With a background in science (I have a degree in Marine Biology, and live in Colorado - can you believe that Colorado has no oceans??!), I have always been fascinated with cool creatures and stranger-than-fiction real life. It wasn't until I had been writing for kids for a few years that I realized I could combine my love with writing with my interest in science. With one child who loves only non-fiction, and one child that loves only fiction, I decided to combine both of these genres in my ""How to Survive"" series to satisfy both types of learners! I know I learn best when I'm being entertained, and that is what I aim for in my books.
Besides for writing, I have an impractical (i.e. expensive) obsession with crafting, which equates to having a super chaotic basement that looks like an overstock warehouse for Hobby Lobby. Why just buy something when you can spend a ton of money and time making it, am I right??
When I'm not writing, my favorite activities involve getting outdoors. I moved to Colorado 5 years ago from Illinois, and try and take advantage of all of the amazing hiking/biking/boating and other outdoor activities in our area. I live at the very top of a hill overlooking the mountains and a reservoir, and it provides instant inspiration with every sunrise and sunset! BUT, though I do love the mountains, where I REALLY love to be is at the beach. Scuba-diving has to be one of my favorite activities, and *one day* I hope to live somewhere that I can be in the water all of the time!
My favorite kid's book is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. When I was in high school Environmental Science, it was our first thing we were assigned to read. It was then that I realized that a kid's book could be so much more than just an entertaining story. It can be such a useful tool in introducing big issues to little minds!
I hope readers are entertained while reading my books, but also learn a thing or two on the way! My goal is that my books are engaging enough that kids can learn science without being actively aware they are actually learning!
My "How to Survive" books are my own version of a fiction/non-fiction hybrid. Fictional storyline combined with a ton of science and interesting facts.
My favorite time to work is anytime I can get a few hours alone - which can be rare! I have two super active kids that keep me running from place to place, so whenever I can take a break while they are at their own after-school activities or practices, I try to take advantage.
My son is a super reluctant reader, so it has been a challenge to get him to read. The things I have found to help get him hooked is to cycle through books that have a topic he is interested in, and luckily a few have stuck and he has enjoyed them. He only really loves straight non-fiction, so for me, it works to find books that are based on real-life but have a fictional storyline (which is also why I write the books I do!).
My favorite people to test out ideas on (besides my writing group) are my kids! They are *brutally* honest and I can usually count on them to let me know if I have a cool idea or not!
As a child, I adored reading. My favorite part of reading as a child was when I would read the same book over and over, because every time I would soak in more and more of the story. I think I read The Secret Garden probably 5 times as a kid!