasn’t until I spent hours each day reading picture books with my own kids that I knew I wanted to write children’s books.
It took a lot of time, and practice – almost 10 years of taking classes, reading, and writing, writing, writing. The thing about writing is, there is always more to learn. Each new story has something to teach you. I love that I get to keep learning.
When I’m not writing, I like to go on hikes and bike rides with my family, watch movies, and play board games.