It all started when a third grade teacher didn’t believe I’d written the haiku I submitted for an in-class assignment (now, where she thought I’d stolen it from is beyond me). After that, of course, I dedicated myself to the craft and focused singularly on shutting down naysayers and sharpening my skills.
The third grade thing did happen, and I did write sporadically after that. But soon other interests took over. I wanted to be SO many things: detective, ballerina, astronomer, international woman of mystery. I ended up studying political science and economics with a minor in German, and joining the Foreign Service right after college. My first tour was Frankfurt, Germany, where I met my husband. After returning to America I stayed in the Service a little longer, then quit right after getting tenured (what was I thinking?). Actually, the idea of moving from post to post every few years had lost its appeal pretty quickly. Both my husband and I love the beach, so we settled in Florida while I explored careers in teaching, investment advising, and journalism. Oh, and I also worked in a library.
While all this was happening, my interest in writing was bubbling up again. But it took a while for me to figure out what I wanted to write. These were tumultuous years—9/11, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—and it got me thinking of not just what I’d like to write, but what I wanted to DO with my writing. Hope came to mind. Hope for the future. And that’s how I settled on writing for children. To give them hope and excitement about not only the future, but their future. I got serious with taking writing courses, joining the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and attending conferences. Over the course of this journey I’ve written one practice novel, a real one, and I’ve started two more. I’ve had a few bites at my first real novel, which is set on the moon in 2069, but no takers yet. I’m currently working on a YA set in Germany and a middle grade about an urban birdwatcher.
And as for my day job, after so many career changes I finally got a chance to write for a living. I create video description scripts for television, including for children’s programming. I’ve also recently dipped my toe into freelance copywriting.