Many children have asked me, "Where do you get the ideas for your books?" Below you will discover some of the background for each of my books.
I Heard My Mother Call My Name - I wrote this story about my own childhood, for I remember very well being called in and having way too much fun to go in right away. The Mrs. Bell in the story was my real neighbour, and when I first showed the book to my Dad, he said that when he was growing up in the house we still lived in, Mrs. Bell had lived there then too. It was fun to think that my Dad and I had had that same experience as kids, so many years apart.
November Boots - When my son Josh got his new rain boots, he was 3 and very impatient to try them out. He wasn't as lucky as the boy in the story, because even though it was November and we usually have lots of rain in Vancouver in the winter, it didn't rain for quite a while. The story character ended up being older than 3, but that's where the idea came from!
PuddleDuck - Do all kids like to carry their favourite toy or blanket around? My daughter Bianca did, and it made me wonder what would happen if a child lost their most precious possession...and if something magical happened to it.
Snow Story - We rarely get enough snow in Vancouver for the kids to become bored with it, but one Christmas years ago that happened. I was intrigued by the "snowjoy", which slowly turned to boredom as the snow hung on for over a week. Chloe has always been one of my favourite names, and I loved using it for this character.
Melted Star Journey - I wrote this about the journey home that I took as a child from my aunt and uncle's in North Vancouver. I remember coming over the Lion's Gate Bridge, through Vancouver's downtown and home. I recall that sense of knowing exactly which house or store or tree came next on the way home, without knowing a single street name. My own children have also been driven home many times late at night on this same route, so this became my son Luke's story.
Prairie Summer - I spent a large part of each childhood summer in Alberta, with my Mom's family. When I began to write this story I had to be very fussy about which memories I used, as I had so many that the book was much too long at first. It's hard to edit when each memory is important, but I had to keep in mind that writing the best story, not listing all my prairie memories, was my goal.
Number 21 - This story is the closest to non-fiction writing that I have done. It's the almost-entirely-true story of when I was a girl, with my sister Laurie, brother Duncan and our parents. The only bits that aren't strictly true are where I couldn't remember details, so had to add imaginative bits here and there. And yes...my Dad really did fill the truck up with water so we could swim in it! Great idea, eh?
Camping - Each summer my family does a little camping, and this is a peek into all those experiences. One of the best parts of camping for me is having so much time to relax, and so this is the only story I've written with pencil and paper, sitting in a camp chair under the trees. All the others had to do with me and a computer and a lot of coffee...
Twilight Fairies - I've always loved fairies, witches and mermaids, so thought it was time to have a story with one of the three. My children all have summer birthdays, so that's where the idea of the midsummer birthday came from. And I do love gardens, like Miranda, although I'm a pretty terrible gardener. I'm sure I'm on the tree and flowers' Ten Most Wanted List, or I should be.