1. Could you tell us a little about yourself? Presently, I am a high school counselor and have been in education for 22 years. Prior to counseling I was a special education teacher at both the elementary and middle school levels. I have a bachelors, masters and educational specialist degree all in various areas of education. I am a wife, step mother of two, aunt to 10 children, a daughter and have three sisters. I enjoy golfing, skiing and working out. My mission in life is to motivate and inspire children to overcome obstacles and challenges: To be resilient!
2. Describe your desk/workspace. I like to break up where I work to keep my thinking fresh, so I work either in my office or my Ma’am cave. My office is simply an extra bedroom transformed into an office. It is set up like a business office with all of the office supplies to market my books. I can stay focused and on task in the office area. I also utilize my ma’am cave which is our basement that I redid once the kids went off to college. It has an entire spa like work out area with a sauna, yoga area and work out machinery. I find myself able to think more clearly while in that area! I find my creative juices revitalize while I relax in the sauna or work out. Also, there is a family room area in the Ma’am cave where I work. I simply set up my writing in that area where it is very warm , welcoming, peaceful and quiet.
3. Do you have a favorite quote? “You are never to old to enjoy a happy childhood”-often stated by my 71 year old father who plays hard and “If this is the worst thing you ever face, aren’t you lucky” which was often stated by my mother!
4. What are you currently reading? “While They Slept” by Katheryn Harrison. It is a true story where the author interviews a young girl whose parents and sister were killed by her brother. She is quite resilient and overcomes all that she experienced with the trauma of losing her family to such violence!
5. What is the best advice you've ever received? To follow my dreams and to write a book!
6. If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why? My deceased mother because I miss her and want to tell her one more time how much I love her and appreciate her believing in me and inspiring me to be the person I am today. I think she would be very impressed with my books and proud of me!
7. What are your top three favorite books and why? Any books by David Sedaris, Augustine Burrows, & Jen Lancaster. They all write about their own resiliency and lives through humor. They all seemed to have faced some difficult situations in their lives, yet they overcame them and became successful authors!
8. What was your favorite book as a child and why? I loved all of the Dr. Suess books because they were whimsical and silly! I could get lost with my imagination with each page! I loved the silly rhymes and the vibrant illustrations. I still have the entire collection of Dr. Suess books!
9. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I am definitely left brained and have to have everything symmetrical or patterned. Each page of each book is similar. The concept of the book (Believe) is on the left page and the rest of the message is on the right page. Believe…in yourself. Believe…..in your dreams, Believe….in high hopes.
10. Do you write full-time or part-time? Part-time. I work during the day and work on my books after work. Most of my books were completed during the summer when I was off of work. I tweaked the details after work once school started up again.
11. What are your current marketing strategies for Believe? I feel like I have a new college major in marketing! I Have utilized every social media (facebook, twitter, youtube, business website, blog and amazon) I sent my book , author bio and book release to Ellen, Oprah, Robyn Swoboda, the libraries, several preschools and daycares, all of the local newspapers and magazines. We have been in two newspapers and two big newsletters around town. I did a book reading at a day care and had a few book signings at a church function and craft fair. I have a book signing at a local library in April and my books are for loan at four of the local libraries.
12. Could you share about any current writing projects? I am finishing up the details for LOVE and am just about ready to go to print, though I need to sell more Believe books to be able to fund the printing for LOVE. I am also refining my additional MOM books, Laugh, Relax and Dream. The illustrations and words are completed, I just need to tweak some details.
13. What would be the best way for readers to contact you?
YouTube (Children’s Authors Show Interview):
14. Where can people find your book, Believe:
15. Is there anything else you'd like to share?
††My goal is to have these books in every preschool, school, church and child’s house so kids everywhere are constantly reminded of the five resiliency skills.