I have been an avid reader since I was five years old. Writing was a different story. My only attempt at creative writing was a poem about Spring in first grade. Skip ahead to high school where my art class assignment was to find something on the school grounds and make it into a piece of art. I found a chunk of blown tire. Instead of adding sequins, pipe cleaners, and feathers to it, I wrote a, hopefully, funny story about the life of a tire. (Hey, life isn’t easy when you’re constantly with three other companions. And imagine being so short that the only way to recognize people is by their shoes.) I promptly regretted writing it when my art teacher read it to the entire class as I sat there, wishing for alien life forms to pull me out of this universe so I could avoid the embarrassment.
I grew up in a small Indiana town with a younger brother who excelled at teasing me. Little did he know he was giving me tons of story ideas once I figured out I wanted to be a writer (long after the embarrassing read-aloud art assignment incident.)
All of my works are fiction yet the first seed of an idea always came from something in real life. For instance, back at the time I was writing the poem about Spring, a boy slapped me during recess for disagreeing with him. That led to the character in When Ratboy Lived Next Door. Seeing the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away, led to Georgie’s Moon. When Tom Hanks’ character missed his girlfriend, it reminded me of Vietnam prisoners of war missing their loved ones.
After living my entire life in Indiana, I now reside in Southern Virginia. I love it here but still hold Indiana in my heart. All in all, I feel pretty fortunate to have a sense of home in both places. I am married and have a son, daughter, stepson and stepdaughter. Spring is still my favorite time of year.
If you have questions for me, please don't hesitate to reach out and contact me. I love hearing from students, librarians, teachers, and all of my readers!