These are questions Karma is frequently asked by children and adults. If you see a question that isn’t answered, please feel free to ask.

Do you illustrate your own books?

No, I can’t draw anything that you would recognize! I do take photographs, and am working on some books using my photos, but that is the only illustrative talent I possess. Funny enough, I did have some talent for art as a teen, but lost it in adulthood.

How long does it take to write a book?

There is no real answer to this question. I have one book that took an afternoon to write. I had another that took over two years! The amount of time a book takes to write from the moment it enters my head until it is through the final edits varies from book to book. I would say the average is one month.

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What is your favorite book that you have written?

That is like asking which of my children I like best. There really is no set answer. There are things I like about all of my books. I would say that the Bear books are very meaningful to me because Bear and his friend are constantly growing and changing as characters. Bear books are always fun to write. I love Mortimerís Manger because it was the first book I wrote sharing my faith. I like Sweet Briar Goes to School because Sweet Briar was based upon my own daughter (though my daughter smells quite nice). I like Frog in the Bog because I felt the language and rhyme is some of the most playful Iíve written, and itís gross, and gross is fun!

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What are your favorite books by other authors?

I love all sorts of fiction, but mostly children and young adult literature. C.S. Lewis is my favorite authorÖspecifically for his Narnia books (My favorite Narnia book is Voyage of the Dawn Treader). I love the picture book Where the Wild Things Are. A quick list of favorites would include:


Where the Red Fern Grows By Wilson Rawls
When the Relatives Came By Cynthia Rylant, Illus. by Stephen Gammell
Ol’ Black Fly
By Jim Aylesworth Illus. Stephen Gammell
The Giver
By Lois Lowry
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
By Alison Jackson, Illus. by Judy Schacher
By Gary Paulsen
Little House Series
By Laura Ingalls Wilder
Anne of Green Gables By L.M. Montgomery
Little Women
By Louisa May Alcott
Secret Garden
By Frances Hodgson Burnett
My Little Sister Ate One Hare By Bill Grossman, Illus. by Kevin Hawkes
The Monster at the End of this Book
By John Stone, Illus. by Michael Smollin
Where the Sidewalk Ends
By Shel Silverstein
Light in the Attic
By Shel Silverstein

Iím sure there are many others Iím forgetting. Thatís a quick list!

Do your kids help you write books?

Yes, they do. They help by listening to them as I write them and telling me if something doesnít seem right. They give me funny ideas for my books. My husband helps the most though. Many of my books were actually based on his ideas (Bear Stays Up for Christmas for instance). A lot of my poems in my next poetry book Whatís the Weather Like Inside were based on funny quirks about my kids.

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How long did it take you to get published?

I was rejected repeatedly for 3 years when I first started writing. My first book to sell was Bear Snores On. It was accepted first by my agent Steven Malk. He submitted it once and it was rejected. Then he submitted it to Simon and Schuster. They loved it.

What do you do besides write?

Oh, a lot of various things. I home-school my kids. I love to bake. I train Mixed Martial Arts (AKA Ultimate Fighting) with my family. I read. I surf the net. I hike and camp. I take lots and lots of photographs.

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