I grew up on Chicago's south side, where we identified our neighborhoods by parishes - St. Margaret of Scotland was mine. I was always itchy to be part of a bigger world, to see how other people lived, to discover what the heck I was doing on this earth. After college, I backpacked through Europe, taught English in Athens, was a very good nanny to bambinos in Rome, and a very bad cook in Florence. Later, I worked a boatload of jobs, from TWA flight attendant to convention sales manager at Playboy Resorts. I kept journals all those years; the writing kept me centered, hopeful and real. I finally focused on writing as a profession (huge leap of faith!) when I turned 30 and had a son.
It’s been travel that has inspired most of my 65 children’s books: settling in the Rocky Mountains brought me the story of pioneer Aunt Clara Brown; colonial San Miguel de Allende turned my Day of the Dead book into an 8-year stay and a bunch of Mexican-themed books, including my coming-of-age story Truth and Salsa, set in a stone tower where we lived. I now live in Asheville, NC.