I’ve been  writing only a few years less than I’ve been reading. While I had a stage of trying to write for grown-ups, I never stopped reading books for children. When I finally started my first middle-grade novel, my husband’s response–as he looked at all my bookshelves full of kidlit–was basically, “What took you so long?” Today, at least 90% of the books I read are written for people decades younger than myself. Why? Because children’s books are about potential and transformation, they’re about finding and becoming one’s self. And the best kids’ books have tight plots, meaningful characters, and beautiful words. Why wouldn’t I be reading these?

And why wouldn’t I be writing them? Since I discovered Phyllis A. Whitney’s teen mysteries as a child, I have wanted to do what Ms. Whitney did–weave action and emotion together in such a wonderous way that a reader couldn’t put my book down.  Today, I write middle-grade novels and picture books. I have completed a middle-grade mystery as well as several picture books. My current WIP is a middle-grade magical realism novel, and I continue to write new (and revise not-so-new!) picture books.

I have written two nonfiction books for children, both for Capstone Press—Hounds: Loyal Hunting Companions and For Life and Liberty: Causes and Effects of the Declaration of Independence. I am also the author of The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide: How to Give and Receive Feedback, Self-Edit, and Make Revisions, from Writer’s Digest Books. I have written freelance articles for Writer’s Digest magazine and  book reviews for The Horn Book Guide, Capital City Young Writers’ newsletter, and local periodicals.

In my day job, I am Grants Manager for a Silicon Valley educational nonprofit. I live in California’s Santa Cruz mountains with my husband and cat. Our son, now in college, studies Music Education, plays bass, and gives his mother excellent critiques on her writing.

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