As an author and freelance writer, I have the best job! Every day, I'm excited to sit at my desk and explore the ideas that are knocking at my office door. One day I might be writing a book about my dog, asleep at my feet, and the next day I'm writing a magazine article about a cool kid who is doing great volunteer work in another part of the country. Each day holds something different for me. Of course, any writer knows that most of writing is - rewriting! So, I spend a great bit of time revising with my critique group and with the help of editors. I have one published book out now (please click on Books tab above) and several more under consideration. I also write often for Highlights Magazine (please click on Highlights Articles tab above).
I love school visits and use an interactive PowerPoint presentation that teaches kids about creating their own ideas, the life of an author and how to find the stories in all of us (click on School Visit Reviews from teachers, librarians and principals).
Here are some questions that are usually asked of a writer:
Did you always want to be a writer?
I did always love to write and English was my best subject in school. In fact, I was a Communications major in college. My mother and brother are also authors, so I guess it runs in the family! Writing also lets me spend lots of time with my husband, Peter, and our two kids, Shane and Quinn - my favorite people.
What are some of your favorite childhood memories?
I grew up as the youngest of seven kids and absolutely loved being part of a large family. It was always noisy, busy and fun. Many of my favorite times were spent "at the shore" in Ocean City, New Jersey, and now my own family has a house there also. What I most remember about childhood is wonderful parents who always gave me a hug and a family that always made me laugh.
What are some of your hobbies?
My favorite hobby is running. I love to run on the trails in the woods of Valley Forge National Park. My big dog, Ryder, a rescue mutt, gets me out there most mornings. Autumn is the best time as the leaves are turning and the air is crisp. Ryder inspires me to run faster, but mostly he inspires me to just soak in the joy of running. Dogs make the best running partners.
I've also coached track and field for many years. The kids are great and it's fun to see them grow as athletes. And any writer lists reading as a hobby. I belong to a book club and we've read almost 200 books together.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I'm working on several non-fiction books: one about teens and service projects, another about runners and their dogs, and a book about gardens. I always have a magazine article lurking in the back of my mind too.
Any tips for writers?
Write what interests you the most. You will be spending a lot of time with your manuscript - researching and revising. Also, join a critique group. My group has been together for several years and they are a valuable part of my writing. So often, they give me fantastic ideas, let me whine a bit, tell me when I'm forcing a rhyme, and they always make me laugh. We usually manage to have chocolate at our meetings too!
What is the At Least Kids Foundation?
At Least Kids is a non-profit charitable foundation that our family started. When our daughter, Quinn, was four years old she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Blessedly, it was benign and she has a wonderful diagnosis. Each year, 3,000 kids are diagnosed with brain tumors. The mission of At Least Kids is to add financial support towards a cure for these incredibly brave kids, through the groundbreaking work at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Check out the website at http://www.atleastkids.org/.
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