I began my picture book writing journey when my first son was born. Being a reader myself, I read to him often. Luckily, he was a reader too and loved books as much as I did. I spent a lot of time looking for new picture books to keep us fulfilled.
Fast forward a few years and another son later, when I opened a toy and book store specializing in children aged 0-6. I got to read and buy picture books for a living! It was my favorite part of running the store. I spent lots of time researching new books. I also became obsessed with smaller presses and books from the UK. Often, I found myself saying, “What a good idea for a picture book. I should write one!” But then I had a third son, a store to run and a traveling husband. There was never enough time.
Then my husband took a new job in Charlotte that allowed him to stop traveling, and we left Atlanta. I finally had the time I needed to jump into writing. All that “work” I’d done reading books for my store became an invaluable asset. I studied the industry, wrote my first draft and sent it to my sister Becky for feedback. She returned it with terrific suggestions and changes, then I revised some more and sent it back to her. We began collaborating regularly and suddenly–to her great surprise–Becky was also writing children’s books. And this is how beckytara books came to be!