Q: What made you want to write books for young people?
A: My mother was an avid reader, so we always had books in the house when I was growing up. We went to the library every week when I was a child and there were shelves and shelves of new stories and new ideas to explore! I wrote my first picture book when I was eleven. I also started writing poetry at that age. I wrote because I was a reader.
Q: What were some of your favorite books growing up? How did they influence your writing style?
A: I read both fiction and nonfiction as I was growing up. The stories in the fiction books were so fascinating! What was Nancy Drew going to do next? I also devoured DIY books with art and gardening projects. It was so much fun to make things.
Q: How did you select the projects featured in your Craft It! and Make It! books?
A: For the Craft It! books I included the types of projects that I loved to make as a child. Each book had sewing, painting, cut paper, clay, sculpture, and printing or stamping projects. For the Make It! books I added batteries, lights, Legos, and the movie magic now possible for everyone with computers and cell phones.
Q: What did you enjoy most about working on those books?
A: While I was working on these books, I enjoyed discovering new ways to make things! I found new art products to use and an old folk art called quilling. (Long ago, they rolled long thin strips of colored paper around a feather quill. Nowadays, of course, they use round metal quilling tools, not feathers.) I just had to try it, and now my art table is filled with trays of tiny rolls of recycled paper that I glue into colorful patterns. It’s fun!