About me

I’ve been a professional writer for more than 20 years, and I’ve been writing children’s books since about 2009.

My dog, Charlie

I live in the Atlanta area with my husband, two children, and cute-but-needy Shih Tzu.

Here are some things people ask me:

Q: Did you always want to be a writer?

No. When people asked little-kid me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I don’t think I ever said writer. I remember having planned to be, at one time or another, a veterinarian, attorney, architect, sportscaster, or television producer.

Me, age 11
Me, age 11

Even though I never imagined becoming an author, I always loved words. As a little girl, I was an eager reader. At 14, I asked my parents if they would get me the new, hardback Roget’s Thesaurus I had seen at the local bookstore. (They did. I was elated when I unwrapped it.) And at 17, I started a subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine. I still use the advice I read in those articles decades ago.

Q: Where do you get ideas for your stories?

My story ideas come from everywhere. I got the idea for More-igami from my own children. One of my novels began as a writing exercise I did at a writers’ conference. The novel I’m writing now was inspired by a letter I read in the “Dear Abby” advice column. If I pay attention to the world around me and give my imagination room to run, I find stories and characters all around me.

Q: What are some of your favorite books?

I must have read this twenty times as a kid, and I still have my original copy.
I still have my original copy.

When I was a child, my favorite books — the ones I read over and over — were: just about anything by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary’s teen love stories, a biography of Helen Keller, and The Hero from Otherwhere by Jay Williams.

Some of my favorite titles from recent years are Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt; Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo; Grandaddy and Janetta, by Helen V. Griffith; and everything by Tony Earley, although Jim the Boy is still my favorite of his books — so far.

Q: How tall are you?

When I stand up straight, I’m 4’ 9”, or about the size of an average fifth-grader. This can make visits to middle schools somewhat awkward.

Need more information? Try my official bio.