I would like to thank you for being here on Inspiring Books and Products for Kids. You are such a talented and devoted writer. I look forward to learning more about you.
1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I came to Oregon from Australia many years ago with my American husband and our 3 kids.
We met when he migrated to Queensland, and set up a wholesale tropical fish hatchery. I owned a pet store that also sold tropical fish, and I was his first retail customer. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. Seven years later we went to live in Oregon where he went to College. He told me early on that he had plans to return to the Pacific Northwest some day. He is a New Yorker by birth, but Oregon stole his heart.
We live on small acreage and love it. Kids all grown now and off doing their thing. One of those “things” is 7 grandchildren – YEA! I write books for kids: rhyming picture books and mid-grades. Eleven published so far. I also run a Manuscript Critique Service that draws clients from many countries. It is always a huge thrill to hear that a manuscript I helped polish has been published. Almost a good as having one of my own books published – I did say almost!
Early on, I was lucky enough to have several talented and experienced writers take me under their wings and mentor me – bless them! And I was no overnight success. It took enough rejection letters to paper our bathroom, and rewrites galore, before I finally made it – published at last!
2. Describe your desk/workspace
The moment our third child headed for college, I commandeered the family room and turned it into my own writing lair. Husband built me the desk of my dreams – drawers, shelves and places for all my “stuff.” A comfy sofa and chairs, for those “can’t find a thing to write about days,” a fireplace for winter snuggling, and pictures of kids and grandkids. In winter we bring in all the tender plants. They flourish on shelves under gro-lux lights my husband set up for them. Windows offer a view of our back gardens. Am I lucky or what?
3. Do you have a favorite quote?
A manuscript is like a house. Without a solid foundation the supports will crumble.
4. What are you currently reading?
A gripping tale, The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini. That man strings powerful words together, making them glow with insight and empathy.
5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Have patience and stick with it. One of my early mentors told me, “All you need is to work hard, rewrite often, be patient, and stick with it. Oh, and a pinch of luck never hurt either.”
6. If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
It would be my dear Mum. For Mum it would have to be tea and fruitcake – the cake rich and rum soaked. She was a loving and loyal person, with a great deal of common sense, and an instinctive knowledge of people. Looking back, I realize that I never valued her advice half as much as I should have. If I had listened harder, I could have avoided a whole bunch of strife when I was younger. I now find myself offering Mum’s words of wisdom to my own children. They just pop out of my mouth without me thinking, so they must have sunk in after all – better late than never.
I would hug her tight, and tell her I loved her. And then I would listen, and carefully hold close to my heart all the new insights she had to offer. I miss you Mum..