I grew up in an old house where I had a bedroom with a silver radiator and slanted ceiling. I loved the banister we slid down, the bookshelves my dad built into a “secret” staircase, and the shelf he put up in a closet for a television with goldenrod-colored National Geographics stacked below. Outside were creaky porches, a twisted crabapple tree, brambly roses, tumbling stone walls, and a sloping lawn often bright with dandelions and fragrant tiny purple flowers. Maple trees shaded me for summer reading of books set in the past with girls who were both daring and ordinary. Beyond were woods where my friends and I pretended we were almost anyone.
I didn’t leave the dreamy girl far behind when I chose English as my major in college. After I married and had a child to read to, we often chose books about girls and women who lived long ago. During all the years when my daughter was growing up, I wrote about people who’ve not yet found their rightful places in history books, including female Arctic explorers, seventeenth century naturalists, paleontologists and pilots. Now I teach children’s literature at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and sometimes visit schools to talk about writing. I live with my husband in a house that isn’t particularly old, but has window seats and a banister and certainly secrets in corners. A small forest, filled with ideas, is steps away, and taking breaks from looking backwards for new stories, I walk there almost daily with our dogs.
To learn more about what I write, read, and do, please visit my blog:
Views from a Window Seat.
Links to Interviews with me:
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out
A piece I wrote about Woodrow Wilson is included in this wonderful book about people and animals who’ve called the White House their home.To learn more:
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art:
I’m proud to serve on the board of one of my favorite places to go when I need more color in my life.
SCBWI Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators:
An international organization of children’s writers – a generous and inspired group who love to share ideas.