• When I attended my first SCBWI conference in Lawton, Oklahoma, I met a woman who changed my life. She was a lovely lady, probably thirty years older than I was at the time. When I asked her what she wrote, she said the words that shook me. “Oh, I don’t write,” she said, “but I am planning to one of these days.” I could hardly keep from gasping because I saw myself in that statement. I had known since early childhood that I wanted to write–someday! I went home from that conference and started to write.
    One summer I had the privilege of taking a class taught by Lee Bennett Hopkins, and I will always be thankful for his special encouragement.

    It took me seven years to sell my first novel, but I never seriously
    thought of giving up. That first novel, Red-Dirt Jessie came out in 1992.

    In February of 2011, my nineteenth book, The Grave Robber’s Secret was published. All of my books have been published with Walker and Company, and all nineteen have been done with the same amazing editor, Emily Easton. Seventeen of the nineteen books are historical fiction, and history is my first love.

    Since 2000, I have served as the RA for Oklahoma. When I took over the job, I expected to keep it only for two or three years. However, I did not know how much I would enjoy the people of our chapter. My life is richer because of SCBWI members.

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