Not all those who wander are lost.”J.R.R. Tolkien (author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)
My life journey has taken me to far parts of the USA and the world. I grew up in high desert of the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico. That is in the Southwest part of the country. I’ve also lived along the rugged coast of California, where redwood forests overlook kelp forests; near a peaceful, winding river in Idaho; in a camp beside an alligator-filled swamp in Florida; and in the bluebonnet covered Hill Country of Texas.
Beyond the USA, my adventures have taken me on a photography safari through the savannas and forests of Kenya and Tanzania; on ferries and trains between the cities of the UK and Europe; and on sailboats between the islands of the South Pacific where I spent 6 years living in Fiji. Future adventures will be in South America, Asia, and the Polar Regions. I currently live in New Zealand where I can walk from my home to the beach and to the school where I work helping children read and write their own stories. I’ve worked for libraries, museums, and in the scuba diving industry—all places where adventure and exploration was a big part of a day’s work.
I am married to a wonderful, adventurous man who sailed all the way around the world before he was 13. We have 2 fantastic children who I absolutely adore and treasure. I have 12 creative nieces and nephews, 6 fun brothers and sisters, a handful of wonderful in-laws, many kind-hearted cousins, and several friends I count as family. I have loved pet rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, a dog, and school-loads of fish. A few interesting family facts: one of my independent-minded ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence; another roamed the wild West as a cowboy; and my uncle, who was a music teacher, discovered a dinosaur—the Seismosaurus.
Some of my favorite authors are Sara Pennypacker, Katherine Applegate, Kathi Appelt, Kate DiCamillo, E.B White, Wilson Rawls, Michael Morpurgo, Dick King-Smith, Brian Jacques, and Beatrix Potter. In addition to reading a lot of fiction as a kid, I spent happy hours studying Roget’s Thesaurus and the National Geographic Atlas of the World. I have a B.A. in History with a minor in English. I am an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and New Zealand’s Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust. I was fortunate to attend the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) 2016 International Congress.
That’s enough about me. I want to hear about you!