What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always loved kids. I love their sense of wonder. So when I had my own kids, I wanted to create something that captured that special moment in my life. I wanted a book that illustrated the special connection between a mother and her child.
How did you come up with the title?
I had a few titles in mind. But my husband helped me with this one.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are sections in the book that are based on my own experiences. Some are my perceptions from those around me–family, friends, co-workers or even the way strangers act and react. I think no matter what book you write, there will always be pieces of you that are sprinkled into it.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Where do I even begin? There were so many. But the first book that popped into my mind is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. I remember reading it in high school and it made me think on a whole new level.
Growing up I enjoyed Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, and The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks by Nancy McArthur.
What book(s) are you reading now?
My To-Be-Read book pile seems to grow daily. I can’t keep it up!
I’m currently reading One Hundred and Thirty Stars by Shelley Sly, a great writer friend of mine. And Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo.
For my kids, I’m reading them Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Wolfie by Ame Dyckman.
What are your current projects?
I am working on a Young Adult novel and few other picture books.
How did your interest in writing originate?
I love words. So when you blend words with imagination, you get amazing stories.
I used to make up bed time stories for my three younger siblings when we were little. I guess it never stopped.
I think my love to create—whether it’s writing, drawing or any artistic outlet—originated when I was a child responding to a pencil and paper. I prefer pencils over pens. For me, a pencil allows me to erase and start again especially in the beginning stages where things are not as concrete.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I will try. For my young adult novel, it’s a story that will make you look at things from a different perspective. I’m working on a few picture books right now. But the one I’m very close to finishing is the Daddy version to Mommy’s Little Wordlings.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Like a child, each book has its own personality, its own positive and negative traits. So there are different challenges for every story that I write.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t think I have a favorite writer. I like different writers for various reasons.
I like Shakespeare for his poetry, Nora Roberts for her ability to weave together mystery and romance, James Patterson for his fast paced and compelling novels and Stephen King for making me so scared that I don’t watch horror movies anymore. Hahaha!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part is finding/creating time to write. I have two little kids and I work full time so it’s been a challenge. But every moment I find to work on it, there’s a sense of joy that is inexplicable.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that great works take time. Be patient with yourself. Sometimes you just have to let things play out. Don’t force a word where it’s not working, don’t force an illustration when it won’t show the story (even though the sketch is amazing.)
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I have heard so many writers say this, but it is true, KEEP WRITING. Each new word leads to a new sentence and each sentence eventually creates a story. For every story that you write, know that you’ve put your heart and soul into it—that you’ve brought something amazing to life. Writing is easy. Writing a story well is not.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Why do we write? We write for people who love stories. In the end, it’s all about the readers. I hope that my book will make a difference in a reader’s life, even if it’s very small. If I my book can make you see or feel something that you haven’t before, then I’ve done my job.