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What is a picture book?
Many books are all or mostly text, but picture books tell the story with a combination of words and pictures.

Which do you do first, the writing or the pictures?
I go back and forth between the writing and the art. For more details, go to the STUDIO section of this web site.

Do you write chapter books?
I specialize in picture books because I like to write and draw.

How do you make the pictures?
My first books were illustrated using traditional art materials such as colored pencils or acrylic paint to make illustrations. For my books since Celebrate the 50 States! I have primarily used my computer to create the artwork. For more details, go to the STUDIO section.

Is writing or illustrating more fun?
I enjoy both, though creating the art usually takes a lot longer.

How did you learn to be an author illustrator?
I’ve been drawing, reading, and writing since I was a little girl while in school and on my own. Becoming a good author and artist is just like playing sports or a musical instrument…the only way to get good at it is to practice.

How did you first get published?
I drew and painted several pages of characters based on jewelry I had made, then wrote stories about them. An editor at Holiday House liked a counting rhyme with dragon characters. It was titled A Number of Dragons, and was published in 1985.

Do you ever get “stuck” when you're working on a book?
Sometimes, so I usually do more research, take a break, or ask friends and my editor for some new ideas.

Do you like being an author?
I feel very lucky to be an author illustrator, because I get to be creative, learn new things, meet nice people, be my own boss, and keep my own schedule.

Do you have any hobbies?
I like making jewelry out of beads, reading, hiking, and working in my garden.