I am a former elementary school teacher, a father and grandfather, and a writer. Goodnight Whispers is my second children’s book. My first, Most People, came out last year and won the Moonbeam Award for Peacemaking. Two more picture books are coming in 2019.
I live in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, with my wife, Geralyn, and my dog, Tonto. I keep a guitar next to me at my desk. When I need to take a break from my writing, I play a song or two. Then it’s time to go back to work.
When I am stuck and need an idea, I go for a walk in the woods with my dog. Ideas come to me, without being forced, when I am out walking. I also like to take my ideas to bed with me at night. As I drift into sleep, I think about what I need for a story, then let the old brain work away at it during the night. Sure enough, good ideas are often there to greet me in the morning.
This is like asking a mom or dad which of their children they love the most. Can't answer it.
I have over thirty years' experience as an elementary school teacher, so with a question like this, I have to consider the feelings I had as a kid and, separately, those I had as an adult. And my honest answer is the same for each. I didn't have a favorite. Reading? Language arts? Math? Social studies? Science? Art? Music? I enjoyed the variety.
I really knew I wanted to be a writer only after I became one. Some mountain climbers set their sights right from the start. Others just start hiking and when they're half way to the top, they suddenly realize where they are. Only when they get to the top and see the view do they understand what they have accomplished. Writing was always something I just did, the way some people read or watch TV. I did it for enjoyment after doing my "real" work: teaching, being a dad, and everything else. I would have done the writing even if someone with a crystal ball told me I was never to have success.