I was born in Richland, Washington, but before I turned five years old, my parents got divorced. I moved to Aberdeen, Washington to live with my mother. Our backyard was a lush, green forest. I spent many hours exploring, catching pollywogs and snakes, and eating wild huckleberries and blackberries. I played football, had dirt clod fights, and snowball fights with my rough and tumble brothers. I was a real-life tomboy.
This was also when I learned to read. My mother was a school teacher, so I always had books. Two of my favorites were Hide and Seek Fog by Alvin Tresselt and Frederick by Leo Lionni.
When I turned ten, my mother moved my two brothers and me to San Benito, Texas. There, I discovered flying cockroaches, along with huge, hairy tarantulas, and long, black snakes. My family went to Padre Island next to the Gulf of Mexico almost every weekend. I loved it there.
I was sad when my mother decided to move again when I was thirteen. I found myself in the middle of a desert in a town called Red Mesa, Arizona located on the Navajo Indian Reservation. After one year my mother moved us to a town outside of the reservation called Cortez, Colorado.
My very musical family then formed a rock and roll band. My older brother played lead guitar; my younger brother played drums; and I played bass guitar. We played for local dances and even had a concert in the park. When I went to college, I continued playing bass guitar in a dance band. Eventually the band broke up and I stopped playing bass. I wanted to be creative, so I started to write poetry.
It wasn’t until I turned thirty years old that I began writing for children. Before that, I had traveled around the world and lived in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and England. I also had gotten married and had a beautiful baby girl, Julia Scott-Douglas (who is also a writer). Unfortunately, my marriage ended in divorce.
Even though I was hopeful, my first book was not accepted. Then I wrote about 20-30 different stories and mailed them out. During this time, I got about 150 rejection letters. It was very discouraging. It took me 7 years to finally get a manuscript accepted and published.
I remarried and my current husband’s name is Joe Kras. My first book Giant Lizards was published and I’ve been working as a writer ever since. To date I’ve had 28 books published. I have traveled to do research for many of my books. Not only is travel and research interesting, but it’s a lot of fun. I’ve ridden an elephant to ancient temples in Cambodia, tracked lions and leopards in Botswana, dived with great white sharks in South Africa, explored the Galapagos Islands, and watched polar bears in the Arctic.
Member since 1996
Region: California: Los Angeles County
Published In Children's Market:
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