1.  Where did the idea for this book come from?

I have been very, good friends with Franny and Dicky Saar in southern California for over eight years.  During the month of June, I fly out to the west coast and stay at their home, watching their Wheaten Terrier, Josie

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How did this story come about?
At the Pig Races began first, with my attraction to pigs. I had always been attracted to pigs--especially when I looked into their eyes, they looked as if they were human eyes. When younger, I had wanted a pig for a pet, but could only enjoy the pigs at the state fair.
When I moved to Florida in 2004, I went to my first pig race at our local fair.I was absolutely captivated and couldn't wait for the next race!

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How did the idea for the book come about?

 

The idea for Blue came about one evening, sitting with dear friends on their patio in Palm Springs, California and reminiscing over our childhood years. 

My best friend of over 40 years shared that when she was a little girl, she would go outdoors after a storm and collect night crawlers for one dollar a pail. I found this so amazing, that it stayed in my mind and ultimately, became the theme in my book.

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How did the story for THE NOODLE CLUB come about?
The idea for THE NOODLE CLUB came about when I was visiting my mother in Lake Worth, Florida at her condominium. I really enjoyed going to over to the Olympic size pool where all of the “locals” would gather each day. I watched to see that each of them carried their colorful, Styrofoam noodles into the glistening, blue waters and chat their afternoons away. I thought that this would make a delightful story, for children and adults, alike, and this was the beginning “idea” for THE NOODLE CLUB.

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Where did the idea for this children’s book come from?

This story came from sitting outdoors in the beautiful, warm sunny days here in Florida, and watching these pairs of “bugs” fly so delicately around in  late April and September afternoons.  They captivated me with their soft, airy flight, while attached to each other.  Next, I decided to learn more about them and researched their life cycle.  As I learned, they are actually, “black flies” that swarm the southern-belt states annually; in our case here in Florida, twice a year.

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What was your inspiration for writing Cooka?
Originally, COOKA, THE BIRD WITHOUT WINGS, began as THE THREE MUSKETEERS several years ago. I had rescued three birds from their nest in the backyard lawn. I brought them in and nursed them with eyedroppers, baby food, and cream of rice cereal. The day finally came when I had to set them free. I will always remember this day. As time went on, I had moved to Florida and had not written the story.

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Where did this ‘dog birthday party theme’ in your story originate from?

I heard about a neighborhood birthday party for dogs in the Acreage (West Palm Beach) while teaching middle school.  I thought it would make a delightful tale for children.  Moreover, I wanted to make it also meaningful, so I brought the theme of “being adopted” into this book

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How did the story about RESILIENT RED come about and what is the theme of this story for children?
RESILIENT RED came about during a week we had off from school in West Palm Beach due to Tropical Storm Isaac. I had never seen so much rain fall at once--pounding our Earth; relentless in power, as the water just kept growing and growing covering our lawn and cars. Ultimately, it reached the pad of our home just outside of the sliding glass doors.

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Where did you get the idea to write about a butterfly?

Flutternutter came about by simply observing the beautiful Zebra Longwing butterfly here in south Florida.She absolutely captivated me; I wanted to know more about this beautiful black and yellow striped dancer across our dynamic sky.

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Did you always like writing?
Yes, I have always loved to write. My teachers in elementary school has us write often. One teacher in grade four, Miss Faust, focused on writing as well as memorizing poetry. I remember memorizing, "The Road not Taken", by Frost. We also copied many poems into our poetry books.

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Where did you get the idea for the story, Hot Wheels for Benny?
This story about working hard and saving your money came from Benny Bolek. Early one Saturday morning, Benny shared that when he was a youngster, his father told him that if he wanted a new bike, he would have to earn it. Benny began to do odd jobs for his neighborhood and learned that hard work really does pay off.

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Is there really a 'Boonie" dog?
First, I now have a Black and Tan Coonhound Dog and his name really is, Boonie! Actually, Boonie was a rescued, hurricane dog that I found out in the Acreage area in Florida. He was roaming around in the heavy rains and high winds of Hurricane Frances. I hopped into the car and drove across the vacant lot. With flashlights and dog biscuits in hand, I attempted to rescue him and coax him into the car.

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Where did the story for CROW NO MORE come from?
This inspirational journey of friendship came about as I had experienced many losses over the years. Additionally, I had often listened to the children who have also experienced losses, either a family member, a beloved pet, or even a dear friend of the family. I took those losses, and wrote about one specific loss--the loss of a best friend, Paul, the fisherman in CROW NO MORE.

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