Did you ever get into trouble at home or school?
A little bit. I was a chatty and messy one, and I used to fight with my sister Heidi. Now she and I are great friends, but I’m still chatty and messy.
Did you have a nickname and if so what is it? Is there a story behind your nickname?
When I was a baby, my parents called me Doober because I was always drooling and smiling. Sometimes silly nicknames just stick, and this one did…but only inside our house. (I can’t believe I just told you this.)
Why did you become a writer? What would you be otherwise?
Writing is one way to be a maker. About 15 years ago, I decided to stop trying to make every kind of craft (stained glass, oil painting, quilting…) and to focus on becoming good making one thing – writing. I am a teacher too, and that’s another thing I’ve always wanted to be, just like my mom and grandma. I’d love to be an artist too.
What’s the hardest part about writing a book? How long does it take?
I think the hardest part is believing that I can do it. But like anything else, this is just about work. If I sit and make myself move my pen – even when I don’t have ideas – ideas will come. It’s about trust. Ideas come to those who trust them to come.
Do you have a special place where you write?
I write in a lot of different places, and that’s one thing I love about keeping a notebook – it goes with me. Sometimes I snuggle up on the floor by our heater, pressing my feet against its warmth as I write. Sometimes I write in bed or at my great desk or on the couch or at the kitchen table or in a restaurant or even in the car! Sometimes I lie in the grass outside and listen to the birds while writing. When I write poems, I mostly write in a notebook first. Then, I do final edits on my computer.
What one thing can you tell readers that nobody knows?
I have always loved taking walks in old graveyards.