I grew up in Colorado and California, but if you think I liked to ski down mountains and ride a surfboard... well, you're wrong. What I liked to do most when I was a kid was read books and draw funny pictures. I also wanted to be a secret agent.

When I got old enough to have a real job I didn't become a secret agent, or a firefighter, or a magician. Instead, I went to work as an artist at a big greeting card company. Okay, so maybe I wasn't saving the world, but I was giving people a nice way to tell their mom they loved her or to wish their best friend a Happy Halloween! It was a fun job, and I did it for 10 years!

The job was great, and the people I worked with, artists just like me, were some of the nicest folks I've ever met. But finally I decided that I had to do the thing that I loved most: I had to write and illustrate books for kids (kids like me who loved to read and look at funny pictures). So, I quit my job and went out on my own. Was I nervous? You bet! But, sometimes, something can be so important that you just have to go for it, even when you don't know what's going to happen. “Can I do it?” I wondered. I didn't know. But I had to try because I loved books so much…