Becoming an Author

Authors are just people like you. This is how I got started…

I grew up loving picture books and nonsense poetry. My oldest brother, Jon, used to read me poems when I was too young to read them for myself and that first ignited my interest in poetry. When I was about ten, my best friend, Patty, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She died very quickly. The best way I could deal with this huge loss was by writing. I filled notebooks with poems and bad drawings. Bugs and animals were things that delighted me as a child and I spent most of my spare time outside. So, it’s no surprise that the majority of my work is about living things in nature. There was always a demand for good writing throughout my college years, graduate school and my fifteen year career in corporate Human Resources. Dr. Paul Strauss, one of my professors in graduate school, said I was the most creative student he had ever taught. I think he was lying! In the corporate world, most letters and memos that came from the top VIPs were usually ghost written by me. I didn’t have much time to do my own work because  colleagues were always asking me to read over something they wrote to see if it sounded okay. I am still frequently asked to look at and comment on resumes-ugh! I guess I can’t really leave that behind.

It wasn’t until the year 2001, that I considered a career change out of corporate. Seeing and feeling what came out of the 911 tragedy gave me a new perspective about life, family and the need to do something truly impactful. I applied to the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL) in 2002 with an essay about a sixth grade experience and received an acceptance shortly thereafter. I longed for a more formal exposure to writing for children. After becoming comfortable with the writing and submissions process, I submitted one of my assignments with the ICL to Wee Ones Magazine and received an acceptance for Don’t Run, Don’t Hide. This was officially my first piece of published children’s literature. However, at the same time I had submitted “Holey Moley” to both Spider and Fun For Kidz Magazines and received an acceptance from both, which was extremely unusual. I went with Spider because it was a larger publication with larger readership. Even though writing is lonely and frustrating, at times, I don’t regret my decision and I’ve never looked back. I love bringing smiles to children’s faces and writing about really weird and sometimes disgusting topics.