Tell me about your most recent book you’re writing and the title.
My debut novel is the middle-grade novel in verse is STARFISH. I just submitted the manuscript of my second middle-grade novel to my editor, but I can’t talk about it yet.
If you could be any Disney character for a week which would you choose and why?
Winnie the Pooh. He’s a fun, sweet, lovable creature who learns life lessons in gentle ways and becomes wise; plus, he’s a great friend surrounded by great friends.
Do you have a pet who supports your writing? Who is it?
I used to. Princess Gigi Pugsley, my dog, a pug. I had her for almost 14 years before she passed away. I’m considering getting another dog because I miss having a dog. Dogs are the best!
Where do you live?
Indiana, but I lived in Texas for a while.
Tell me the first sentence in your most recent book.
“I step down into the pool.”
What’s the average age of your readers?
Nine to twelve.
What emotion do you hope to capture most in your writing?
Empathy. As a society, we need to understand each other and see the world through others’ eyes.
Write a few sentences about where you are currently sitting so the reader can imagine themselves there.
I’m sitting at my desk, where I keep some of my favorite things nearby, such as quotes about writing and a photo of my grandmother and me.
Where do you gain your inspiration from?
Life. Everything I’ve experienced and everything I see and take in eventually, somehow, becomes a part of a book, whether that’s how the ocean sounds or how raindrops feel on your skin, etc.
What’s your writing goals for 2022?
To write four books and, hopefully, take a real vacation.
Tell me about a book you’d like to advertise and why?
STARFISH because I truly believe that — even though it’s written for kids — everyone should read it. Seventy percent of Americans are fat and yet fat people are very misunderstood, stereotyped, and treated as if they’re not human.
Do you have a “brand” logo and if so, who made it?
I do! I’m attaching it. It’s just the initials for my first and last names, but I love it because it’s round like me. LOL. Author and illustrator Jarrett Lerner created it for me.
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