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Author Bios

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Lori Degman writes in rhyme, most of the time – but not always!  She is the author of the award-winning books: 1 Zany Zoo, Cock-a-Doodle Oops, and Just Read, as well as Norbert’s Big Dream, Like a Girl, and Travel Guide For Monsters.  She was a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education.  Lori enjoys presenting at schools, libraries, festivals and writing conferences. You can find her online at www.Loridegman.com.

Twitter: @LoriDegman Facebook: @LoriDegmanAuthor


Sue Lowell Gallion writes for children because she is passionate about children, reading, and any combination of the two! She’s the author of the award-winning Pug Meets Pig series, the celebrated Our World, A First Book of Geography, and more. Sue’s latest book is Pug & Pig and Friends, illustrated by Joyce Wan, published by Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster, releasing August 3, 2021. Pug Meets Pig, illustrated by Joyce Wan (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster) released in 2016, with a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Pug Meets Pig won the Missouri Library Association Building Block Award in 2018. The second in the series, Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat, also illustrated by Joyce Wan, released summer 2017, with starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Sue had three books come out in 2020. Our World, A First Book of Geography, illustrated by Lisk Feng, is a uniquely formatted board book that opens up to form a free standing globe. All Except Axle, illustrated by Lisa Manuzak Wiley, is the story of a new car anxious about leaving the assembly plant and learning to drive. Tip and Tucker Paw Painters is the third in her early reader series written with her author pal Ann Ingalls and illustrated by Andre Ceolin. In 2013, Sue received the Most Promising Picture Book Manuscript award from SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). Sue’s stories, poems, and activity rhymes have been published in children’s magazines including Highlights and High Five. Suegallion.com

Twitter: @SueLGallion  Instagram: suelowellgallion

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Laura Gehl is the award-winning author of more than two dozen picture books, board books, and early readers. Her books have received starred reviews, been featured on state and national reading lists, and been translated into numerous languages. Laura's picture books include ONE BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR; the PEEP AND EGG series; MY PILLOW KEEPS MOVING; ALWAYS LOOKING UP: NANCY GRACE ROMAN, ASTRONOMER; THE NINJA CLUB SLEEPOVER; MAY SAVES THE DAY, and WHO IS A SCIENTIST?, among others. She loves reading, ice cream, travel, and hiking in all combinations.


Visit Laura online at www.lauragehl.com, or connect with her on Twitter: @AuthorLauraGehl or Instagram: authorlauragehl

Laura would love for you to Sign up for her newsletter! 

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Brian Gehrlein lives in Liberty, Missouri with his wife, Katherine, and their two sons, Peter and Albee. The Book of Rules is his first picture book. Brian does his best to follow the rules and has (so far) avoided being eaten. He hopes this trend continues. When Brian isn't avoiding being eaten by fictional monsters, he can be found teaching high school English or attempting to make himself uncomfortably caffeinated. Sometimes he tweets things. You can read the things by following him. 

Twitter: @BrianGehrlein Instagram: BrianGehrlein

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Rebecca J. Gomez enjoys writing picture books as much as she enjoys reading them. Reading aloud is the best, and when she doesn't have a cooperative human audience, she reads to her two dogs. When she's not reading or writing, Rebecca's favorite things to do are baking, creating art, and dragging her family to the woods for a hike. 

Twitter: @GomezWrites Facebook: @rebeccajgomez Instagram: gomez_writes

Rebecca would love for you to follow: @ReadDiscussDo (Twitter) readdiscussdo (Instagram)--check them out!

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Alastair Heim is the author of the picture books Love You Too (Little Bee Books – 2016), No Tooting At Tea (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion – 2017), The Great Puppy Invasion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion – 2017) which won the 2019 Oklahoma Redbud Read-Aloud Award, Hello, Door (Little Bee Books – 2018) which was chosen as one of The New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2018 and listed on The 2019 Best Books for Family Literacy by The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the upcoming Quiet Down, Loud Town! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion – 2020) and If I Had Your Vote - By the Cat in the Hat (Random House/Dr. Seuss Enterprises – 2020).  He lives in Kansas City and is represented by Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Picture Book Spotlight Interview

Twitter: @alastairheim  Instagram: alastairheim


Ann Ingalls passes the day exaggerating (writing fiction) or telling the truth (writing nonfiction).

She has written fifty books for young readers. Her books have won several awards: Bank Street Books, Best Books of 2020, the 2015 Annual American Graphic Design Award and the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation’s “A Book Just for Me!” Pencil: A Story with a Point! is on the SSYRA list as well as Missouri’s Building Block Award list.


When given the choice between educating children or entertaining them with her writing, Ann chooses to do both. Before she was a children’s writer, Ann taught elementary and special education classes and worked as a parent educator. Ann lives in Kansas City with her husband, Winston. Please visit her at http://anningalls.com.

Picture Book Spotlight Interview

Twitter: @AnnIngallsBooks Facebook: @AnnIngallsWriter


Jody Jensen Shaffer is an award-winning poet and the author of more than 70 books of fiction and nonfiction for children, including Prudence the Part-Time Cow, a Missouri Show Me Award finalist for 2020, A Chip Off the Old Block, It's Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!, an Amazon best-seller and Amazon Prime Book Box pick for September 2019, It's a Field Trip, Busy Bus!, Emergency Kittens!, Who is Jackie Chan? and more. Jody’s poetry and fiction have been published in magazines like Highlights, Ladybug, and Clubhouse Jr. Jody lives in Liberty, Missouri, with her family. When she’s not writing, Jody can be found watching baseball or walking her rescue dog, Sophie. You can find Jody online at jodyjensenshaffer.com and on Twitter @jodywrites4kids.

From Jody:
I grew up the youngest of three kids in a northern Missouri college town, where my dad taught anatomy and physiology and my mom taught at the local elementary school. I earned my Bachelor’s in English from William Jewell College and my Master’s in English from Truman State University. After 12 years in the business world, I left to raise my children, and that’s when I fell in love with children’s literature.

-2017 Presenter, Kansas Book Festival
-2018 Mentor, Picture Book Writing With the Stars
-2018, 2019, 2020 Presenter, nErDcampKS
-2018 #KidsNeedMentors mentor


Kids Author Stays Busy This Fall, Winter Courier-Tribune, January 2019

Children’s Book Authors Find Praise for Books January 2018
Liberty author honored by national magazine with Courier-Tribune June 8, 2017
March 2017 interview with Johnson County Library
Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb
Sharon Chriscoe’s Picture Book of the Month, June 2017

10 random facts about me:

1. I am endlessly fascinated by the natural world.
2. I try to walk for exercise most days.
3. I like dogs. A lot.
4. I am a member of two long-term writing groups. We give one another feedback about our stories.
5. I prefer a hoodie over a sweater, tennis shoes over heels.
6. The one food I can’t live without is peanut butter.
7. I love laughing and funny people and things.
8. I can sing the names of the 50 states in alphabetical order. I can sing the preamble to the constitution.
9. I remember the exact moment I learned how to read.
10. I loved being a kid.

Twitter: @jodywrites4kids


Writer ​Megan Lacera grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, with a book always in her hands. She became a writer and creator of characters and worlds for entertainment companies like American Greetings, Hasbro, and Goldieblox and later formed her own creative company where she creates original content and consults on marketing, social media, and strategic direction for start-ups and large corporations.

After reading many stories to their son, Megan realized that very few books reflected a family like theirs--multicultural, bilingual, funny, and imperfect. She decided to change that by writing her own stories. 

Megan and Jorge offer paid critiques as well as phone/Zoom consultations. They provide picture book manuscript and dummy critiques, middle grade manuscript critiques, portfolio critiques and query/pitch guidance. Email megan@studiolacera.com for more information and rates.

Note: Megan will be doing a co-critique with Jorge. 

Picture Book Spotlight Interview

Twitter: @MeganLacera  Facebook:@MeganAndJorgeLacera 

Megan and Jorge invite you to sign up for their newsletter


Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been.

Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books where anything is possible.

Her picture books available now are:

Tara is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Her last name rhymes with “bazaar”—you can listen to Tara pronounce her name on TeachingBooks.net. She’s not Tara Laser-beam (although that would be awesome).

5 Unusual Facts About Tara:

1. She prefers cheese over chocolate.

2. She walks with a blue cane.

3. She lives in a pink house.

4. She eats tacos every day of the week.

5. She's a former figure skating champion.


And the not so unusual stuff…

Tara at age 9 with her puppy, Bo

Tara loves children’s books. Her goal is to create books that children love.

She writes picture books and middle grade novels. She’s written short stories for Abe’s Peanut and is featured in Break These Rules, a book of life-lesson essays for teens, edited by author Luke Reynolds.

In November 2009, Tara created PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) as the picture book writer’s answer to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In 2017, PiBoIdMo’s name was changed to Storystorm and it’s now held on this blog every January…with nearly 2,000 participants from around the world.

Tara was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010. She has an inspirational story to share about overcoming a chronic illness to achieve your goals and dreams. Tara can speak to groups big and small, young and old—just contact her for more information.

Tara is the co-chair of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature One-on-One Plus Conference and an SCBWI member. In 2017, she served as a picture book mentor for We Need Diverse Books and in 2019 she’s a #PBChat mentor.

Tara speaks at conferences and events regarding picture books, writing, brainstorming techniques, and social media for authors. Her former career was in high-tech marketing and PR.

Tara is a life-long New Jersey resident. She lives in Somerset County with her husband, two young daughters and the world’s cutest hamster, Ozzie.

Picture Book Spotlight Interview

Twitter: @taralazar  Instagram: taralaser


Tara Luebbe is a former toy and bookstore owner turned picture book author. Tara co-writes with her
sister, Becky Cattie, and they are the authors of I AM FAMOUS and I USED TO BE FAMOUS, illustrated by
Joanne Lew Vriethoff; SHARK NATE-O, illustrated by Daniel Duncan; OPERATION PHOTOBOMB,
illustrated by Matthew Rivera; and RONAN THE LIBRARIAN, illustrated by Victoria Maderna. Tara is
represented by Tracy Marchini at Bookends literary. She loves both reading and writing picture books,
especially those that are humorous. She lives with her husband and three boys in Fort Mill, SC.

Twitter:@t_luebbe Instagram: taralubbe


Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten -- art by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School -- art by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- art by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling 2019 and Scholastic 2019) and Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World -- art by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books 2019), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project -- art by Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press / CAW Publishing, November 2021) and American Pie -- art by Dea Lenihan (Dancing Flamingo Press, 2022).


She’s also the Owner and Administrator of both RateYourStory.org and ThePictureBookMechanic.com, as well as a long-time Travel Agent with PixieVacations.com (www.pixievacationsbylynnemarie.com)! She's been a Cybil's Judge in the Fiction Picture Books and Board Books category since 2016. Recently, she's been handed the ReFoReMo torch from Kirsti Call and Carrie Charley Brown, which returns under March On With Mentor Texts in March, 2022 (www.rateyourstory.org/march-on). You can join her weekly Book Chat here: Mentor Text Talk| Facebook or at #ReVISIONWeek on Twitter which she co-hosts throughout the year. 

When she’s not searching for story ideas all over the globe, she lives on a lake in South Florida with her family, a Schipperke named Anakin and several resident water birds. Visit her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com. Lynne Marie is represented by Marisa Cleveland of www.theseymouragency.com

Twitter:@Literally_Lynne Instagram: literally.lynne.marie


Diana Murray is the author of over a dozen books for children, including Goodnight Veggies (HMH, March 2020), a Jr. Library Guild Selection; Five Fuzzy Chicks (Imprint/Macmillan, February 2020), an Amazon Book of the Month; and Unicorn Day (Sourcebooks, 2019), a National Indiebound Bestseller. Her poems have appeared in magazines such as Highlights, High Five and Spider, as well as anthologies like Thanku: Poems of Gratitude (Millbrook, 2019), an ALA Notable Book. Diana grew up in NYC and still lives nearby with her firefighter husband, two children, and a smarty-pants cockatiel named Bean.

Picture Book Spotlight Interview

Twitter: @DianaMWrites  Facebook: Diana Murray  Instagram: dianamurrayauthor


Jessie grew up watching Kansas sunsets, and she'll always have wild sunflowers and gold-tipped corn fields in her heart. She spent her college-life climbing mountains in Utah and striving for higher vistas. After a fulfilling career as a registered nurse, Jessie hung up her stethoscope to grow children and stories. She loves root beer floats, autumn, and running in the rain. These days you can find her in the Texas hill country with her husband, their five kids, and a dog named Della. 

Picture Book Spotlight Interview

Twitter: @JessieOliveros Instagram: jessieoliveros

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Corey is the author of The Three Ninja Pigs and several other rhyming picture books and fractured fairy tales. Corey has no formal ninja training, but she sure can kick butt in Scrabble. She lives with three Knuckleheads in Warren, NJ.

Twitter: @CoreyPBNinja

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Susan grew up in the heart of Greenwich Village in NYC. As a kid she kept a piece of chalk in her pocket (for spontaneous hopscotch) and her skate key around her neck, ready for the next adventure. She found inspiration everywhere and loved to write all about it!

Now, Susan lives by the sea in East Hampton, New York with her 3 children, their dog, Gizmo and a menagerie of other creatures. Here, she writes books for children of all ages and teaches kids yoga and mindfulness. She is a yogi herself and is still working on her headstand.

Her best-selling, award-winning stories range from explorations of music, art and museum visits to the concepts of serendipitous friendships, environmental issues, empathy and humanity with an emphasis on yoga and mindfulness. Susan’s stories celebrate the unique voices and experiences of kids and inspire adults to let their own inner child out…maybe for a spontaneous game of hopscotch every now and then. Susan’s books have been translated into multiple languages.

For more info about her books, including her New York Times bestselling I Am series click here.

Susan loves to bring her knowledge of writing, yoga, and mindfulness to schools, libraries and yoga studios. She is also available to keynote events and offers workshops for educators, parents and aspiring writers. To schedule a visit customized to your needs click here.

Susan is a frequent contributor to MindBodyGreen, YogaDigest, and other online magazines and has appeared on multiple podcasts (livehappy and KidLitTv) speaking about writing, parenting, mindfulness, and yoga.​

Instagram: susanverde


Yep. Here I am. Adam Wallace in all my glory! Under these words is a video of me telling you all about me and what I like, and it’s ALL true. Seriously. My eyebrows go up and down so I must be telling the truth!


So that’s all that, but what else do you want to know about me? Well, doesn’t matter! I’m gonna tell you stuff!

Age: (102+77-125)/9+40-2

Favourite Books: Harpo Speaks, Stargirl, So Wrong, The 13 Story Treehouse

Favourite Number: 19

Favourite Colours: Blue and Purple

Favourite Toe: Left Big toe

Favourite type of dog: Labrador-Kelpie-Italian Greyhound cross

Favourite Footy Team: The mighty mighty MAGPIES!!!!

Favourite Punctuation Thing!!!!!!!!! Exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then …

Favourite Way to Say Hello/Goodbye/Well Done: High five!

For more info, visit: https://www.adam-wallace-books.com/

Twitter: @WallysBooks Facebook: Adam Wallace 

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