My mother and me at one of my book signings
About the Author
Writing is in my blood–literally. My mother is a published children's book author and has been writing ever since I was born. I have warm memories of gathering with my siblings around my mother as she read to us the latest chapter of a novel she was working on, or her latest picture book story. Sometimes she'd ask our opinions as to what should happen next or what a character's name should be. At a very young age, words like manuscript, editor, contract, and Dutton were part of my everyday vocabulary, and…part of me.
My mother tells me that when I was very little, I'd flip through a book and "read" it by making up my own stories based on the illustrations. I have memories of being three or four years old and dictating stories to my mother, who'd type them out on her typewriter. Fast forward to elementary school, where I filled up notebooks with stories, and dived into creative writing assignments.
Although I had wanted a career in writing–writing children's books–I was aware that making a living from writing books was a long shot. So I chose a career in special education. But, as fate would have it, I was summoned back to the writing world. After working in special education for a few years, I was presented with the opportunity to write animation scripts for an Internet startup, and I took it. This led to freelance writing gigs with educational publishers, and then finally, to a full-time writing and editing position at McGraw-Hill. I currently write content for English language learners around the world, at Edusoft, a subsidiary of ETS.
Today, like my mother, I am a published children's book author. I have published six books so far. You can watch Emmy-Award-winning actress Allison Janney read my picture book Carla's Sandwich on the Screen Actors Guild's Storyline Online website.
Today, my mother and I constantly share market information, names of good books we've read, and story ideas. Sometimes we go to conferences together. She gets even more excited than I do when one of my stories gets accepted.
Any time I write a new story I first send it to two people: my mother, and my brother, Mike, who’s an excellent editor, and has published two books of his own. If they like it, then I know I’m good to go.