Answers to questions most often asked at school visits.
Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas are everywhere. Conversations, radio, TV, articles. It’s just a matter of tuning my ears to the interesting channel. I’m always on the lookout for that special idea that sparks my imagination.
Finding interesting topics to write about isn’t difficult. The hard part is determining if the topic will make an interesting book. Facts are great, but what matters is the heart of the story within those facts. If I can’t find that, then I don’t have a story. But when I do, it’s amazing!
Do you like to read?
I love to read. It’s my favorite thing! I believe stories are a gift, and I love that books have the power to scare me, thrill me, make me laugh, and make me cry. And finding that special book – the one that opens my eyes to new ways of thinking – truly is a gift.
Why do you think you became a writer?
If I had to give one reason, I’d say it’s because I’m a reader. Books and stories have always been an important part of my life. I also think writing is a way of learning, about myself and about the world.
When writing fiction, I can’t think of anything more fun than
creating characters, imagining settings, pondering plots, and finding the right words to describe it all. When writing nonfiction, I love the challenge of going beyond the facts to find the deeper meaning.
What were some of your favorite books when you
were a child?
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Box Car Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Why did you choose to write picture books?
Picture books are amazing things. They are
so much more than words + pictures = picture book.
They are words + pictures = magical!
I just love how an author’s words, paired with
an illustrator’s artwork can become
Do you have any pets?
Yes, a dog. Her name is Ladybug.