After earning a bachelor's degree in English, I became an editor for a few years, then got married and skipped around Utah, D.C., Texas, and Utah again with my engineering professor husband. Now I'm liking my new career: reading picture books to a story-loving kid and chasing the dream of writing them myself.
I started writing before I could write. I drew pictures and Mom wrote down the captions as I dictated them---stories about tornadoes "sucking people up." I was four and living in Utah. How did I know what tornadoes were?
In elementary school, I entered a writing contest sponsored by our amazing librarians to get a Halloween story printed in a spiral-bound anthology, and they printed a separate book for my winning entry because my story was too long to go in the compilation with the other winners. For the Christmas story anthology contest, they invited me to illustrate the cover to head off my overachieving tendencies before I poured them into another 30-page story. Beehive Elementary, I hope you still don't have that mummy book on your shelves. But thank you for giving me my first taste of publishing.
I started out as an illustration major in college in hopes of writing and illustrating my own picture books someday but quickly found a better home in the English department. After college, I became a children's magazine editor and still love editing more than writing, which makes me a slow writer because I edit as I go.
I wrote young adult fiction for a while before circling back to what I started doing at four years old: writing picture books and dabbling in illustration.
I'm pleased to report that last time I lived in Texas, a tornado went down my street and I did not get sucked up.