Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was usually juggling a stack of library books on my way home from school. I loved writing stories, too, and in the fourth grade, started crafting plays. I'd cast my friends in the roles and our teacher, Mrs. Zielinski, encouraged us to perform for the class and sometimes, the whole school! 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 for children was a four-book weather series for Scholastic. A few years later came my debut middle grade fiction series, Julep O'Toole (Penguin). Since then, I've 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! A full list of my books and author bio are available in the Media Kit below. 

Media Kit


Fun Facts

  • 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

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Facebook Author Page 

Amazon Author Page



You Tube Channel

Pippin, Woody, Emmylou, & Misty's FB Page
(because cats have great adventures!)