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A Bit About Me

My 3rd Grade School Photo

 Kids Ask: What were you like when you were a kid?


When I was in 3rd grade -- 

•I learned to ski on the hill behind my house. I hoped to be in the Olympics, but I kept crash landing.

• I built myself a treehouse.  I planned to live it when I grew up . . . but I never did.

•I was convinced that Martians had landed on the hill behind my house.  (Don't worry. They hadn't!)

•I loved doing reports in school. (Really!)

•My favorite books were biographies and . . .

      The Secret Garden
      The Wizard of Oz
       Ellen Tibbets


Kids Ask: When did you decide to become a writer?


     I've wanted to be a writer ever since I was in third grade. My teacher, Mrs. Brown, assigned us to write poems. Mine was a four line verse about snowflakes, and when Mrs. Brown said to me, "You'll be a writer when you grow up," I was thrilled. It became my secret dream. When I meet with students, often one or two step forward to tell me that they plan to become writers, too.


 Kids Ask: Do you ever get writer's block? If so, what do you do?


Sometimes I get stuck and need to take time to think. What do I do? I organize my closet or my desk drawer or my sock drawer. I probably have the neatest sock drawer in all of Tennessee!


 Kids Ask: What's it like to be a writer?


   I love being a writer! For several years I worked as a teacher and librarian. This helped prepare me for the challenges of writing books. Now, I spend my days doing research, taking notes, and writing. I especially enjoy learning how people lived in other times and places. After hours of research, I put my notes together to create an original book. Then I revise - and revise some more.


      It's a happy day when I get a copy of the finished book in the mail. But the truth is, I don't read it. I've already read it a gazillion times, so I just make sure it wasn't printed upside down or backward, and then I put it on the bookshelf and prepare to share it with others.


      I enjoy reading and writing fiction, too. I always have a novel or two in progress. 


Kids Ask: Where do you live?


I've lived in eight different states during my life: Vermont, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Now I live in Greeneville, Tennessee, a friendly town in the Appalachian Mountains. Wherever I've lived, I've discovered wonderful friends and great stories.