My husband and kids. Of course some days, they're also the reason I'm dragging myself out of bed on less than a full night of sleep, but nothing motivates me more than knowing I'm needed
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
What am I not busy doing? I have a full house hold to run. So there's the daily dishes, laundry, diapers to change, floors to clean, and meals to make. I also teach my children their school at home so ever morning includes some amount of supervising school work, listening to lessons, and correcting assignments. I also enjoy gardening and a plethora of arts and crafts.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I actually don't read very often. I struggle with reading and have always suspected that I have some undiagnosed condition. When I'm writing a new book I especially try to stay away from reading any new children's books to my kids as I find they get stuck in my head and stunt my ability to come up with my own ideas.
What is your writing process?
Lack of sleep. That's the key to a great kid's book. When I'm up late and over tired I get silly and wierd, and out pops the most bizarre and funny stories. I write them all down to help me get them out of my head so that my mind can relax and sleep, then I get up in the morning fresh and eager to edit the story and sketch the pictures. And last but most important, I run them by my kids to see their reaction.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
One of my favorite books from childhood, that is still a favorite today is DREAMS by Peter Spier. I have only one well worn copy that has been colored in by my children in recent years, but it still is my favorite. With very few words, it's series of pictures of children staring at the clouds followed by a picture of what they're seeing in the clouds. I love the way it brings back childhood memories of cloud watching and inspires me to use my imagination.
Another favorite from childhood is Are You My Mother by P. D. Eastman even with it's simple art the story line is witty and entertaining.
One I loved in childhood, I'm disappointed to say that I haven't seen a copy in years is The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard . It was the cutest book about a bunny who finds an egg and takes it home, and as he's going home he imagines all the different animals that could be inside the egg. I loved seeing where his imagination would take him.
I also love the book Piggies by Audrey Wood and Don Wood I love the complex art work and how you can follow each pig through the book to see what they'll do on each page. You can read it 25 times in a row and still be seeing something new each time.
And last, but one of my newest favorites, is I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen. It's so simple but the story is entertaining and the ending always makes me laugh.
Describe your desk
I have a desk. Every time I organize it, a week later it's piled high with more stuff I haven't gotten around to putting away. I usually work at my dining room table in the center of my home. From there I can keep an eye on each of my children and have plenty of space to spread out. The only draw back is having to put all my stuff away for each meal.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up moving or switching schools most every year. My dad works in aviation and often would be laid off, or asked to move to a new location. So I have some problems confining myself to cultural expectations. I like things that are different, or culturally unexpected. I loved reinventing myself in each place I lived and became an avid believer in doing what makes you happy, not what is necessarily expected of you. As a result I love to write books with that little bit of unexpectedness, those parts of the story that stand out as abnormal and make you laugh. If everything happens the way you expect, life is boring.
When did you first start writing?
If I had learned to write as soon as I learned to tell tales I would have written stories from birth. I've only recently began putting my stories in permanent written form, but if anyone were to look at my art work over the years, it's easy to see that I've been telling stories for a long time. I've always put hidden things (a type of back story) in my art work, and I've always enjoyed story telling, whether true or made up. At bedtime my children have gotten used to me making up a wild story on the spot rather than something we've read again and again from a book.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book I've been working on is another from my Little Tree Book series. It's about an apple tree who is having issues with sharing his apples with the local villagers. It's a simple lesson in sharing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was already beginning to write books for my children and sharing them with my close friends and family. I'd often get questioned on where others could get a copy of my books, so I figured if my kids love them so much, why keep it all to ourselves. I've always loved giving away my art so it was just a natural progression to begin to share my books as well.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is seeing my own children enjoying my books. When my son has sat on the couch for an hour reading, and rereading my book to himself or anyone else who will listen, then asks me to read it to him again just one more time... I can't help but feel like all is well in the world.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans, though at this time may still be few, to me, they are my reason for writing. It's like when I make a batch of brownies to share with some company for friends. I would never do it for myself, but knowing they'll be enjoying them, just thinking about the satisfied looks on their faces motivates me to make as many of the yummiest brownies I can.
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