I teach an addictions class, as a retired therapist. For fun, I enjoy gardening. I also love to hike the mountains near our cabin in the Tetons.
What sparked your interest in becoming a kid-lit and picture book creator?
I have always wanted to write, but I wasn’t really in touch with my feelings until after I retired. Then I decided I would do a few of the things that were dear to my heart. Writing children’s picture books was one of them.
What is it like to watch you working on a book?
I get an idea—usually in the middle of the night. The next morning, or as soon as I get a chance, I sit down at my computer to write. I love getting lost in the process. Hours can go by, and I don’t notice. It is so gratifying to craft something. Isn’t the creative process wonderful?
Tell us a little about your current project.
Right now, I have just finished a picture book class with Dr. Mira Reisberg and the Children's Book Academy. It has been wonderful, and I have a new perspective on picture book writing.
I have a book-in-progress about Giraffe and Mouse who are best friends. They romp through the savannah, looking for a new home for Giraffe. Giraffe has no common sense and would end up in a lot of trouble if Mouse didn’t help him out. I hope to find a traditional publisher for it.
You have already accomplished quite a bit as a writer. What is the best advice you can give to others who are working to achieve their goals of becoming published authors?
The best advice I can give is to follow your dreams. Take lots of classes, go to lots of conferences, and write, write, write.
Probably one of the greatest blessings in my writing life is my critique group. They keep me going in the right direction and tell me when I go down the wrong road. They are good friends and a great sounding board. I wouldn’t have accomplished my goals without them.
If there was a book about your life, what would it be called?
What a fun question!
I don’t have an answer to this. But I’d like to share another idea that I discovered about myself. I love ‘connecting’ stories where the main character connects or reconnects with family—like The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre. Lassie Come Home is also that type of story.
I’ve tried to decide why this plot is so deeply satisfying to me. I think it’s because I love being with family; they are crucial in my life.