I grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, and though I didn’t take to reading at a young age, I was fascinated with animals. My parents would say you couldn’t keep them away from me. I also enjoyed drawing and painting and spent long hours in the backyard, capturing my vision of animals and nature on paper.

I loved the thought of working with animals, especially otters, so I headed off to college. After receiving my Bachelor’s in Science in Zoology from Texas A & M University, I started work in the veterinary field.

My creative spark grew while helping animals at the clinics and volunteering at the zoological gardens, so I began filing ideas and stories in my head. My children’s births fueled that fire, and I started writing those stories for children, using nature as an outlet to teach them about various issues and entertain them at the same time.

Soon after publishing my picture books, I decided to write for older children with A Tale of Two Squirrels. It wasn’t long before more advanced plots popped into my head, and I am currently working on multiple young adult books, from fantasy fiction to paranormal romance. You can enjoy my illustrations in Sandy Barton’s Christmas tale, The Tree (2015), with the 2018-2020 New York State Habitat & Access Stamps, and through my store, Otter Things™.

I live with my husband in western New York, where I actively write and draw. I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, the Buffalo Niagara Children’s Writers & Illustrators, and a Western New York Children’s Book Expo Ambassador. When I’m not busy running my business, writing, or illustrating, I volunteer in the community as a New York State Bluebird Ambassador for the NYS Bluebird Society and Len Anderson Memorial Bluebird Trail.

 

MrsOttercolor1
Mrs. Otter, “A Tale of Two Squirrels”

Keep up with what’s happening via my blog. Here are just a few things you will find:

 

Interesting Facts About the Author
  • I like to leave Easter eggs (anything in a story that references another author or work or inside joke) in my writing.
  • I am training an army of squirrels to aid me in my plans for world domination. I have armed them with acorn-47s.
  • I write down ideas everywhere – on post-it-notes, my computer, my phone, even my office windows.
  • I had many imaginary friends as a child. I don’t remember their names, but I occasionally still talk to them. I call them my characters.
  • I didn’t learn to swim until I was 12 years old. I was terrified of the water. Now, I love to swim and would gladly swim with otters, given a chance.
  • I love roller coasters and cotton candy (especially maple cotton candy).
  • In my first year of college, I went cave exploring in Mexico with my Biology professor and some students. We all suffered from Histoplasmosis afterward but had the opportunity to aid in discovering a new invertebrate.
  • I hate making my bed. I don’t see the point.
  • I am a Geek, and therefore, I love all things geeky.
  • The names I choose for my characters usually have a reason, e.g., I named the Squirrely Over Nuts protagonist, Carol, because Sciurus carolinensis is the scientific name for the Eastern Grey Squirrel.
  • I like to illustrate animals from abnormal viewpoints or perspectives. Some illustrations are from below or behind the animal.
  • I usually sit cross-legged at my desk. Unfortunately, my legs fall asleep when I work for a long time.
  • You may see me traipsing through a field in Clarence, NY. As a Bluebird Ambassador for the NYS Bluebird Society, I monitor Bluebird nest boxes during the breeding season and educate the community on Bluebird conservation. Feel free to say, “Hi.”
%d bloggers like this: