Many of you have probably noticed that, along with a love for reading and writing, I have a reverence for life and a sincere concern for the status of wild animals. I believe our lives and theirs are intrinsically connected. I have always wished I could do more than donate to the World Wildlife Federation, or my local animal welfare association.
So, after thinking about ways that I could do more, it came to me that I just might be able to combine my love of writing, in such a way as to teach youngsters about wild animals. It’s a big subject, and there are many animals whose lives are either threatened or straight out endangered. Some are critically endangered to the point that, one day soon, we may never see them again. Then I decided that I would focus on one place at a time: AUSTRALIA! (BTW –My next set of books will focus on Madagascar.)
First, as a kid, the animals there fascinated me. Aren’t koala bears fascinating? They only eat leaves, and they are so adorable, even though they can be a bit grumpy. What about the Kangaroo? How could you not be captivated by the fact that a baby kangaroo, pretty much just an embryo, can crawl up to its mother’s pouch, and develop there over several months? Kangaroos and koalas are odd animals, odd marsupials. Everything in Australia is odd; trust me. Their toilets flush in reverse – that’s odd! Come on; admit it, it’s a really strange, and interesting place.
Second, back in the 90s, I met a wonderful Australian lady named Maggie. She and I will concede to believing we are kindred spirits, soul mates. She spent a number of years here in the states, and I was blessed to have called her my friend. She moved back to Australia, and now lives in Melbourne. She’s still my friend. Now she’s my Skype pal.
Along this path the idea for The Sword of Demelza emerged. The story is an epic fantasy for middle graders, where endangered animal heroes roam the pages! It’s a fast paced story, containing a number of moral lessons about friendship, diversity, believing in oneself, and having faith and trust in others. It also has a glossary that gives a child basic information about the animals in the story. It’s a lot of fun, and I am very excited to bring it to everyone.
Me, Myself and I
There are some details about myself that I can include here for you ‘cause I know you’re curious about that kind of stuff, so...
I was born in the Bronx, raised in NJ, moved to Connecticut, graduated from Western Connecticut State University, (take a breath), etc., etc. I spent many years in corporate America, UGH!!! I have three wonderful children, Erik, David and Katharine, and a fabulous, very understanding husband named George. My family fills my life, and fuels my muse! Oh, I can’t forget Phoebe, my standard poodle companion!
I love dogs, like cats, adore birds – have allowed my kids to have rats for pets (how brave is that), and held my breath when my son brought home the pit bull. I’ve since changed my mind about this breed! They are very sweet, but built like small tanks, so you need to watch where they go. A bull in a china shop ain’t got nothing on these guys.
As I approach the moment when my first middle grade fantasy will be released, there are so many people to thank. How could I have reached this point without the support of all you guys out there? I couldn’t have. So, I thank you all so sincerely, and I do hope you continue to stop by because I will continue to post.
I’ll talk about unusual animals around the world, and I hope you share the animal posts with your children. Our children will be next up at bat, and we need to explain the importance of protecting the environment, and that we share this planet with others who aren’t necessarily human. In protecting others we protect ourselves.
I will also continue to post book reviews.
Above all I will continue to write middle grade fantasy, and I hope you will enjoy what I’ve written.
Are you with me!? I think you are.