What is your inspiration for the settings in your books?
With a degree in theatre arts and art, I design each page of my books as a director blocks a play. Because my favorite costume period is the Victorian era, the Inspector Specific Series is set in the 1890's so that I can design my own gowns, hats and spats. The Tilly Lilly Isabella Series is sprinkled with props and ideas of the modern classroom, yet resembles the mint green walls and globed lightning in the classrooms my father taught in the early 1950's.
What was you inspiration for writing this series?
In my last year of teaching, I started to notice the effect social media had on my students' writing. Since most of their communication was limited to one-hundred forty characters, precise words, sentence variety and elaboration were ignored and cave man like sentence structures used. By writing poems that personify a color or descriptive essays to describe their rooms or their back yards, students began to enjoy the power of precise language, and 'flowers grew in my grandmother's garden' changed to 'calla lilies and Sweet Williams sweetened the breeze'.
Why are your books all in end rhyme?
Many elementary, middle school and high school teachers critiqued my books and because I want the message of precise language to be retained by my young audience, it was recommended to use end rhyme.
What skills, talents and experiences do you draw upon to create these books?
My years in the classroom introduced me to a number of creative, innovative and somewhat eccentric teachers like Miss Gill! The Miss Gills in the education world give valuable skill development to each young author in their classroom. I have also had the joy of teaching a number of Jeffreys, Tillys and Finns which give the students in the book realism. My degrees in theater and art help to make the word be shown on the page.
How do you describe your style of drawing?
I love to draw expressive cartoon characters who come to life on the pages by using all of the acting areas. My character's use their faces and hands to express emotion. They move across the pages by climbing ladders and throwing down bolts of cloth; they waltz; they jitterbug and chase an innocent cat up the stairs and under a bed.