Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I’m a first-time author, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and a proud mother and grandmother. My background is in law and behavioral science. Throughout my life, I’ve tried to maintain the wide-eyed wonder of a child to see things as if seeing them for the very first time. This helps me maintain a positive perspective and optimistic outlook.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
I have always enjoyed storytelling. As a child, I used to create my own stories and illustrations. I would staple the pages into booklets and pretend I had published books. I may have created my own mini-library that way.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
I wrote my first story when I was seven years old. It was about the life of fruit. I don’t want to reveal the title in case I decide to revamp and market it. The story has never been published.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
“That’s Ridiculous, Said Nicholas” is my first picture book for early readers. I wanted to create a character with a ridiculous name who would resonate with children. Nicholas Jon Paul Martin William Annabelle Tydings wants to be treated like a sensible child, but people often tell him things he knows cannot be true. Nicholas reacts to the hype with a matter-of-fact refrain that will amuse and delight young readers. My book shows how positive parenting and good common sense help build healthy self-esteem. When children love themselves, they can also show loving-kindness to others. Nicholas shows gratitude for the good things in his life. Parents may also notice a more subtle message that children respond better to praise than to criticism.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? is there any specific reason?
There is something so engaging and magical about the way children think. Their minds are so new and fresh and ready to believe. I wrote this story for them as a way of saying, “It’s okay to question what others tell us.” Nicholas isn’t a bad boy. He only wants what all of us want, which is to be treated with love and respect.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
It’s a long story. Suffice to say that one day as I was exercising on the track, it occurred to me that “ridiculous” rhymes with “Nicholas” and wouldn’t it be fun if there was a little boy named Nicholas who questions sayings and situations that he finds ridiculous? That’s how the book began to take shape. His parents, grandparents, and friend Connie Colleen were added to flesh out the story.
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself and what you believe in. Do it in a nice way. Navigating this big wide world can be difficult.