Born in a small town in Dunklin County, Missouri, my parents moved to the Chicago area when I was just a toddler, so I don’t remember anything of my country roots other than my family’s annual visits to see relatives. My earliest memories, in fact, were of watching my sister and brother go off to school and wanting so badly to learn how to read and write that I actually scribbled in pencil in some of my books (even now I’m a bit shocked at the fact that I defaced books, but I suppose it might have been a clue that I would one day become a writer).
After college, I became a teacher where a good percentage of my students came from struggling families, and my favorite part of teaching was introducing young readers to the library and the joy of free-to-borrow books, the windows to the world for those who didn’t have the time or money or more fantastic means to visit foreign countries or imaginary lands. Unfortunately, during the school year, with nightly paper grading and planning I had very little time to read. Summers, however, I stocked up on books and read my heart out.
Although being an author seemed like an unattainable dream, I suppose that it was inevitable that I would one day give it a try. That one day became a number of years, and eventually I sold my first book. I haven’t stopped writing since. As I often say, I’m very lucky to be able to make my living by daydreaming. Envisioning worlds and characters and bringing them to life on the page is an indescribable joy. When people ask where I get my ideas, the answer is easy. Ideas for books are everywhere. Authors never really stop imagining stories, even when they’re not sitting at a computer. The writer button is never really turned off. For some, I suppose that might be a bit annoying, not being able to step away from one’s work. But for most writers, we’re just very grateful to have the opportunity to do this thing we do, creating worlds out of nothing but our thoughts and dreams.
Happy Reading to All of You Out There in Bookland,