Q: When did you first start writing?

A: I've always loved writing. When I was about 8 years old, my parents got me a writing program for our Commodore 64. I learned all the keys on the keyboard so that I could touch them and make the words come to life on the screen. (Those words are blackmail tools now.) I was so determined to write that I went to Hollins University to study what I'm passionate about children's and young adult literature.

Q: Why are you drawn to writing children's and young adult books?

A: Children's and young adult books shaped my life growing up and are some of my favorites to read, even as an adult. I can still relate to the changes and challenges of childhood and being a teenager

Q: Do you have a favorite author?

A: There are so many fabulous and amazing books that this is a nearly impossible question for me to answer.  I will say that Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the first novel my mother ever read to me, ranks high up on my list. Some of my favorite authors include (but in no way can be limited to): Mildred Taylor, S.E. Hinton, Karen Hesse, Judy Blume, Avi, Christopher Paul Curtis, plus many, MANY others!

Q: What is your writing process like?

A: The amount of time a day I spend writing depends on where I'm at: the research stage, hammering out a first draft, or revising. Some days, I may not write much if at all, while other days, I may write for 10+ hours. If I am deep into the writing process, I've been known to ignore all else around me, and will become emotionally involved in a story. I like to sit on the couch with my notes spread all over the place. My dog keeps me good company.

Q: Can you donate your book(s) to my worthy cause?

A: While I do donate my books if I'm familiar with the cause or have been supplied with adequate information, keep in mind that authors must pay for their own books (minus the few books we receive for promotion). This can add up, especially when shipping costs are figured in. Milkweed Editions has a book donation program, and they offer special discounts on their books if they are used for education and advocacy.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

A: Some of the most important things are reading, researching, and revising. Above all, reading is one of the best ways to learn the craft of writing.

Q: How can I get my children's manuscript published?

A: You'll want to make sure your manuscript is professional (follow those formatting guidelines!) and polished. Publishing is a competitive and selective business, so spend time researching.
Here are some great resources:

Q: Will you critique my manuscript?

A: Please send me a message or contact me through Reedsy.

Q: Do you have any marketing advice for authors?

A: Be open to opportunities and proactively search for opportunities (such as attending conferences, volunteering, etc.). Get to know local librarians, teachers, and booksellers while still respecting their time. Consider joining group marketing efforts, or starting your own. Another option is to work with an outside publicity and marketing group such as Blue Slip Media. I've personally worked with Barbara Fisch and Sarah Shealy--they're exceptional!