Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I wasn't hard to spot - I was the girl juggling a big stack of books on her way home from school. In the fourth grade, I started writing plays. I'd cast my friends in the roles and we'd rehearse during recess. My teacher, Mrs. Zielinski, let us perform our plays for the class and sometimes, the whole school! At age 13, I began writing a column for teens for my hometown newspaper in Kent, WA. The column soon turned into a quarterly magazine. After earning a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, I became a television news reporter and weather forecaster, first for KAPP TV in Yakima, WA then for KREM TV in Spokane, WA. My first book contract was to write a four-book weather series for Scholastic. A few years later, I published my first fiction series, Julep O'Toole (Penguin). Since then, I have published more than 100 fiction and nonfiction titles. It's a highlight of my career to be the first author to write fiction for National Geographic!
For a complete list of my books, as well as an official author bio, click on the links in the Media Kit below.
I am married to my college sweetheart, Bill, a high school teacher and photographer.
My hobbies are crocheting, photography, and gardening (can you guess which flower is my favorite?). I also adore the three c's: cupcakes, chocolate, and cats.
Speaking of cats, I have four: a sweet, clever snowshoe named Pippin, a big, mellow ginger tabby named Woody, Emmylou, a mischievous but sweet Siamese mix, and Misty, a chatty, white and brown 'cow print' tabby. The kits have their own Facebook page, where you can always find photos of their shenanigans and even some stories, too!
I have always loved the movies of old Hollywood: All About Eve, Rear Window, and Casablanca. But truthfully, I like any movie with an exciting plot and memorable characters, like The Princess Bride, The Incredibles and A Bug's Life. Here's a tip for writers: if you want to know how to weave a great story, watch a Pixar movie.
I enjoy all kinds of music from pop to jazz to bluegrass. My favorite performers are Kathy Mattea, The Corrs, and Adele.
My favorite books: Charlotte's Web; Pride & Prejudice; Kidnapped; Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth.
Social Media Links
Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Pippin, Woody, Emmylou, & Misty's FB Page
(because cats have great adventures!)