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Random Questions from World Read Aloud Day (from A's 5th Grade)

QUESTION: If you were to meet the alligator across your street, what do you think his name is?

ANSWER: This is an excellent question, as one of my favorite parts of being an author is naming characters. I thought about this for some time, and I would like to think its name is Ollie. As I may have mentioned, I love dinosaurs. So this name is a nod to Oligocene, which is the geologic epoch when alligators are believed to have appeared on the earth, about 37 Million Years ago! Plus it has a similar consonance, which is a repeated consonant (ll) and assonance, which is a repeated vowel sound (i), with Alligator! Thank you for this great question!

QUESTION: How old are you?

ANSWER: I am old enough to know to have read hundreds of books and to finally figure out what I want to be in life, but young enough to feel young at heart!

QUESTION: When did you start to be an animal lover?

ANSWER: This is another great question. I was always an animal lover from the earliest I can remember! Here is a picture of me when I was three with my dog's puppies. I named one of them Sniffles because it had allergies.

Growing up, and over the years, I have had dogs, cats, rabbits, hedgehogs, mice and a gerbil. I didn't have a horse, but I also love horses. My aunt had two that I rode, one named Navajo and the other named Tumbleweed.

QUESTION: Have you ever ridden a zebra?

ANSWER: What a fun question! No, but I would love to! I have, though, been fortunate enough to have ridden horses, elephants and camels! And if I got the chance to ride a zebra, I don't think I would pass it up!

QUESTION: What's your favorite pattern?

ANSWER: What a thoughtful question! I do love art, and fabrics, and patterns. Although I love so many patterns, if I had to pick one right now, it would be this Korean pattern. But honestly, it's hard to choose!

QUESTION: Are you working on a book right now?

ANSWER PART ONE: This is another great question, as authors have to always be "writing their next book". The book that I am working on with my publisher is THE PALACE RAT, illustrated by Eva Santana (Yeehoo Press, August 3, 2023).

I am very excited about this book as the idea came to me when I was in France at the Palace of Versailles.

A rat had run across the courtyard, which led me to wonder if it was a relative of the rats who lived at the Palace before the French Revolution (when the last King of France still reigned). And having read about famous people who had strange pets, I wondered if maybe King Louis the XVI had a rat for a pet and perhaps even pampered it, dressing it up in fine clothes, feeding it delicacies and allowing it to sleep beside him on a satin pillow. And then, I imagined that the Queen Consort and the palace staff would be quite jealous of a rat being treated in such a way, and that they would try to rid the palace of such a creature. And then, I borrowed a little bit of the idea of City Mouse, Country Mouse, and voila! THE PALACE RAT story was born!

I will be getting the art for this book soon and can't wait!

ANSWER PART TWO: The book I am working on submitting right now is THE DINO STORE. I was asked during many WRAD presentations what my favorite of my books would be, and this, if published, will be one of the absolute favorites! It's about a kid shopping in a Dino Store who is trying to figure out which dinosaur would be best for a pet, and it has a sweet twist at the end which nods to doing something that I feel very passionate about. I won't ruin the surprise, though!

Concept Art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo, my Moldilocks and the Three Scares Illustrator

NOTE: If any one else has any other questions, even if you were not one of my fabulous WRAD classes today, please feel free to e-mail me at: I am happy to answer them!

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