The Copy Cat

Coming March 2020





Q: Where do you do your work?

A: Most of the time, I work in my office, although I am always carrying a notebook with me to jot down notes, and every once in a while, take my laptop out to the couch! When I start to revise my books, I always spread my papers out all over my dining room table!

A picture of my office:

Q: How long does it take to write each of your books?

A: It depends!  It took me years to write It’s a Mystery, Pig Face!, because I put it away for a long time!  But when I decided to get serious about writing, it only took about 6 months!  The first draft of the Frame-Up took five weeks to write, and another four and half months of revising before my agent send it out to publishers.

Usually, I can write about 50,000 words in a month, but I promise you: my first and second drafts are the WORST!  It seems like I don’t know what I’m doing till about the third draft!


Q: How do you decide who your characters should be?

A: Typically, I come up with an idea, and then try to think of who would be the best kind of person to put into that situation. For example, in The Frame-Up, I was creating a world in which all the paintings are alive, but they can’t come out of their paintings to interact with us. Who would be interesting to put into that story? How about a girl whose been stuck in a painting for over a hundred years and is dying for excitement and an artistic boy who comes from a troubled home life and thinks living in the world behind the frame would be so easy. Neither of them can get what they want, and they must depend on each other to save the Gallery.

The most important thing is that characters have to change and grow in the story because of what’s happening around them. You could have the best plot in the world, but if we don’t care about your characters, we’re not going to be invested in it!


Q: Do you find revising your work hard?

A: I do! You have to be so critical, and sometimes, I throw out all sections of the book because it’s just not working or it’s not good enough! I actually have three full manuscripts on my computer that will probably never see the light of day!  I also have good writer friends, and my agent Lauren, who read early drafts of my work and give me good (and sometimes hard!) feedback! It’s so important to get someone to read your work! And I know it’s not ready to be seen by Lauren until it’s the best I can make it to that point!


Q. Do you do school or Skype visits?

A: I sure do! Click on extras in the menu above or click here.


Q: What is your favourite part of being a children’s author?

A: Meeting kids! They’re amazing!!!


Q: If you could only take one book to a desert island, what would it be?

A: Oh no! That’s like asking which child I could take!!!!  I’m going to cheat and pick two: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.  But it would be really nice if you send a drone now and then and dropped off a few books…


Do you have more questions not covered here? Send me a note at or via the Contact Us page.

Author of Children's Literature