I’m a writer and a librarian in the Fiction Department at The Seattle Public Library – and I think I have the two best jobs (writer and librarian) imaginable. I decided to be a writer when I was in Mrs. Parton’s second-grade class at Campus School in Cheney, Washington. I like to think of my investigative report on Betsy Ross as my foray into literary journalism.
Our elementary school (now called Reid Elementary ) was considered an experimental or “lab” school and was part of the college campus. The library was the heart and soul of our elementary school, and we got to spend time there every single day. In fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, “reading class” meant we got an hour to sprawl on the library floor and read whatever we wanted to read. Was that a great way to encourage reading, or what?
Fast forward a few years: I went to Washington State University to major in journalism at the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications. I like to throw in the whole name of the school because Murrow is one of my top ten heroes of all time. A couple of years ago, I went back to school and got a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Washington.
Here are some of the jobs I’ve had since college: reporter, feature writer, waitress, magazine editor, author escort, bookseller, and librarian. (I left out the jobs I didn’t like.)
My first children’s book was SARAH'S SECRET PLAN.
Snack items: Licorice and Haribo gummy bears
Beverage: Diet Coke, er, I mean WATER
Books: This is a list that changes depending on my mood, but a few books always seem to make my Top Ten list. They are:
Animals: Our family dog, Owen (a basset hound) and our cat, Simon (a huge, long-haired Siamese-mix who RULES our neighborhood)
TV Shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (especially the first three seasons), Dead Like Me, Veronica Mars, Scrubs, The Office, and all forms of Law & Order (especially SVU). I find L&O’s trademark tum-tum/thonk-thonk sound – you know, the one used between scenes – extremely comforting. At first it reminded me of the metal sound of a jail cell closing (not that I’ve ever heard a jail cell close), but now it just soothes me at the end of a long day. I am not kidding.
Movie: Breaking Away.
Material possessions: My iPod nano (silver) and my bike (Bianchi green/celeste)
Song: "Downtown" by Petula Clark. (What? You think I'm joking? I love that song. Really. Because ...when I'm alone and life is getting me down I can always go ... Downtown.)
Favorite towns: Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Cheney (Washington).
Favorite place in Seattle: Shilshole Bay.
This is Owen, our family's basset hound. I dream of Owen being involved in a Read to Rover program, where kids come to the library and snuggle up and read aloud to a hound. Owen loves a good story and he loves to snuggle, but right now he's just too jumpy and barky to be a therapy dog.
If you want to know more about reading and therapy dogs, check out this article I wrote about Read to Rover programs in public libraries.