Here are answers for some of the questions children often ask me…
Where do your ideas come from?
From the spark that happens when my imagination meets something interesting in the world.
Sometimes I hear a bit of a conversation or I see something in a new way. Those moments can be the beginnings of stories.
Sometimes it’s almost as though a character taps me on the shoulder and begins whispering in my ear. When that happens, I run quickly to get some paper and a pen… even if I’m supposed to be sleeping.
What’s your favorite part of being an author?
There’s something very surprising and wonderful about the feeling I have when I know a story is coming to me. That feels like getting a present on a day that isn’t even my birthday.
I think the best part, though, is remembering how wonderful it was as a child to be read to and knowing that somewhere right now a child and an adult might be reading one of my books together.
Where do you live?
I grew up in Canada in the province of Ontario, and I sitll live there.
Do you have children?
Yes. I have two daughters and one son. In fact, my daughter’s words during a bedtime conversation sparked the idea for my book Mama’s Day with Little Gray.
All of my kids (and my husband) are my best first readers. They tell me if something is funny (or not!) and listen patiently to my new ideas.
Do you have pets?
My family had a dog called Meg for 14 years. We gave her that name partly because her hair reminded us of the colour of nutmeg.
It was a sad day for our family when Meg died. We still miss her very much. One way we deal with our feelings is by talking about them.
We also remember the funny and special things Meg did. We brought Meg home as a puppy just before Christmas one year. She came with us when we went out to cut down a tree. I kept on wondering why that tree needed so much water… until I caught Meg slurping out of the tree’s container. Once, while I was wrapping a large gift on the floor, Meg clambered right on top it. She sure was right in the middle of our celebration!
Meg is a part of many of our family memories. It helps us to think of the good life she had.
We have pictures of Meg with each person in the family. Looking at these can be a way to feel connected to Meg again.
It is very special to love and be loved by a pet. Although we feel sad that Meg is no longer with us, it helps to know that the memories of her are ours to keep.
What were some of your favorite activities as a kid?
I liked reading books (lots of books!) and writing. Sometimes I would sit in a tree and read. I loved visiting my grandfather’s farm, especially when the lilacs were blooming. I jumped in the hay mow and peeked out between the barn boards to look at the fields below.
I was a library helper in Grade Five. I loved the stamps and the smell of the books and the orderly way in which they were shelved.
What are some of your favorite things?
I love: chocolate (especially dark chocolate), swimming in a lake in the summer, the first snowfall of winter, lilacs, and… books!