Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Toledo,Ohio, where I live still. I am a midwestern girl.
What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?
It seems like I was always writing and drawing. I wanted to share my ideas from the beginning. A bit bossy am I.
What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?
I started collecting picture books in art school. I was crazy about the whole picture book format. I realized, as I was sharing books with my daughter, that making books is what I needed to do.
Do you use your childhood as inspiration?
I have always been interested in nature and the outdoors which is the subject of many of my books.
What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?
The Giant Golden Book Of Cat Stories is the book I remember most. It is full of great illustrations. I can't think of any specific adult titles. I do read a lot of poetry. Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou are favorite poets .
What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?
I work in clay, create art from tin cans, and make art dolls. Right now I am working on combining all three media. I also dye and paint fabric for the dolls.
Planting flowers and painting the outside of my house and studio is what I am busy doing right now.
Who are a couple of your favorite author/illustrators? What is it about their work that inspires and interests you?
Chris Raschka is a big favorite. He has the most spontaneous, expressive line.
Vera Williams work is full of soul. I have always loved her work.
What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?
Experiment with different styles and media.