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I grew up in Juneau, Alaska, in a house filled with music and books. When I left high school, I attended Antioch College, traveled and worked around the country, studied at colleges in San Diego and Alaska, lived in Greece, and ultimately settled back in Juneau. My husband, Jim Fowler, is a landscape painter and book illustrator. We have two grown daughters, three grandchildren, and a large, floppy dog.


When I was young, Juneau, Alaska's capital city, was a small town of a few thousand people. It's grown more than five times over and is now a "booming metropolis" of around 32,000 people--but there is still a creek with spawning salmon just a few blocks from our home and I can't recall a summer without porcupines and black bears wandering our downtown neighborhoods. Neighbors post post warnings to get the kids in when a bear is spied nearby. And although our home appraisal says "no view," we are surrounded by mountains from which we watch mountain goats in the spring, herons in their nests across the street, and eagles wheeling overhead year round. Seems like a view to me. This is a good home place and I loved growing up here. Both my parents came to Juneau as kids with their parents, and although I was eager to leave Juneau after highschool, after some years  traveling, schooling, working, I eventually came home, married Jim and we raised two amazing daughters and have two grandchildren in Juneau and one on the east coast. 


While my writing isn't autobiographical (with the exception of some of my essays for adults), there are elements of my life in all my stories. Of my ten published children's books, only three are specifically set in the north: WHO LIVES NEAR A GLACIER? ALASKA ANIMALS IN THE WILD (January 2022)  and ARCTIC AESOP'S FABLES: TWELVE RETOLD TALES (February 2013), both from Sasquatch Books,  and CIRCLE OF THANKS (1998) from Scholastic Books.  But Alaska is a strong influence on me and so also on the people, situations, and community connections in my stories.   Illustrations from my husband's art in particular, often include people recognizable as part of our extended circle. Sometimes friends suspect that the artists who  illustrated the two books of mine that Jim didn'tdo  are people I knew--but they were not! But it's true, Marisabina Russo who illustrated WHEN SUMMER ENDS had several touches that it's easy to imagine came from knowledge of our Juneau life and home. Kindred spirits, perhaps! Likewise Peter Catalanotto's illustrations in CIRCLE OF THANKS showed artfully a similar felt sense of the connections that sustain life.



Here I am with our old dog Matisse.