I suppose the reason I wanted to be an actress when I was 18, and then became a writer much later in life, is because I find it easier to create other characters than to tell who I actually am. I’ll give it a try…
I lived in many places before turning ten years old; Vineland, New Jersey, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Hartford, Connecticut, and then back to Vineland. Some of my fondest memories are times spent with my grandparents, swimming in their pool, dinner at precisely six-o-clock, and simply sitting and listening to my grandparents tell stories of their lives. My grandfather was an inventor and business owner, and my grandmother, a photographer. My first story was written in their house on New Pear Street. I was in first grade.
In the middle of fourth grade I moved to Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. There I met many friends, broke my foot playing football, discovered theatre, and fell in love. I left Elizabethtown when I turned 18, but it has always held a special place in my heart.
After a short stay in New York City and Los Angeles, California, where I met my husband, I moved to Cape Coral, Florida to be near my grandparents again. I went to school while raising my two children and many foster children. I also wrote my first adult novel during this time. It fills three notebooks and is buried in a drawer somewhere in my house. Despite my lack of organizational skills, I became a teacher in 2003.
That same year my children were in a horrible car accident. My daughter became paralyzed. Not long after, I decided to write a children’s book with a strong female protagonist who happened to use a wheelchair. MYSTIC was published in 2013. It took me 6 years to complete.
I like to say I live with my husband and two kids because it makes me sound young. The reality is my kids are 16 and 21 and my daughter spends more time at college than she does at home. I’ve taken to filling my almost empty nest with animals — mostly cats and that’s why people have called me The Crazy Cat Lady. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Elle & Buddy, my second book, will be out March 2, 2015. It’s a picture book about a young girl who discovers racing wheelchairs. It too was inspired by my daughter who is an athlete on the University of Illinois racing wheelchair team. I suppose my next picture book will have to be about a young boy who loves playing the piano and lifting weights…my son asks me every day when his book will be finished. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I love. Thank you for reading my posts and books.