As I reflect on the past ten years, I realize what a wonderful decade it was for me as a writer. In April 2011, I left the security of a full-time job as editor of the International Literacy Association’s Reading Today newspaper to devote more time to book writing. It worked out better than I could have imagined. I had more than 30 books published during the decade, with another nine currently in various stages of production. For my career, I’m up to 56 books either published or pending. That far exceeds my wildest expectations when I embarked on this journey.
Over the past few years, I have had an opportunity to research and write about a variety of fascinating subjects. I contributed stories about some really fascinating animals for National Geographic Kids’ best-selling book 125 True Stories of Amazing Pets. I wrote educational books about a wide range of history and social studies subjects for Capstone, Cavendish Square, and Enslow. I learned about and wrote about everything from the Revolutionary War to the space shuttle Challenger tragedy, from Native Americans to the 1918 flu pandemic, and from understanding propaganda to understanding our legal rights.
In addition, I got to write biographies about Muhammad Ali, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elvis Presley, and others. I even experimented with self-publishing two books: The Sound in the Basement and Beach Fun: Poems of Surf and Sand. One of my most gratifying experiences was seeing my picture book One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me get published by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin in 2017 to strong reviews and become a selection in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. I was also pleased to do author visits to schools in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Texas.
My writing dreams truly did come true over the past 10 years. So, what’s next? In the coming decade, I look forward to doing more picture books, and I hope to have news to share about one of those books very soon! I also look forward to visiting even more schools and conducting writing workshops with students. I love sharing what I have learned about writing with young authors!
The past ten years have been exciting and fruitful. My hope is that the decade ahead will bring even more new writing opportunities and the chance to work with even more young writers. I remain grateful each day for being able to do work that I love, and I look forward to continuing that work in the years ahead!