1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A novelist and a mother
2. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer/illustrator?
At the end of first grade, my mother gave me the book, Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne. I read it cover to cover and decided then and there, I will be a poet . I self-published my first poetry book that day: a hand-lettered scroll tied with red ribbon.
3. What’s your first childhood memory?
My Nana curling my hair into ringlets on the day my parents brought my baby sister Laura home from the hospital.
4. What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory?
A boy named Alan jumped on my back causing the buttons on my jumper to pop off. The jumper dress fell down revealing the pajama bloomers I had forgotten to change out of that morning before I left for school.
5. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
The first time I rode my bicycle without training wheels, I felt like I was flying.
6. As a young person, who did you look up to most?
My 2nd and 3rd grade teacher, Miss Judy Aitken.
7. What was your worst subject in school?
Geometry in 8th grade
8. What was your best subject in school?
9. What was your first job?
Junior day camp counselor at the JCC.
10. How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
I ate a chocolate éclair and drank sparkling cider from a champagne flute with my family.
11. Where do you write your books?
I brainstorm and handwrite first drafts at the teak table in my garden. I revise at the computer in my writing studio. The walls are painted a color called “ciaobella” which is a terracotta orange. I love the energy of the room.
12. Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
From elements of nature, particularly the moon, the ocean, trees, and butterflies.
13. Which of your characters is most like you?
Anya Rosen from my forthcoming novel, Anya’s Echo.
14. When you finish a book, who reads it first?
My best friend, Lisa Bossi and my agent, Barbara Moulton
15. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person. My favorite time of day is dawn, accompanied by a cup of coffee with steamed milk.
16. What’s your idea of the best meal ever?
Thai veggie rolls with peanut sauce, mangos on sticky rice and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups for dessert.
17. Which do you like better: cats or dogs?
Dogs. Our family mascot is our mahogany-colored Irish Setter named Dusty Springfield.
18. What do you value most in your friends
Honesty and the willingness to listen deeply
19. Where do you go for peace and quiet?
The bench next to the fountain in my garden. I watch the hummingbirds drink and bathe.
20. What makes you laugh out loud?
Babies laughing, I LOVE LUCY re-runs, Ellen De Generes
21. What’s your favorite song?
Don’t Rain on My Parade, sung by Barbra Streisand in the movie FUNNY GIRL
22. Who is your favorite fictional character?
23. What are you most afraid of?
24. What time of year do you like best?
Spring … I love watching leaves unfurl and buds burst into blossom.
25. What’s your favorite TV show?
American Idol and Oprah. These are the only two shows I watch.
26. If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you want for company?
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese monk and author of BEING PEACE
27. If you could travel in time, where would you go?
To my two favorite places—San Francisco and Lake Tahoe—before either was settled by people and developed with buildings.
28. What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing/illustrating?
Sit down and write something—anything—every single day!
29. What do you want readers to remember about your books?
That I wasn’t afraid to follow the spark of an idea; write, write, write; revise and polish; and then send my work out into the world.
30. What would you do if you ever stopped writing/illustrating?
Study to become a landscape architect or owner of an organic cherry orchard.
31. What do you like best about yourself?
My gift of stringing words into sentences, my curiosity, and my compassion for children and animals.
32. What is your worst habit?
Eating more than one dark chocolate covered caramels layered with marshmallow.
33. What is your best habit?
Sun salutations and a healthy breakfast every morning.
34. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
My children, Jake and Lily
35. Where in the world do you feel most at home?
In my garden underneath an old Redwood tree.
36. What do you wish you could do better?
Fix my own car.
37. What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?
I graduated from college the same week as my son graduated from high school in 2008.
38. What is your favorite quote?
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving through you, a joy.” —Rumi
39. Where do you want to live when your children leave home?
I’d like to move to the south of France or a Tuscan village in Italy for a couple of years.