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Why did you start writing?

I was the kind of kid who just liked words, I guess.  I loved making up poems in second grade, and by fourth grade, I was writing chapterbooks.  In school, I was a bit of a daydreamer.  Imagining stuff was one of my favorite things to do.  (And writing that stuff down was pretty cool, too!)  Throughout the years, I experimented with different styles of writing, but somehow I always ended up creating stories for children.

How do you think of all that cool stuff?

Well, I try to write every day, even if I don't have anything to write about.  Those days, the I-can't-think-of-a-thing-days, are usually the when I get my best ideas!  Sometimes, being a little bored is a great thing for a writer.  Brains hate boredom.  If you don't give your brain something to think about, I guarantee you that your brain will come up with something on it's own.  (It might not be what you expected......but at least you won't be bored anymore!)

Who draws your pictures?

I wish it was me!!  But I gave up drawing in middle-school.  (Special note....if you love drawing, don't give it up in middle-school!)  The artists and photographers for my books are:

Jennifer Plecas -Good Night, Good Knight, Get Well, Good Knight, Happy Birthday, Good Knight, A Cold Winter's Good Knight, and the forthcoming A Good Kinght's Rest.

Paul Meisel-Take Care, Good Knight.

Eric Futran- Somewhere Today:  A Book of Peace, A Baby's Coming to Your House.

Bonnie Christensen- Putting the World to Sleep

Do you eat your cereal with milk or do you eat it dry?

I don't usually eat cereal.  I ate it every day for breakfast for about the first 20 years of my life.  If you do the math, you get about 7,300 bowls....that's a lot of cereal.  I guess I got a little tired of it, (but when I was little, I loved Cap'n Crunch!)  Now I eat yogurt. (But my favorite breakfast would probably be a breakfast burrito!)

Are you a real queen?

Interesting question.  Yes.  (and a little no.)  Yes, I am a real queen (in some ways.)  I have a crown.  I have a treasure trove of stories which are worth more than a thousand jewels.  I have very royal manners and such.  And didn't Sarah Crewe say in  A Little Princess that all girls are princesses?  And if a princess grows up, she would become a queen, right?  I mean, everybody knows that. 

But, I believe more in a democratic form of government than a monarchy.  So, I am a queen of stories, but as opposed to other queens, I don't really rule over anyone.

Do you have any pets?

Yes.  I have two dogs and a cat.  When I was little, we couldn't have pets at all, except once I had a goldfish named Clarence.  He lived a long time, for a goldfish, but he wasn't very cuddly.  When I grew up, I couldn't decide if I wanted a cat or a dog, so I got both.  The dogs are Mikey and Zena. The cat is Elvis.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

A castle, of course!!  Preferably in Ireland....but not a haunted one.  (Unless the ghost was very well-behaved and liked cleaning up after other people.)

What was your favorite storybook as a child?

Oh, I loved books when I was a kid.  I would borrow my big sister's book of Grimm's Fairytales and look at it for hours.  I remember reading Little Women in fifth-grade.  It was the first book that made me cry.  (No wait, my mom tells a story about how I cried during the Ugly Duckling when everyone made fun of him, but I was too young to remember it)  I was a huge fan of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  And I must have read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish about a thousand times.

Do you prefer to read aloud or silently?


What did you want to be when you grew up?

Well, I remember wanting to be a nurse, because back then they had cool hats.  Then I found out they gave shots....yuck.  Needles and I do not get along very well.  I went through a brief stint of wanting to be either a police officer or a general. (Again, probably due to the uniform.)  Then I think lawyer was in there somewhere. And of course, teacher and author, which is what I ended up being.

Oh, and queen.  Which, if I do say so myself, has the best hat (a crown) and uniform (velvet robes) of all! 

You can contact me at for more information...about anything!

shelley b and w.JPG
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