What books/authors have influenced you and why?
I have always been a fan of Leo Lionni’s books, with Swimmy probably being my favorite. His stories are well designed, bringing messages to the readers in a subtle way. Overall, I think his books are clever, and as a writer, I strive to bring that element to my stories.
Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy books are great fun! I love how O’Connor brings the character of Fancy Nancy to life with the use of language. The vocabulary is well placed and really is one with the character. O’Connor’s writing has inspired me to develop strong, bright characters that are inviting to readers of all ages.
What has been a fascinating writing research experience for you?
Currently, I am finishing a picture book biography about Rose O’Neill, the creator of the Cupie cartoon and doll. I was introduced to her when my father-in-law purchased an original drawing of hers, as well as an authentic doll. Over the past two years, I have been researching Rose O’Neill’s life and around every corner, there is a fascinating fact to be found. She was actually the first female to have a comic strip published in the United States! Rose was an artist, but she was also a suffragette and a writer. Her life story inspired me to continue writing and pursue my dream to have a picture book published.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
Routine? That’s a concept I don’t know much about. With two daughters and a full time job, I squeeze in my writing whenever I can. Usually, that happens when my students are busy writing! No better place to write than an environment where everyone is writing.
I put notes on my phone when I am out and about and transfer them to my computer.
When I’m at home, writing tends to happen on the fly. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in a 30 minute window of opportunity!
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
At this point, twitter is the best way to be in touch with me. It’s a great community for teachers, authors, and readers. https://twitter.com/tmowtx I hope to have a blog or website up and running soon.