I love mangoes, musicals, and am the only carrot top in my family.
As a child, I learned backwards - I rollerskated and rode a bicycle
before learning to speak in complete sentences at 4 years of age.
That same year, I taught myself to read and fell in love with books.
My educational career spans three decades from teaching and advocating
for students with special needs to being a university disabilities specialist.
I began writing picture book stories when I first began teaching.
Bertha Klausner, an international literary agent, represented my early manuscripts. I felt so lucky - Bertha had represented Eleanor Roosevelt,
Upton Sinclair, and Fidel Castro. My stories weren't polished or published. Since I didn't understand why, I abandoned the pen. Years later,
I decided to try again, but this time, I enrolled in courses
to formally learn about picture book writing,
and today I continue to take classes.
So what am I learning?
Every word counts in a 500-word manuscript.
Nix clichés and words like: little, very, really, fun, and nice.
Avoid flip-flopped "Yoda" language (ex., "To market we shall go.")
Use a three-act structure in 32 pages; and show, don't tell.
Make stories whimsical, engaging, and memorable.
I love discussing story development with Michael Burnam,
my husband and fellow author. A true optimist,
he writes happy endings to his anti-dystopic
young adult Sci-Fi novels. Check out
Michael's terrific books!