Issue #3 • November 2017

Dear Reader,

I thought, today, I'd explain why most of my books are about animals. After all, it is a little strange. Truly, MOST of my books feature an animal of some sort--magical or not.

I really love animals. REALLY love animals. Evidence here:


But I don’t have any pets. I wish I had a pet, but there are a few problems.

  1. I’m allergic to cats (I love cats)
  2. I live in a small apartment (so I can’t have a dog or a horse—I used to take lots of horse-back riding lessons when I was young, so I am pretty good at riding. I guess I could have a small dog, but I really want to get a lab, and it wouldn't be fair to keep him/her in my tiny apartment)
  3. I am afraid to get a fish because of something that happened to me when I was a young child

I think I should probably explain the third reason on my list.

When I was seven, I had a fish. It was a betta, a fighter fish, and bright orange with some dark streaks on its tail. Then, one day, I came home after school and my fish was lying on the bottom of his tank and he wasn’t moving. I took a pencil (I always had a pencil with me because even when I was little I loved writing), and I poked him. He didn’t move.

I began to cry. I don’t remember where my parents were—they must have been around, but this is a memory, so it’s all a bit foggy. In any case, I had read that if your fish dies you should flush it down the toilet. So I took my fish to the toilet, and I dumped him in. I flushed the toilet. The water started to swirl down—and then… all of a sudden…. MY FISH STARTED SWIMMING! My fish wasn’t dead at all; he was just asleep! I stared in horror as the water was spinning down and my fish was trying to swim up. 

All at once, my fish was gone….
On the one hand, it was good that my fish was alive.
On the other hand, I had just flushed my LIVE fish down the toilet.
So I was pretty upset.

I think it was after that, I started writing a lot about animals. And now I am STILL writing about animals. Even the new (not fully formed) idea for a picture book I want to write is going to feature animals, and my middle grade novel that I'm working on is about winged horses. 

So, at least I get to be with animals all day long, even if I don’t have any pets in my life right now. Do you love animals, too? 


PS. If you have read my Magical Animal Adoption Agency series, you will know now that Clover is basically based off me and my unlucky incident with my fish.

Extra Fun

Featured Activity - Magical Egg!

Draw what you think might hatch out of this magical egg. It could be a dragon or a phoenix or maybe a creature of your own imagination!

Download the activity sheet as part of the Magical Animal Study Guide, here

Find more fun animal activities for your kids or students at the Heartwood Hotel website.