from 0 to 1 in 30 years

I think I was 6-years-old when I wrote my first book. You may have heard of it. It’s called “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell.

Let me explain.

For an entire afternoon, I sat at the top of our family’s carpeted stairs copying “Black Beauty” word by word onto a piece of lined paper. As I copied each word, I underlined the word in the book, pressing hard and leaving an indentation and pencil mark under each word. This helped me not lose my place and also helped me to see my progress.

It wasn’t long until I realized that copying a book is not the same as writing a book. However, copying is a good practice for a young writer. If nothing else, it forced me to focus on each word and it helped me realize what and enormous task it is to write a book, let alone copy one.

I think I copied most of the first page before abandoning the task.

Oh well.

I did not abandon this task: writing (and publishing) my first nonfiction book for children. I say “writing (and publishing)” because I have written (and not published) many books before this one: There were the adventures of Olin the Opossum when I was in 5th grade. There was a counting book in my late twenties. There were many in between.


Friends, the book is called “Animals That Live in Groups.” I wrote it. Capstone Press published it. And I hope you like it.