Anne’s Reading and Writing Journey

Anne grew up loving books.

She couldn’t wait to start first grade at Montclair Elementary in Oakland, California, because she knew it was there that she would learn how to read. Imagine how surprised she was on her first day of school when she discovered it would take more than one day.

In fifth grade, her teacher, Mrs. Crowe, who was also the school librarian, read novels aloud to the class everyday. And she encouraged her class to read as many books as they could. That’s where Anne met The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.

Right before sixth grade, Anne and her parents moved back to Hawaii and the Kailua Public Library was where she got her books. And not too far away, was Mrs. Beamer’s hula studio, where Anne and her friends took hula lessons for the next seven years.

In seventh grade English class Anne wrote a story and shared it with others for the first time. It was a mystery. The butler did it.

Most of Anne’s writing during high school was school-related, but she did pen a lot of poems in her spare time. At college, first at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and then at the University of Texas at Austin, Anne studied to become a teacher. Children’s Literature was her favorite course. After graduating she taught fourth grade and then reading instruction to second through fifth graders. She read aloud to her students every day.

Then Anne went back to school to earn a library degree and began working at Toad Hall Children’s Bookstore. As soon as she graduated, she became a co-owner of the store. Besides recommending great books to customers, her favorite job was reading new ones.

Anne had always wanted to write a book for children. It was at the bookstore that she got the idea for T is for Texas. After many revisions, and many rejections, her alphabet book was published.

While managing the bookstore, Anne went back to school. Again. This time she worked on a PhD in language and literacy studies. And when she graduated, she sold her interest in the bookstore and began teaching pre-service teachers. And writing more work for children. Buddy: The Story of Buddy Holly was the result.

Reading and writing are a big part of Anne’s life. She loves children’s books most of all.

Which is why she now holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She is writing, writing, writing more stories.

Her debut middle grade historical novel, Anywhere but Paradise was published in April 2015.