I grew up in Vermont. For much of my childhood I lived across the road from a dairy farm. I spent hours upon hours playing in the fields, “helping” in the barns, and hanging out in the big farm kitchen with our Swedish neighbors. During those years I never thought of being an author. Of course like every other student in the world I had to be a writer in school. But I never imagined writing as a career. I wasn’t planning on being a farmer either. I loved my tap dancing classes and wanted to be a Rockette tap dancing in Radio City Music Hall.
Fast forward through many years which included a move to New York City and years of teaching and you’ll find me writing my first novel. I was surprised to discover that I liked making up stories and writing them down. I liked it so much that eventually I stopped teaching and became a full time writer. Besides novels for children and young adults, I’ve told stories through scripts for television and the movies.
Here are a few details about my personal life. I live on the top floor of a sixteen-story building near the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. My Upper Westside neighborhood is between Central Park and the Hudson River. From my apartment I have a view of Manhattan that includes the Empire State Building. I used to be able to see the Twin Towers.
In the summers my girlfriend and I rent a small cabin on the North Shore of Long Island. I have a grown daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter who live in New York City and like to go out to vacation in Long Island, too. We ride bikes, go for long walks on the beach, and swim in the ocean. Sometimes I set up my easel and paint the view of rocks, sea, and sky.
I don’t have any pets right now. Over the years I had two wonderful dogs and several cats, but not all at once. My last pet was Willy – a Wheaton Terrier – who lived to be sixteen years old, which is pretty old in dog years. I based Pam Crandal’s dog in Pony Pals, on Willie.
Besides writing I spend my time reading, drawing, painting, and gardening. I’ve never been good in competitive sports - probably because I have terrible eye/hand coordination. I like to swim, go for long walks, practice yoga, and bike. I still love to dance.
Some people think that a writer’s life is lonely. But when I’m writing a story I don’t feel lonely because I am actively involved with lots of interesting people – the characters in my books. I love knowing that some day readers will get to know these characters, too. If you are one of these readers I hope you have as much enjoyment in reading my stories as I have writing them.