writer of books for children and young adults
I grew up in a household—two households, actually—where seeing life in terms of story was normal. My dad was a screenwriter/novelist and my stepmother was a lively storyteller. My mom was an actress and my stepfather was a playwright. As a kid my favorite thing to do was put on plays with friends, whether we could scrounge up an audience or not. I made up stories non-stop, and the books that most impressed me growing up, I love still.
When I was five, my favorite book was A Hole is to Dig. It was funny and easy to memorize so I could “read” it.
When I was eight, The Family of Man, The Photographic Exhibition Created by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art filled me with awe. Its photographs introduced me to profound drama and wonder, and it remains on my bookshelf today.
When I was nine, I wanted to believe in the world Mary Norton presented in The Borrowers. How delightful it was to imagine “little people” repurposing my tiny possessions.
When I was thirteen, I fell in love with the language and power in The Tempest by William Shakespeare and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
These books influenced me along my meandering path, teaching, storytelling, performing, and listening, until I settled at my desk to write fiction about people who are learning who they are.
I am immeasurably helped and inspired by my writing-critique group, a soul-sister few who found one another within our local SCBWI meetings—a method I highly recommend for forming a writing group.
I was an English major in college and have a Masters of Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
I am an active member of my local chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I am a founding member of a statewide writing competition for emerging writers and illustrators in Connecticut—sponsored annually by the Shoreline Arts Alliance—New Voices in Children’s Literature: The Tassy Walden Awards. I also serve on the board of George Flynn Classical Concerts.
Happily, my friends and I in Connecticut stage classic plays during the summers (and our audience attends willingly). I live with my husband in an 1804 house that releases its secrets slowly. We have family living near and far across the United States.
by William Shakespeare
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
by Mary Norton
Illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush
Harcourt, Brace, 1953
A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss,
Illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Harper and Brothers, 1952
The Family of Man
The Photographic Exhibit
Created by Edward Steichen
Museum of Modern Art, 1955
With our parents on the set of one of mom’s movies.
My older brother Terry and me fooling around.
Me age 10.
Having fun in one of our community plays.