• As a printer’s daughter, I have a life-long love of type, paper, and the aroma of ink. My first jobs at my family’s printing plant in Kansas City included proofreading pages of bull pedigrees, stuffing envelopes, and raiding the gum ball machine. I spent a lot of
    time boxing books, too. However, I had the finest quality of paper stock for my paper dolls.

    I went on to get journalism and history degrees from SMU in Dallas, and worked in public affairs and writing for energy companies and hospitals.

    I am passionate about reading to kids,
    beginning with brand-new babies. One of my favorite things is sharing and suggesting books, and reading aloud with kids (including my very discerning toddler grandson!) 

    I’ve been involved with several different literacy initiatives in the Kansas City area, including Reach Out and Read and Freedom Fire, and urban tutoring and mentoring ministry. For the last several years, I’ve been reading with a first or second grader every Tuesday at a Kansas City urban school through Lead to Read. This is an amazing program where volunteers are matched with a student for the school year, and we read together every Tuesday at noon for 30 minutes. Among my fellow readers are downtown workers, police officers, and retirees. It is always one of the highlights of my week.

    My story is an SCBWI success story indeed — I started pursuing writing for kids seriously in 2006 and joined SCBWI a year or two later. I wrote and sold magazine stories and poetry and did a work for hire educational book. And, I got involved with the SCBWI Kansas region, serving as assistant regional advisor and then regional advisor. 

    In 2013, I went to the LA SCBWI conference and purchased a manuscript critique with an editor. That’s how I ended up selling my debut picture book and getting an agent! Joyce Wan, an amazing author/illustrator who is also active in SCBWI, is the illustrator of PUG MEETS PIG. Seeing the manuscript become a picture book has been an amazing adventure for me. PUG MEETS PIG released September 27, 2016, from Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster. The book received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, and was included in the Society of Illustrators’ 2016 Original Art Show. 

    A second Pug and Pig adventure, PUG & PIG TRICK OR TREAT, sold in fall 2014 and releases July 25, 2017. 

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    Family On Parade