From color-changing animals to global candy preferences, Alicia loves to research and write about fun and out-of-the-ordinary topics that bring the world to young readers. She began her career at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. and was a middle school World Geography teacher for years. Today she is the author of more than 190 kids’ books, both nonfiction and fiction. Her titles include Gutsy Girls Go for Science: Astronauts; Penguins & Polar Bears: A Pretty Cool Introduction to the Arctic and Antarctic; and Secrets of the Forest: 15 Bedtime Stories Inspired By Nature. Alicia lives with her family in upstate New York.
My Writing Journey
Sometimes I meet writers who knew from the time they were young that they wanted to be writers. I definitely did not. Don’t get me wrong – I love to write. But my love of writing began in a different way. When I was in the eighth grade (back in 1985!), I started writing to four penpals: Zewdu from Ethiopia, Catherine from Ireland, Mei Sien from Singapore, and Akina from Hong Kong. Nearly 40 years later, I still write to all four of them. I’ve met three of them in person but I really hope to meet Akina soon.
After letter writing, the next type I tried was journal writing. I started when I was in college. (So much angst!) These days I mostly use my journal to express gratitude or to remember details about trips I go on. Sometimes my journal provides inspiration for fiction books. Other times it helps me figure out topics to include in my nonfiction books.
I decided to become a children’s writer long after my initial letter writing days, after working at National Geographic, then as a teacher, and finally as a stay-at-home mum. It’s been more than ten years since I started this career and am so happy that I get to research, write, and talk to young readers all over the world. Thank you for sharing this journey with me!