I believe reading is a gift. As a small child I grew up living next door to my grandmother who was a voracious and passionate reader. For me, this meant that I had an endless supply of books in my favorite genres at my disposal. I read them greedily. My grandmother knew that books were more than mere words on a page. A well-crafted story has the power to stir the imagination and take you far beyond the boundaries of our own reality. Armed with this knowledge, there is no limit to where we may travel or what adventures we may find. Is it any wonder that I fell in love?
It was a natural progression, and almost inevitable, that I would begin penning my own tales. I always thought I would release a young adult novel as my first publication. However, when the moment arrived, I found that my heart told me it was time to pay-it-forward and share the gift of reading with curious, young emergent readers. My grandmother would have approved.
My early chapter book series first began as a short story for my daughter, Danielle, when she was seven years old. She became my sweet and sassy protagonist. Although the character of Dani is purely fictional–the perky smile, mischievous brown eyes, and honey-brown hair mimicked my daughter’s own image. She loved the idea of being at the center of the adventure and watching the tale unfold, and being larger than life. To distinguish the character from reality, Dani was born with her own personality.
When I decided to release the Dani P. Mystery series, I asked my daughter’s permission to share her story. She readily agreed. As an adult, she is now taking an active part in its production. With a double major in Communications and English, she is the series’ editor. Together, we look forward to bringing new adventures to children everywhere.
I firmly believe in promoting early literacy. Throughout my books you will find challenge words; not too many, but enough to keep a child invested and learning. Children are far more capable of absorbing information than we always give them credit for and it is important to keep them stimulated. In addition, perhaps it is the mom in me, there are subtle messages in which I hope will generate an open dialogue between parent and child. I encourage parents to discuss these teachable moments with their children and expand upon them. It is not about lecturing a child, but instilling positive reinforcement in a fun, mischievous way. After all, it is important that we recognize the value of learning from our mistakes.
Once I firmly establish the Dani P. Mystery series, I look forward to getting back to the roots of my writing. I have several young adult projects in the works. Until then, I look forward to pursuing my mission to help promote children’s literacy. I hope you will join me on this journey. To quote the great Dr. Suess, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.”