How long have I been a writer?
Since I can remember! I’ve always loved writing. In elementary and high school, I was always writing creative essays and working on school publications. In college, I majored in English and Art History. During journalism school at New York University (where I earned an M.A. in Science & Environmental Reporting), I started writing for kids. I had an internship at Scholastic Inc., working on SuperScience Magazine. Later, I became an editor at Scholastic’s Science World, a magazine geared toward making science news fun and exciting for kids. I’ve been freelancing for the past 14 years.
What was my first writing job?
In college, I spent a summer working as a copy writer in an ad agency in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I wrote car and truck ads. “Buy a Hyundai by Sunday because by Monday, they’re history!”
What was the first book I wrote?
In 2003, I wrote a book for kids about wind. At first, I thought: How am I going to write a whole book about air that moves? Once I started doing research, I discovered a whole new world of information about the powerful forces of wind—from sweet summer breezes to ferocious hurricanes to energy-producing wind farms. Even kite flying has taken on a whole new dimension. The book is called Wind: From a Whisper to a Howl (Pearson Learning Group, 2003).
What am I working on now?
I’m writing and revising about a dozen new picture books, both fiction and non-fiction. I’m also working on my first Middle Grade novel, which is a true learning experience. I wrote a book called WHY CAN’T GRANDMA REMEMBER MY NAME?, available soon from the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. Finally, I’m gearing up to launch my first picture book, DADDY DEPOT, which will be coming out from Feiwel & Friends in Spring 2017!
How do I encourage kids to write?
I’ve been visiting schools and teaching kids about the power of words, the importance of descriptive writing, how to stay organized, and how to implement good research skills. I’ve also taught a Writing Workshop to classes of energetic and creative kids at a local high school. For this year-long course, I wrote a curriculum that incorporates descriptive, narrative, persuasive, expository, and journalistic styles of writing.
When I’m not writing…
I love to swim, hike, cook, and hang out with my family. I have a huge pile of reading material (Middle Grade, Young Adult, and adult) next to my bed. I walk a “morning mile” (or more) every day just so I can say I exercised if I don’t make it to the gym.