Besides being a writer, I’m a cat-lover, cloud enthusiast, chocoholic, and the mother of three fabulous daughters and one extra cute granddaughter. I live with my husband in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire. I love the warm summers, the vivid autumns, the fragrance of the pine trees, and the beautiful light of winter that drapes itself over mountains and birches.

I grew up on Long Island — the fish-shaped piece of land east of New York City with many rivers, inlets, and islands of its own that I only discovered when I learned how to fly.

dad and toby

My dad and me

My dad was an artist.  When I was little, he’d would open his big can of wet clay and give me a hunk to work with, or he’d tape a large piece of paper to his drafting table and sit me up on the stool so I could draw. I spent hours drawing and painting while he worked on his projects. He was also a calligrapher and an inventor with four patents.

mom and kate

My mom holding my daughter Kate

My mom designed and sewed quilts, hooked rugs, and did all kinds of needlework. My brother and I grew up playing instruments, and the whole family played recorders together. Both of my parents were folk dancers and the house was always filled with music. Creating with words, sounds, movement, and color was considered a very good way to live life.

toby and books

Me at about age three

Why do I write? I love words. Like everyone else, I live in the world, I read the news, and I have expectations and hopes and disappointments. There are things I’m afraid of and things I know very little about. Writing is my best way to explore them.

My first short story was published in a magazine called The Creative Writer in fifth grade, and my first poem was published in Seventeen when I was sixteen. I’ve written seven children’s books, including TWO COOL COWS, an American Bookseller Pick of the List and an IRA-CBC Children’s Choice Book, and BRAVE POTATOES, which was on both the Publishers Weekly and The New York Times children’s bestseller lists. I’ve written many stories for Highlights for Children and other magazines, and I’ve published my poetry in Four and Twenty, Light, The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly, and elsewhere.

DEATH OVER EASY, my first murder mystery, takes place on Long Island’s north shore. While I was writing it, I learned how to fly and earned my private pilot’s certificate and tailwheel endorsement. Then I had ten months of aerobatic training in a Decathlon. I also completed a local 16-week citizens’ police academy in which I learned about crime scene procedures, experienced a high-speed chase, learned to shoot a gun, and picked the brains of the generous police officers who taught me.