I know I should say that I’ve always loved books and always wanted to be a writer – but I’m afraid that’s not true.
When I was a girl, growing up in northern California, my favorite things to do were running around outside with my friends, camping and fishing, hiking in the hills behind our house, riding horses, catching Blue Belly lizards, and playing big games of tag and hide-and-seek with the kids in our neighborhood.
And making noise. I loved making lots and lots of noise.
What I absolutely did not like was sitting still and being quiet. Which meant I also didn’t like reading books, because reading meant, of course, sitting still and being quiet.
But even worse than that, in the 1960s, when I was a girl, I could never find books about girls like me – girls who wanted to be firefighters or jockeys, girls who loved to play sports, girls with personal ambitions and big dreams. Girls who were loud and fast and strong.
In the 1960s, books about loud, fast, strong kids were about boys.
But, you know, even though I never thought about it at the time, I bet that in the 1960s there weren’t many books about boys who liked to be quiet and read books, either. And I bet boys who liked to do those things felt equally ignored.
I’m so glad things can change.
I’m glad that today we have books about girls who are loud and boys who are quiet, and books about all kinds of kids, from all kinds of families, with all kinds of abilities, ambitions, hopes, and dreams.
I live in Virginia now, with my husband, two cats, and one very goofy dog. I also have two grown children. I still like to hike and ride horses, catch lizards and be loud, but now I also like to sit still and be quiet – because that’s what I need to do if I want to read wonderful books. It’s also what I need to do if I want to write books. And I love writing books for kids who, like me, love to dream big dreams.
Some of my Favorite Things:
- The first strawberries in the Farmer’s Market each spring.
- Cicadas singing on warm summer nights.
- The sharp, piney smell of the Sierras.
- Cantering across a meadow when there’s still dew on the grass.
- Waking up to a world covered in snow.
- Every animal I’ve ever seen (well, maybe not naked mole rats) – but I especially love dogs, cats, and horses. And chickens. I really like chickens. And baby goats. And the box turtles that creep through our garden. And the little bats that swoop through our yard at twilight. And . . . well, you get the idea.
- I also love the color yellow – it’s always so happy.
- And crispy, crunchy chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.