Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
The best thing about writing from home is that my dog can come to work with me every dayand believe me, Peanut has some terrific ideas! I write almost every day and work better in the mornings when I’m rested. I usually have several picture books in the works at the same time so if I become “stuck” on a concept, ending, or character, I’ll jump to another picture book in progress. That way, I’m always writing.
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g.burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
Clutter drives me crazy, soI usually straighten my desk or clean my house a bit before I get started. I make it a habit to get up every couple of hours and go outside (nature is my happy place). A short walk in the sunshine or a soft rain does wonders at clearing my mind. When I return to my desk, I’m ready to get back work!
What do you love about writing picture books?
I love that I’m one of the lucky ducks who has a hand increating something that is such an integral part of a child’s life.
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
I am certain picture books chose me! I wrote my first picture book as an assignment fora creative writing class when I was seventeen years old. Even back then, I felt a special connection to the genre. My teacher encouraged me to keep writing when her class ended. I had never met an author and I didn’t know how it would happen, but I knew then that one day I’d write picture books. I’m thankful every day I get to work at my dream job!
What is the hardest part about writing picture books?
A picture book must deliver on so many levels! For me, the hardest part about writing a picture book is getting it just right in so few words. Also, coming up with a unique story or a unique spin on a common theme can be difficult at times. There is a lot of competition out there. However, I like to think of a picture book manuscript as a word puzzle, if I play with the words long enough, I can usually figure it out.
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
I’m not a big TV or movie fan but listening to music inspires me when writing rhyme or lyrical text. It isn’t so much the lyrics but the melody I hear that suggestthe tone, voice, and cadence of a potential new story.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
My dream writing location would be in Italy. And I may or may not eat my weight in gelato while there!
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators nearly 20 years ago. Back then I mailed my membership form via snail mail! SCBWI helped me get my start in the business and assists me in continuing to grow as a writer and network as an author.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?