Commonly Asked Questions and Answers:
(If you are doing a report on me, please read through these questions before contacting me. Thanks!)
Where do you live? In a suburb outside Portland, Oregon. Oregon is a beautiful place and I love living here (although around February, I do get tired of the rain and am ready for sunshine!)
Are you married and do you have kids? Yes, I am married, and I have two sons. For safety reasons, I will not give out names or ages. Thanks for your understanding.
What books have you written? On the home page, you can find tabs with LOTS of information about the books I've written for both teens and kids, but I'll list them here too. Click on the links and you can order them from Powell's bookstore. They'll ship them right to you!
For ages 13 and up, I currently have seven books published:
I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME
FAR FROM YOU
THE DAY BEFORE
FALLING FOR YOU
THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU
ALL WE HAVE IS NOW
For ages 8-12, I have ten books published:
IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES
SPRINKLES AND SECRETS (a companion to the cupcake book)
FROSTING AND FRIENDSHIP (another companion to the cupcake book)
Charmed Life #1: CAITLIN'S LUCKY CHARM
Charmed Life #2: MIA'S GOLDEN BIRD
Charmed Life #3: LIBBY'S SWEET SURPRISE
Charmed Life #4: HANNAH'S BRIGHT STAR
MY SECRET GUIDE TO PARIS
THE GIRL IN THE TOWER
SEALED WITH A SECRET (a companion to the Paris book)
KEYS TO THE CITY (another companion to the Paris book)
SEE YOU ON A STARRY NIGHT
What awards have your books won? If you go to the pages on this site called "Books for Teens" and/or "Books for Kids," I have listed the state lists where the various books have been finalists. A few of my books have also been on lists sponsored by the American Library Association, International Reading Association and others.
What genre do you write? Most of my books are realistic fiction, but I've a couple of my YA novels might be classified as paranormal, and one of my middle grade novels, THE GIRL IN THE TOWER, is fantasy.
Do you have any pets? Yes, we have a black kitty named Luna.
Can you tell me your birth date for a report I'm doing or a competition I'm in? For authors who are living, I think we need to be careful about giving out too much personal information. Identity theft is real. But I understand some of you really need at least the year in order to use my books in interpretive competitions. So here is the year I was born: 1967. Thanks and good luck!!
Can you tell me some interesting and fun stuff about yourself?
I went to elementary school in Salem, Oregon, and the Salem Public Library is one of my most favorite places in the world - lots of fond memories there. I graduated from Lebanon Union HS in Lebanon, Oregon. I went on to college at Oregon State University and majored in Business Administration. I received my degree, and then worked in the field of Human Resources for a number of years. I'm now a full-time author in addition to having a very part-time job where I get to spend time with kids every week.
Things I enjoy doing: walking in my neighborhood while listening to music or podcasts, watching movies, baking yummy things, reading, and traveling. Our first trip outside of North America was to Paris in 2017 and it was such an amazing trip. I can't wait to do more in the years to come.
My favorite movie is "The Sound of Music." My favorite band is Lifehouse. I love singer/songwriters and some of my favorites are Matt Nathanson and James Bay. I'm inspired all of the time by music, and can't imagine my life without it!
How long have you been writing? Why did you become an author?
I've been writing books since I was a young girl. I still have one I wrote and illustrated, called "The Lion's Valentine," that my grandma saved for over 30 years. She gave it to me when I told her I was writing books and trying to get them published. But I seriously started writing for kids in 2003. I sold my first picture book in 2005, and my first novel in 2007. I wrote a lot of bad stories and got a lot of rejections (like over 100) before I finally sold a book.
I wanted to become an author because I loved books when I was a kid, and books are one of my most favorite things. Between the pages of a book, we can visit new places, make new friends, and when we're having a hard time, perhaps feel a little less alone in the world. I wanted to write books that would connect with kids and teens and that might do those things for them like books have done for me throughout my life.
Can you read a story I'm writing? I'm sorry, but I'm really busy. Occasionally I will help a student for a big senior project by providing feedback on a story and answering questions about being a writer. But it's incredibly time consuming and I can only do one per year. If you want feedback on your work, you might think about forming a critique group so you have a group of fellow writers who can give each other critiques.
What advice do you have for young writers? Mostly, it comes down to three things. Read a lot, write a lot, and don't give up!
If you want more specific advice, I wrote a blog post that gives my top ten things you should do if you want to write a novel. You can read it HERE.
Can you tell me anything else interesting about yourself? I'm so boring. Really. But here are some things I love: Pretty flowers. The smell of lilacs. Sweet treats. Cute animals. Tea and cookies. Music. Summertime. Freshly picked strawberries. Hikes with my family. Books and reading, of course! Here are some things I don't like much: Mean people. Cleaning the house. Scary movies. If you are looking for one interesting fact for your report, here's one: I won a trip to Las Vegas once for myself and a friend by writing a poem for a radio contest.
Did you like school? Most of the time, yes. Sorry for those of you who don't like it much. Get involved in something you enjoy is my best advice. And if you don't know what kinds of things you enjoy, try new things. I didn't know I liked theater or marching band until I decided to try them in middle school. And I had so much fun once I did!
Any books you can recommend on writing? Yes!
If you are a serious writer, you’d be wise to invest in a few books to help you with your craft. I’ve found the first three on the list to be invaluable.
Happy reading and writing!