Why I Started Writing:
As I was going through high school and college, there were a couple of teachers who encouraged me and sparked my interest and confidence in writing. I went on to teach in a public school for 21 years. I really enjoyed teaching reading and writing to my students. I modeled different kinds of writing and that got me thinking about stories I could write. There were times when I couldn’t find the kind of positive books I wanted to use with my students, so I decided to write them myself. For example, I was looking for something fairly short dealing with the environment to use with my class. I also wanted books with a Christian message. There are things that I couldn’t say in the classroom setting that I want young people to know.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
Betsy Byars, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Kevin Henkes are authors who influenced me. I admired the way Betsy Byars used conversation in telling her stories. Her characters seemed real and approachable to children. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s use of language and character development impressed me. I liked the way Kevin Henkes wrote about middle-grade relationships.
Books I Have Written:
I wrote a book about a boy who loves baseball and whose family has to move. He gets involved with a project for Earth Day and starts to care for the environment. That is the first of what could be a four-part series, Earth Day in My Own Backyard, that would reinforce the ideas of respecting the earth, reducing, reusing, and recycling. I have started the three others. I also wrote a picture book, Animals in Our Yard, about a family dealing with woodchucks in their yard. Neither book is published.
What I'm Working On Now:
I am currently getting my middle-grade novel, Annie and the Healing Box, ready for publication. I have signed a contract with Elk Lake and I’m working on the editing process and all the details involved in getting a book published. Annie is tentatively set to be released in winter of 2023. I have found many young people have trouble dealing with different situations and problems in their lives. This story is about a preteen girl who is facing a variety of problems and how she deals with them. She creates a healing box to store little items that remind her of how she coped. It is meant to entertain, but also to help young people develop coping strategies, including turning to God, so they don’t feel so hopeless and helpless. I have also started a book with the same characters, but told through the point of view of Annie’s brother. Healing boxes are not just for girls. I want to spread joy and hope to as many young people as possible.