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. The photo below left is me, (in front), with my parents, grandmothers, brother (2nd from the left) and foster brothers and sister who lived with us back then.
The 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 the old photo of myself (above) dipping a toe into a wading pool and couldn’t help thinking, “I wonder if there’s a Crocodaddy in there!?”
The photo on the left was taken when I was a new mom. I now have two sons who are grown, although they both still have about that much hair. (Shh! Don’t tell them I said that!)
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.
Although I didn’t plan it that way, all that theater experience now comes in handy when I do author visits.
Cool fact: See that cute tyke in the yellow t-shirt to the left of me in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat? (photo below.) Her name is Bria Kelly. Tiny as she was, that girl had some PIPES. About a decade later (a couple of years ago now) she was a finalist on NBC’s The Voice. How cool is that? Go Bria!
So now, I’m a children’s book author. Sometimes I still pay a few bills doing my “other” job as a graphic artist, but writing children’s books, and sharing them with the kids who read them… that’s my favorite job. 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!
Here’s a story I wrote in second grade. I’m kind of impressed with how neat my handwriting was back then. I can’t seem to write that neatly now, maybe because I spend more time writing on the computer than with a pencil or pen.