When Nicholas, Jane, and Ann were little, I started trying to get my children's stories published, but all of them were rejected. I have a thick folder of rejection letters.
Many times I decided not to write anymore, or to stop submitting stories to publishers, but I always went back to it, mostly because I love writing the stories. I was always encouraged by my family to keep trying. Occasionally editors asked for revisions of stories. Often they wrote that my writing was too subtle for a young audience, and they encouraged me to write for older children. This idea intimidated me. I didn't think I could ever write a novel.
One day in 1999, I was fixing a snack for the kids after school when the telephone rang. It was an editor from Lee and Low Publishers, offering to publish GRANDFATHER COUNTS. After this first book, I still get lots of rejection letters, but it is easier to take the criticism now that I have had some success. I have published over twenty books in the past fifteen years. I feel so fortunate that children are able to read and enjoy my stories.