Kim-ME, Mom-ME... I've been all kinds of me(s)...
My family called me Kimmy when I was little. Now my brother is the only one who calls me that, but I like it. I was born in California, a “navy brat,” but have lived most of my life in Virginia.
Crocodaddy was a game of pretend my sons used to play in our backyard pool. I loved to play with MY dad in the pool, too... or the lake. I’ve spent many summers swimming in Maine lakes; so have my sons. I found this old photo of myself dipping a toe into a wading pool and couldn’t help wondering, “Is there a Crocodaddy in there!?”
Aside from being a writer, I’m also a mom, an artist, a gardener, a singer and an actress. My two sons are both grown now, but I like this photo taken one lovely spring day when my older son was a baby.
I love musical theater. For years, I’ve been active in my town’s community theater. I even learned to tap dance for one role. Now THAT was fun! My two favorite roles were: the singing narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, (it’s easier for me to memorize songs than lines), and the Mother Superior in Nunsense. Something about that nun costume really puts you in character.
I’ve also sung (for pay!) with a big band. I don’t do that anymore because the “gigs” (singing jobs) always meant staying up past my bedtime, when I’d rather be in bed, reading. Although I didn’t plan it that way, all that theater experience now comes in handy when I do author visits.
For years, I worked at a graphic artist. I also painted many, many theater sets, climbing up and down ladders to paint "flats" that, on opening night, would transport the audience to Bali Hai or New York or Never Land. And I still do lots of fine art in my art room; everything from watercolor to clay to collage.
So now, I’m a children’s book writer. And a children's book "talker." I love sharing my love of reading and writing with students around the country.
It’s funny; if you look at my report card from back when I was “Kim-me” (Kimmy), my teachers nearly always commented on my writing abilities. So I’m not sure how I ended up being an artist for so many years before writing my first book. I’m lucky that having children of my own re-awakened my love of children’s books. Otherwise, I might never have tried it!
I adore this portrait on the right, drawn by Kent, a student at Coventry Elementary School in Yorktown, Virginia. I like the way he turned my blouse into a cool Beetlejuice jacket.