I’ve drawn since I was very young. I took art classes every year in highschool and painting/drawing classes when out in the working world. I’ve designed cards, t-shirts, and painted murals, and still try to paint when I can. I love visiting art galleries and museums and collect illustrated children’s books. Here are some favorites. I’d add painting/fine art, but the list would be too long!

This list features some favorite Middle Grade (8-12 or 10+), and Young Adult (ages 12+) authors of ‘High’ or ‘Alternate World’ fantasy, Magical Realism (contemporary or historical real-world setting with magical elements. Also, authors of stories featuring talking-anthropomorphic animals–which I unapologetically adore, Steampunk and some Science Fiction authors as well. Many of these amazing authors also write in other genres.  Periodically, I’ll feature these and other authors of mysteries, contemporay novels, and historical fiction in my blog, Treetop Musings.


  • SCBWI — Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
    This is a SUPERB ORGANIZATION, to me a must to join if you want to be a children’s author, and helpful in so many ways for both new and experienced writers. I’ve been a member of SCBWI since 2001.
  • Highlights Foundation
    All teachers and workshop leaders at the beautiful new Writing Workshop Facility in Honesdale, PA are inspiring, as is Mr. Kent Brown, President of Highlights.
  • Patricia Lee Gauch I had the great good fortune to have Patti Gauch as a mentor at the Highlights Writing Week at Chautauqua in 2011, and as workshop leader for The Heart of the Novel Founders Workshop in Honesdale, PA back in 2004 when I’d first drafted my novel. She remains one of my true inspirations.
  • Emma D. Dryden, drydenbks
    Ms. Dryden is a fantastic editorial consultant who recently guided me through a substantial revision of Willow Ascending, leading me to come up with ways to make my book better, while staying true to my muse. I think she’s the best!
  • The Purple Crayon:
    Fantastic blog-website filled with advice about writing, illustrating and the publishing world from Harold Underdown
  • Susan Sipal and
    Writing Tips/Editor/Writer/Speaker/Workshops/A Writer’s Guide to Harry Potter -Susan is wonderful.
  • Children’s Book Council
    Site offers news on authors-publishing industry
  • Cynsations Ms. Leitich Smith is a multi-talented Author (read her books!)  and Speaker. Her blog, a terrific source for aspiring writers, offers helpful information on writing, publishing and books.
  • Literary Rambles
    Wonderful site begun by Casey McCormick, and now Natalie Aguirre also;  features interviews w/children’s literature agents, authors, and very helpful information on the publishing industry.
  • Query Tracker
    Database on Agents-Keep track of Query Letters
  • Publisher’s Weekly
    Offers free E-newsletter about industry-latest publishing news
  • Institute for Children’s Literature
    Writing tips, free E-newsletter, writing courses
  • Writer’s Digest Magazine
  • Fantasy Literature
    Fantasy and Science Fiction Book and Audiobook Reviews- Special Children and Teens Sections

I love hiking, ecology, geography, and science, and use many nature references in my books. These are a few of my favorite sites.


  • Zela Lobb
    The totally awesome illustrator whose pictures are on my website.
  • Ronn McFarlane and
    A talented musician and composer whose song, “Uncharted Waters” is included in his CD of original lute music, Indigo Road, Dorian Sono Luminus Recordings DSL 90701 – and on my playlist. (My main character, Willow, plays guitar and is learning to play lute.)
  • Celtic Institute of North America
    In my Green Earth Saga novels, Faer-Elven spells are written in Gaelic. Good starting site if you’re curious about Gaelic or the Celtic culture.
  • Longwood Gardens
    Gorgeous gardens in Kennett Square, PA open yearround with special events, fountains, and huge conservatory that inspired me in the creation of The Aviary, one of Green Earth’s great wonders.

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