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Ask the Author

  • Q. Where do your ideas come from?
    A. From kids, for sure and my own experiences. And here's an example. My beloved dog named Rusty was a distinguished food thief. His nose must have had more scent receptors than any other dog in the whole wide world! He was pretty quick and very clever; famous for his finesse in gingerly stealing meat from a sandwich and leaving the bread untouched. Rusty joined his buddies at the rainbow bridge in 2014 and I am still writing stories about him. And regarding kids? One day three year old Chelsea L. and I were at the desk working on a project. When she became distracted I asked her to keep her eye on the paper. She did exactly what I said. She picked up the red construction paper and put it on her eye. I looked at her and smiled then I laughed at myself and gave her a big hug. I told her she was the best listener on the planet. Silly me. Chelsea L. taught me a lot that day. She taught me how to keep my 'eye' on kids, say what I mean and mean what I say. She was a great source of inspiration and another reason to want to write stories forever and preserve the magic of childhood. You would be amazed to know what sparks my imagination. Ideas come to me in the funniest of places. For one thing I love to "innocently" overhear a conversation; be it on line at the market, in the doctor's office or on the playground.. It makes for great material. Think of it as creative eavesdropping, never rude and only with good intentions.
  • Q. Are you an illustrator, as well?"
    A. I leave that to the great and gifted artists, like Cornelius Van Wright, Dave Mottram, Carolien Westernmann, Judi Abbot, S.K.Y van der Wel, Katrien Benaets, Deborah Melmon, Suzanne Diederen, Amberin Huq Check out their beautiful websites: suzanne diederen illustrator I promise you'll fall in love with their work. ​
  • Q. What are some important things to remember when writing a picture book?
    A. Create memorable and relatable characters. Create characters that stir up emotion. Use fun and interesting language. Show don't tell. Remember that humor goes a long way. ​
  • Q. Do you have any hobbies and what do you think kids would want to know about you?
    A. I read, of course. And I love to cook and invent pretty things using all kinds of textile, paper, nuts and bolts and wood. I also love to up cycle not just any junk. (But rather artful junque, as I know it.) I love making trays out of retired picture frames. I've been told that I can whistle louder than anyone; even with a mouth full of gum. I love trick-or-treating for kit kat bars. I can't carry a tune but I can play piano by ear. (Go figure) I have a vegetable garden. I get dizzy rolling down the hill with my grandsons. ​I wear big and gaudy lens-free glasses to school presentations. No lenses? That's because I don't need sight to have vision. ​I LOVE animals and wish I could have a pet giraffe and a zoo of dogs.
  • Q. Do you visit schools and libraries?
    A. I sure do and I love to share my story with all audiences. Please go to my Author Visits page for more information. My programs are Boces approved; find me on the Artists in Schools (Boces Arts in Education) website:
  • Q. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
    A. Start by reading and keep reading. Make reading a part of your life. Write from your heart and soul, write what you love and love what you write. Correspond with the Tooth Fairy and regard the notion that Tooth Fairies do exist. Take note of things that move your spirit. Jot them down on a pad that you keep near. Accept criticism as valuable suggestion. And keep dreaming long after you awake.
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