I had never written fantasy before, but this spark of an idea came to me many, many years ago. I wrote a short story, or a picture book, or a fairytale - I really didn't know what it was - and knew that couldn't be the end of it. As my critique group was only too eager to point out, there were too many questions that remained unanswered, too much background missing, and more character development (not to mention characters!) waiting to come alive.
Recently, a fellow writer in my SCBWI group in Cincinnati gave a presentation about her 40 year journey towards publishing a book, and she mentioned how valuable her workshops at Highlights have been. In fact, it was where we met and I was connected to that group and two separate critique groups. I have now attended two Highlights workshops myself and I wanted to collect my thoughts and share my experiences with others who might find the workshops as useful as Kathy and I have.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a tiny brown tabby cat named Gypsy, who originally belonged to my brother and sister-in-law, a very large Russian Blue mix named Bosley from the shelter who has quickly made himself at home, and a new puppy named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
You can find more detailed information about me by clicking the link below: