Here are some questions that I seem to get asked a lot by kids needing answers for homework assignments:
When were you born?
This is a question students tell me their teachers make them ask. I’m hoping it’s because the teachers plan to send me some really, really nice presents. My birthday is August 17, 1954.
Where were you born?
I was born at Fort Lawton Army Hospital in Seattle, Washington. I cost $5.
Where do you live?
I live in Kenmore, Washington, near Seattle but spend as much time as I can at our beach house near the Canadian border.
Do you have children?
We have terrific children! Our son, Tyler, lives near San Francisco with his sweet family, Nicole, Eli and Audrey; he works for MLS.com (Major League Soccer) and Nicole runs her own PR firm. Our daughter, Quinn, and her husband, Matt, live in Renton, Washington. Quinn is an interior designer so she keeps me from doing crazy stuff like painting my office pumpkin and Matt is an accountant and a computer whiz who fixes all of my technical problems. They are Mom and Dad to Esme, who was born 58 years and 31 minutes after me. Oh, and I can’t forget our youngest “son,” Winston the Wonder Dog.
What other books have you written?
This website answers that question!
Why do you like birds?
They are beautiful and mesmerizing. From my office window at our beach house, I can watch birds as small as hummingbirds and as big as eagles – and dozens of birds every size in between.
What did you do before you became a writer?
I did everything from cleaning houses to serving on the school board to working in my husband’s office.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first book, about the Easter Bunny, in third grade. I sold my first story – about a disastrous camping trip with my husband and our two babies – in the mid 1980s. I began writing for children in about 1990; my first book, a chapter book called Second Grade Pig Pals, (which is no longer in print) was published in 1994.
Is this book nonfiction?
With my friend Mary Nethery, I have written two nonfiction books, Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle. The writing I do on my own is in the genre of historical fiction. That means there are true elements of history in the books (backed up by lots and lots of research) but they are considered fiction because most of the characters and some of the events are made-up.
Are you going to write another book?
I hope to keep writing until I am 99.
And, finally, the question that I have been asked hundreds and hundreds of times: Did Hattie marry Charlie?
I’ve written a sequel to Hattie Big Sky called Hattie Ever After to find out the answer to that very question for myself.