My Life as a Writer
Because Dad was in the Air Force, we moved a lot! I was the new kid in school seven times. I went to three high schools.
How It Began
When I was 6, Grandma flew from Missouri to visit. I made her a shopping guide composed of Big Chief tablet pages stapled together and filled it with newspaper prices for things Grandma might want. My first book!
We moved to Ohio before I started fourth grade. One of my stories was chosen for publication in our school newspaper. The papers cost five cents, and I was fizzy with knowing that people paid to read my story.
By high school we had moved from Ohio to Texas. I won a writing competition with a historical fiction story about the Battle of Bull Run.
Reading and Writing
I earned a couple of degrees in education, married, and moved to Houston. We both were elementary teachers. We were joined by twin sons and a daughter. Reading to them every day was a favorite time, and helped me learn a lot about children's books. I returned to university and earned certification as a school librarian.
My First Book for Children
The idea for Substitute Groundhog came from a kindergartner. I had asked his class, "What animal pops up out of its hole to tell the weather next week?" His answer? An armadillo! Two years later, when I needed a story idea, I wondered, "What if an armadillo did perform on Groundhog's Day? Why wasn't the groundhog doing it instead? Hmmmm...."
I left my career as a teacher and school librarian to work full-time as a writer and visiting author. I wrote Substitute Groundhog, Squirrel's New Year's Resolution, The Hole Story of the Doughnut, and six more.