Hello out there to all librarians, writers and illustrators. I am so blessed to be a librarian, teacher, writer, reader, “Mimi” to six grandchildren, “Mom” to three grown children, and “Honey” to a supportive husband. My lifelong learning motto: “You are never to OLD to write and publish your first book.” Remember Laura Ingalls Wilder? She published Little House in the Big Woods at the young age of 64.
What am I working on?
I recently submitted “Hound Dawg! A Texas Tail” to TCU Press and they said “WE LIKE IT!” I am completing the final details and working with the creative illustrator, Cheryl Pilgrim, on the story settings. Liz Garton Scanlon is assisting with the final layout process. Liz has been an inspiration finishing the writing process, as well as Cynthea Liu, who inspired me with twists and turns in retelling The Little Red Hen . On another note, I am editing an exchange of letters written by my grandson and author/illustrator Robert Quackenbush. “Dear Mr. Henshaw” comes to mind.
How does my work differ from other genres?
“Texas Chili? Oh My!” was inspired by Robert San Souci, children’s author of numerous folktales such as “Cinderella Skelton” and one of my favorites, “The Talking Eggs.“ I flavor my retellings with Texas Pepper. HA! There are several authors who use Texas Pepper to flavor their stories. Helen Ketteman is one that comes to mind. She is a terrific author who actually lived in Dallas for a time.
Why do I write what I do?
I am fortunate to be a children’s librarian and meet many interesting and talented authors and illustrators. I began writing in college. A professor at LSU suggested I publish one of my writings but he never shared the process. That was a lesson for me to share with my students about the publishing process. Later I wrote stories and magazine articles about my elementary school friends. When I met Robert San Souci, my love of folktales and Robert’s writing gave me the inspiration to retell a story of my own. I was encouraged by my First Grade students to weave Texas flavor or pepper throughout the tale.
How does my writing process work?
I begin with an idea, research every detail, study photographs, visit locations, sketch scenes using colored pencil or crayon, keep a notebook and take it where ever I go, using post-it-notes, stickers, and most importantly, creating several BOOK OF WORDS in order to find that “Just Right Word” for my writing, complements of THE CREATIVITY WORKSHOP in Florence, Italy. When I think my story is complete, I use a colored pencil and begin the editing process. I rewrite and edit again, and again and again. My SCBWI group plays a major role in my editing process. I prefer using my computer to writing my words using pencil and paper. The reason being, my handwriting is dreadful. I cannot read my own penmanship. Praises for the keyboard.