I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio – home of the flying pig and Skyline Chili. I loved stories from a young age.
Sometimes I’d read them. The B Book and Green Eggs and Ham were some of my favorites when I was really young (at least according to my baby book!) Sometimes, I’d make stories up. I’d tell tales about an imaginary friend named Jeff. The very first book I wrote was about a bear named Corduroy who needed to find something. Sound familiar? It did get an award, though. A gold star from my mom!
I loved school! My very favorite subject was language arts. I found so many books I loved. I read through all of The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins books. I also enjoyed The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer, all of the Anastasia Krupnik books, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, and books by Cynthia Voigt. I couldn’t wait for each summer when I’d get to participate in the library reading program. I have many happy memories of sitting amongst piles of books at the Sharonville library, or my favorite bookstore, The Cinnamon Tree.
I loved school so much that I became a teacher! I taught science and language arts to fifth graders for many years. It was the greatest thing to be able to talk about books I loved and to share my passion for writing (and for science!). My favorite things to teach were poetry and about outer space. We had a leopard gecko in our classroom named Garbanzo, and I had a mountain of frog stuffed animals in our reading corner. (I love frogs!) I taught a lot of great kids, and we had a lot of fun learning. Now I teach seventh and eighth grade science in addition to being an author. I definitely keep busy!
Every day as a writer is different. Some days, I’m dreaming up new stories. Other days, I’m writing or revising or re-thinking. Sometimes, I visit schools in-person, and we’ll write together!
I have two writing buddies: Hank and Oliver. They sleep a lot, and Oliver likes to bark when I read my stories out loud. A fun fact is that I put a dog in every book I write. You can tell that dogs mean a lot to me.
I still love to read anything I can get my hands on. I like to sing songs loudly and off-key and make up accompanying dance moves. I like to travel to new locations and spend time outside. I like to try new pizza places.
But my favorite thing to do is write stories for kids like you.
My favorite piece of punctuation is the exclamation point!
I love pizza with lots of pepperoni. My favorite place to eat pizza is Marion’s in Dayton, Ohio. I also really like cake.
I won a lip sync contest with my friend, Teresa, in fifth grade at the Taste of Sharonville. We dressed as elderly people and sang Do Wah Diddy Diddy by Manfred Mann.
I love goofy jokes. My favorite one is: Why did the cyclops have to close down his school? He only had one pupil! (har, har)
I know A LOT of camp songs. When I taught, I used to sing them with my fifth graders at the end of the day.
I have many favorite books. Some of them are Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins, Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick, Holes by Louis Sachar, and Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu.
My husband and I enjoy traveling. Some of our favorite places are San Francisco, Michigan and New York City.