What is your birthdate?:4/28
Previous occupations:I was an elementary school librarian for over twenty years before--and for several years after--I began to write for children.
Favorite job:I LOVE writing for children.
High school and/or college:I grew up in Eugene, Oregon and graduated from Sheldon H.S. I got my B.S. (Sociology) and Masters of Library Science from the University of Oregon.
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:Beethoven.
Favorite movie:The Wizard of Oz.
Favorite television show:This changes all the time: currently I'm a big fan of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. I love to read. I love to write.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. A balanced life with time for enjoyable work, fun, family, and friends is a life worth living.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. There is no such thing, though reading a good book, having a great conversation with a friend, or eating a good piece of chocolate all come close.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. I'm not a big fan of pain of any kind.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. I love to travel, but I'm also very fond of home.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Not sure. My motber?
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Sorry, but I can't single out just one. I can't think of many persons--certainly, none of my friends--who don't have at least one or two admirable traits worth emulating.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. Not sure, but words like probably, just, and suddenly might top the list.
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. Regret is probably a waste of time, unless it leads to change.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. The talent to write more quickly (and skillfully) could be useful. I'd also like to be able to time travel.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Two wonderful grown children, of course!
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. I suspect there are several that could compete for "greatest." But impatience (in certain situations, like when my computer isn't doing what I want it to do) is one of them.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. also generally well-organized, practical, and dependable. Ye gods, does that make me sound dull? Actually, I've been told I'm vivacious and enthusiastic, too.
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. it. But it might be nice to be a real goddess--with goddessy powers.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. My reddish hair.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Huck Finn.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. Joey Pigza in the Jack Gantos books--he's not really a villain though, just a flawed, lovable kid with ADD.
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. Mark Twain or Dorothy Parker: I think you're a hilarious writer.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. Questions like this that tax my brain and are nearly impossible to answer.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. READING!
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. I'm already doing it--writing for children.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Kindness, calmness, stick-to-it-tiveness. Oh, yes. Plus a good sense of humor.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Any kind of Asian food.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. I don't have particular favorites, but my favorite type of music is jazz. And Ella Fitzgerald is hands-down my favorite female vocalist.
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. For children's books, and in no particular order, here are some favorites: Barbara Parks, Louis Sachar, Arnold Lobel, Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, J.K. Rowling, Jack Gantos, Avi, Phyllis Naylor, Mary Downing Hahn, and, of course, my wonderful Goddess Girls co-author, Joan Holub.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
Wow. Since I'm a children's book writer I'll limit myself to my top TEN children’s books (no can do just five). Even so, that’s a tough call to make for a former elementary school librarian like myself. Ask me another time, and I would probably give you a completely different list, but here goes:
Little Bear by Else Minarik, (illus by Maurice Sendak). My grandparents gave me this easy-to-read books on my 7th birthday, and I still have my rather ragged, much-loved copy.
Winnie-the-Pooh and House at Pooh Corner. My mother read these books to me and my sibs when we were young. I loved all the characters, especially gloomy Eeyore.
Julius, the Baby of the World (and lots of other picture books by Kevin Henkes).
Holes by Louis Sachar.
Junie B. Jones and middle-grade novels by Barbara Park
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
Harry Potter series
Joey Pigza books by Jack Gantos
Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. There are so many wonderful books being published all the time--and classics that I haven't yet had time to read--that I seldom reread a book. The exceptions are books I read over and over again to my children when they were young.
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. To improve your writing there is no substitute for lots and lots of practice.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. "I LOVE Goddess Girls" and "I'm your biggest fan."