I grew up in Louisiana in the
middle of 6
brothers and sisters. Many of the things we did
growing up come out in my stories. Like smashing into
tight places and running through cow pastures, for example.
Once, my sister convinced me that a nutria hole in the banks
of the bayou would make a good camp and after I was in,
wouldn't let me out. See, lots of material.
I was very good at imagining that I was
someone else doing something else and I loved to read and draw.
As a teen, I thought
about writing a novel and made several attempts. The
words always sounded better in my head than they did on
paper. (This still happens).
Growing up in a
French speaking area increased
my love for language in all forms. I loved how the way a word
sounded could make me laugh and how arranging letters and words in a
particular order could make them funny or interesting or
bizarre. I think that
it's possible to say anything or tell any story, as long as you
phrase it in a certain way. Since my words don't always come
out of my mouth the way I want them to or even when I want them to,
I write. Because one of the things that delights me about
writing is that I can come up with the right words later - -
sometimes much later.
I spent years working in my parent's
"Thinking School", a specialized pre-school, while I went to college and learned the importance
of combining learning with fun.
I received a degree in Advertising from the University of Louisiana
and went on to work in several cities. (See illustration below).
followed my heart to Michigan's Upper Peninsula where I got
a degree in illustration from Northern Michigan University.
Raising my own children brought me back to picture books.
I heard how difficult it was to get published and chose
not to listen. (Something else I'm good at). As a
child, when I dreamed of doing something, I was told "Of course you
can do it!" This quote from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking
Glass is on my desk: "Why sometimes I've believed as many as six
impossible things before breakfast."
Now I live in
southern Michigan near Kalamazoo with my husband and our
three children. And I still like to hang around with people
who tell me "Of course you can do it," now and then.