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
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!
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!
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!
Wu and the Festival of Lanterns", Cricket Magazine, January
Mifflin, various textbook illustrations
Wu" selected for inclusion in 3rd grade reading anthology,
Scott Foresman, 1993
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."
Wu" again selected for inclusion in a 3rd grade reader,
Scott Foresman, 2000
by Riverdeep Interactive to contribute several pieces to an
upcoming CD ROM learning product, 2001; placed on Riverdeep's
permanent list of preferred writers