Hi, I’m Rebecca!
As a child, I always loved having playdates with words. Not only did I scribble in a diary every day (my first one had a bedazzled unicorn cover and mini-lock-and-key, naturally), but I wrote poems, plays, essays, silly jokes, inspirational sayings, and articles for “newspapers” that I created out of construction paper.
Eventually, my obsession with words turned into a career as a professional magazine and newspaper journalist. I wrote about everything — from hard news stories for The New York Observer and New York Newsday to features of non-profit and business leaders for The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Working Mother, to relationship pieces for Bride’s and Ladies Home Journal.
When it was time to raise a family, I took time off from writing. But oh, how I missed it! Then, about seven years ago, after almost a decade of full-time Mommying, I enrolled in a local writing class called “Where Do I Begin?” My teacher provided weekly prompts and what began flowing out of me were funny, punny stories and poems — often, in rhyme.
“But I’m a journalist!” I thought. “Where’s all this poetry coming from?”
And then I remembered: I’ve always been a poet. I have hundreds of diaries and notebooks in my attic, all overflowing with emotional ruminations, quotes, jokes and poems that I wrote as a young girl. This is who I was. This is who I have always been. This is who I am meant to be!
My teacher suggested that some of my poems would make great fodder for picture books. She introduced me to the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and I attended my first writing conference in June 2016.
My mind was blown.
I haven’t looked back.
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Q&A with Rebecca
Did you like to read as a kid?
Oh boy, did I! When I wasn’t writing, I was reading. (Even on the potty! — see photo for embarrassing evidence.).
What were your favorite books as a child?
I read Charlotte’s Web at least ten times. I also loved (still love!) all the Dr. Seuss books and Shel Silverstein’s poetry. I devoured the Little House on The Prairie books and, when I was a little older, The Girls of Canby Hall and the Sweet Valley High series.
What is your favorite children’s book now?
It’s impossible to pick just one, but two favorites are Room on The Broom by Julia Donaldson and If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen. Both authors are incredible rhymers and storytellers whom I greatly admire.
If you could be a character in a picture book, who would you be and why?
The Cat In The Hat! I tend to be someone who follows ALL the rules and overthinks everything so I think it would be really fun if, for just one day, I could allow myself to have fun without worrying about any consequences.
What are your favorite foods?
I have a ginormous sweet tooth! My favorites are chocolate peanut butter ice cream and, because I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, See’s chocolates. Oh, and apple crumb pie! YUM!
What do you do when you’re not reading or writing?
Because I eat so much (see above!), I exercise every day. I kick-box, bounce on a mini-trampoline, and take long walks. Other activities I enjoy are drawing zendoodles and mandalas, and playing Mah Jongg (a Chinese tile game) with friends.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do What You Love. Love What You Do.” I don’t know who said it, but I encourage you to find the thing that makes your heart sing!