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.