I’m write books for kids and young adults, am the mom of three lovely, grown-up daughters, have a serious addiction to shoes, am allergic to cats, love dragon boating and gardening, and have an adorable fluff-ball puppy named Ruby.
Although I’ve written thirteen books, includingThe Smell of Paint, Waiting for the Whales and Jessie’s Island. I was never the sort of kid you’d imagine becoming a writer when they grew up. I didn’t even read much until I hit my teen years. I was too busy building forts in the cotton wood trees that lined the irrigation ditch near my home, playing hide & seek in the orange groves and cotton fields, playing pick-up baseball with the neighbourhood kids, or building skateboards out of discarded baby carriage wheels and scrap wood.
Junior high opened up a whole new and unexpected world for me; the world of books. For the first time, I stepped beyond the boundaries of my neighbourhood, and I loved it. I travelled to distant places, met fascinating people, and lived in a multitude of pasts and a wealth of possible futures. I was convinced that authors must be an exotic species indeed, to be able to achieve such feats of wonder.I kept a secret poetry journal, sure that if my brothers found it, they would tease me. It never occurred to me that I might myself someday become an author. It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I began to try writing for others instead of just for myself. Like most other authors, I had several years of rejections before finally getting published. Now, I know there is nothing in the world that I would rather do than write books for kids.
I still love to curl up with a good book, although when I’m working on one myself, my three daughters all complain that I’m either preoccupied or grumpy, and sometimes both!
Now, when I’m not writing, I have the perfect excuse for hiking, kayaking, gardening, and walking the fabulous west coast beaches near my home. “It’s research,” I tell everyone. After all, these are the places and things which help to inspire the stories I write.