As a girl, I loved to swing, to thrill down roller coasters, and to spin around until I got dizzy. Twirly dresses were the best, especially if they had pockets. My older brother and I loved to explore and pretend and tell stories. We hunted for caterpillars and pollywogs and would bring them home to live in the habitats we created for them. We had a pet cat, Su Wan, who had kittens when I was 3. Many of our games involved those cats, dressing them up, taking them for rides in my toy stroller, scooting them along the ground.

The memories that have stayed with me are almost always out in nature. Feeding a grape to a deer when I was three. Jumping off a houseboat into the Sacramento River when I was 8. Exploring springs and geysers in Yellowstone when I was 10 or 11. Most of my childhood memories include my brother. The danger of having an older brother is you might be tricked into drinking the turtle water or sampling the cat chow before you wise up. I’m smarter now.

I have always loved to read. I am thrilled that my path has brought me to this place of writing for children. It was a twisting path, starting as an appellate lawyer, then to teaching middle school, before landing here as an author. In my work, I love to celebrate the connections between people and animals, like that between young Abe and his beloved dog, Honey. Or between Gertie and the wonderful people of Milwaukee who took such good care of her and her brood during a difficult time.


  • Favorite color: Periwinkle
  • Pets: Honey (dog) and Marie (cat)
  • Favorite food: Mango
  • Family: mom, husband, son, daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters, Lily and Ella
  • Where do you get ideas: I have found that ideas are everywhere, floating around, and the trick is capturing them by writing them down before they drift away. Things you learn will sort of niggle at you until you research them more closely. Not all the ideas I research or think up will turn into books, but they always make for a fascinating treasure hunt and journey.
  • Favorite things to do: hiking, gardening, solving puzzles, and watching mysteries.
  • Favorite place: mountains


I share my musings on quotes, life, and philosophy at Quotable Creek.