Umbrella War
Early Reader
About Me
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The first pictures I can remember creating were drawings of horses on pieces of cardboard from inside my father's shirts when they came from the dry cleaner. I was four years old. He gave me every shirt cardboard he got and I filled them all with standing, walking, trotting, galloping horses. Some were solid and some had spots. Some had saddles and bridles and some were free. They all had oval heads and triangular hooves because that was the only way I could draw them. At any rate, from then on I was hooked on drawing. I just couldn't get enough! I drew on every piece of paper I could get my hands on. Sometimes, I cut open the brown grocery bags, spread them out and drew whole towns on them, complete with houses, stores, signs, traffic lights, people, animals, trees, cars, trucks and buses.

The first "real stories" I ever wrote were extra credit work I did for my sixth grade English class. I wrote a play about Orville and Wilbur Wright which we performed in class, an original myth, "Megdad and the Morchorn" (what a name!!), and a mystery, "The Case of the Missing Reindeer" which featured Santa as a super sleuth. I discovered that I loved writing as much as I loved illustrating! I created my very first picture book, "The Three Wishes of Simon". as my senior project in Graphic Arts. Although it never was published, it did receive some very favorable and encouraging comments from editors. That was all I needed to spur me on! I went on to achieve a B.S. in Graphic Design but realized I did not want to pursue a career in advertising. The field of children's literature was for me!

I think I have always seen the world a bit differently from most people and maybe that's where some of my wackier ideas come from! I can reach way back to third grade for an example: One day our art teacher said we would draw a picture. She asked the students to come up with picture ideas. One boy raised his hand and suggested "Cookie Raid". The teacher liked that idea and it became our assignment. Everyone - and I mean everyone - in the class drew kids raiding cookie jars and cookie boxes and refrigerators. Everyone except me, that is. My drawing showed little cookies with arms and legs and faces. They were jumping from trees and running along the ground, waving their little cookie arms and brandishing little tiny swords. I can remember being mortified at the time that I was the only one who didn't "get it". Thank goodness I didn't!

Now I write for Riverdeep Interactive (also home of the well known Edmark brand), maker of nationally distributed interactive learning products for children, while still continuing to write and illustrate "on my own". My "real job" is graphic/web designer & editorial specialist for a large corporation. It's lots of fun but children's lit is still where it's at for me!

  • "Chin Wu and the Festival of Lanterns", Cricket Magazine, January 1991
  • Houghton Mifflin, various textbook illustrations
  • "Chin Wu" selected for inclusion in 3rd grade reading anthology, Scott Foresman, 1993
  • My poem, "Mouse House" was chosen for inclusion (1999) in "I Invited a Dragon to Dinner: And Other Poems to Make You Laugh Out Loud", Philomel, March 2002 ("Get ready for the silliest, funniest poems around! Written by fresh talent, this collection is the result of a nationwide contest to find the best new writers of verse for children." Philomel, 2002)
  • "Chin Wu" again selected for inclusion in a 3rd grade reader, Scott Foresman, 2000
  • Chosen by Riverdeep Interactive to contribute several pieces to an upcoming CD ROM learning product, 2001; placed on Riverdeep's permanent list of preferred writers