The short version:
I grew up in Califon, New Jersey, but spent each summer in Maine’s beautiful midcoast region.
I’m the youngest of four and my siblings are my best friends.
I started writing stories at the young age of seven and people often commented on my wild imagination.
I attended the University of New Hampshire where I majored in sociology. I’m also highly interested in observing social relationships.
I fulfilled two of my dreams by moving to Maine in 2006 and becoming an author in 2011.
Some of my favorite books growing up were Miss Rumphius, Caps for Sale, The Eleventh Hour, Harriet the Spy, Bunnicula, Catwings, the Anastasia Krupnik series, A Cricket in Times Square, and any book by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl, and Shel Silverstein.
I love cooking and hosting dinner parties, hiking with my family, tea parties with my daughter, learning interesting facts from my son, old houses, antiquing with friends, searching for sea glass, jeans, the smell of books old and new, and the sound of crickets chirping while I drift off to sleep (after reading a good book, of course).
The long version:
As a child, I was shy in school, but outgoing and silly at home and with friends. I could often be found staring off into space. Many people probably thought I was spacey, but I was actually creating stories in my head. Daydreaming is most certainly my favorite pastime, and I still have the same active imagination that I had as a kid. I grew up in the small town of Califon, New Jersey, which is only one square mile with a population of a thousand. It was amazing being a kid in this small country town—everyone knew everyone, which made the entire town feel like “home.” In school, there were only eighteen students in my entire grade from kindergarten through eighth grade! This made for a lot of personal attention from teachers who supported our dreams. From a young age, I knew that I wanted to write children’s books one day and made it known to my teachers and classmates. At age seven, I wrote my first story called “The Kitten in the Pumpkin Patch.”
Shortly afterward, I wrote, “The Sick Easter Bunny.” I loved everything about creating a story: coming up with an idea, writing a first draft, revising, and adding my own illustrations. Seeing a story come to life was simply magical, and I still feel this way today. My love for writing continued through each grade level. I mostly wrote short stories, but also enjoyed writing poems and plays. My teachers encouraged my love of writing and gave me the confidence and skills to do my best writing and use my creativity to its fullest potential. They also encouraged me to share my stories with my peers, which helped me become a better writer in the long run. (Thank you teachers of Califon School!)
Books have always been a huge part of my life. As a young child, instead of bringing a stuffed animal to bed, I would grab a stack of my favorite picture books. I was the walking definition of a book-worm: I stayed up way past my bedtime with my nose in a book, library was my favorite class, and going on a field trip to the big county library felt like Christmas to me. Then, one fateful day when I was eight years old, my mom told me she was opening a book shop in our town! And since our town was so small, I could walk there every day after school. It was a dream come true for my mom (and for me!). At the book shop, I perused the new books that arrived each week and read a lot of advance copies. I met talented authors and illustrators and dreamt of being just like them one day.
My love for reading and writing continued well through college. After graduation, I taught at a preschool and held various other jobs working with children, where I garnered many of my story ideas. In 2011, my first picture book, My Maine, was published. My dreams were finally starting to take shape!
Now, I spend my time writing as much as I can. I love starting new projects and making changes to old ones over time. I often work on several stories at a time—it’s fun to jump from one idea to another, to let things sit awhile and then make revisions. I mostly write picture books, but I’m also (slowly) working on a middle grade novel. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two children, and our dog, Eloise. (Named after Kay Thompson’s Eloise—another childhood favorite!)