Sunday, July 17, 2011


WHEN ZACHARY BEAVER CAME TO TOWN recently got a makeover--a new cover and a new available format as an e-book. A lot happens in a dozen years. When the book came out in 1999 I didn't realize I'd written a story that would take me on such a wonderful journey. I've visited schools and stood at the podium at conferences all over this country and beyond the United States. To think, it began with a moment in my childhood.

At thirteen, I visited the Louisiana State Fair and paid two dollars extra to see a sideshow boy. The young man was billed as "The Fattest Teenage Boy in the World." I was fascinated by the experience, but I didn't know twenty-five years later I'd write a story inspired by that moment. In a strange way, the book began there--a thirteen-year-old girl visiting a sideshow. Today I share that story with kids, telling them how powerful their lives are. They might see something today that they write about tomorrow or in a few decades.

I'm thankful for that moment and I'm thankful for a book that has opened doors for me all over this planet. Hopefully that story will continue to stir imaginations. Maybe some kid is downloading that book right now and meeting Zachary Beaver for the very first time. Or maybe he's turning to the last page. Either way, I'm grateful.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Growing up, I secretly pretended I was a small town girl. And every couple of years, I got to live out that fantasy. My dad's military career meant we didn't get to see my grandparents often, but between his assignments, we visited my grandparents in Forest Hill, Louisiana, population 304. During those times, I rode horses, learned to drive in a pasture, hung out with my cousins. Lots of cousins.

Piper Reed Rodeo Star is inspired by those sweet times. Piper and her sisters spend the Christmas holiday with their grandparents while their parents vacation in Paris. Piper is determined to have adventures while she is there. And wherever Piper goes, adventures follows. I hope you'll enjoy this new story with Piper and discover the virtues of small towns, too.