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Okay, here’s the scoop . . .

I've been drawing and writing my whole life.

As a kid I often drew pictures to go with famous stories.
I kept sketch journals of my life, too. 
One of my favorites is from when I visited Mexico as a teen
with the Spanish Club in high school.
And two were entered in the Detroit News Scholastic Writing Awards,
http://www.scholastic.com/artandwritingawards/enter.htm 
where I won two thick red dictionaries with my name 
engraved in gold. 
I still have the sketchbooks and the dictionaries.  :)

As a grown-up I worked in the advertising field, drew 
cartoons, illustrated for newspapers, created all sorts 
of art (including lots of t-shirt art), and won 6 national essay
-writing contests.

Then I started writing and illustrating kids' books, and 
discovered that's what I want to do for the rest of my life.

It was a long, tough road to publication. I worked very hard, 
rewriting and redrawing many times, trying to make it my 
best -- and I am still learning. I’m still taking classes and 
pushing myself to do a better job on each book.
When I was little I thought famous authors and illustrators
did their art perfectly the first time. I learned that's hardly 
ever true.

I grew up in the Detroit area and now live in Lansing, 
Michigan, with my family and a couple dogs. 
I have the best friends and family IN THE WORLD. It’s true.

Things I like to do in my spare time: Play games. Practice 
martial arts. Read, write and draw. Study science and nature.
Find humor in the mundane. Play the harmonica. Camp. Hug my grandchildren. Learn new things.

 

Something I do a *LOT* of: travel. Charlie and I visit schools
all over the country, connecting with readers of Ellie McDoodle,
and we have a great time together on the road.


Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel was my first book for 
kids. I’m very excited about what comes next.

family-portraitpencilFORWEB

I was 14 when I drew this portrait of my family when I was 7. 
I’m the girl in the top row, middle. I wanted to be a great artist. 
I had a long way to go. I did one thing right, though: PRACTICE. 
I drew a LOT. Still do...

mexico

When I was 15 I went to Mexico with the Spanish Club in high school, and drew this market scene in my sketch-journal.

 

 

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When I was 16 I drew this page in my sketch-journal. It’s me, getting ready for work at a hamburger restaurant.
Do I look like Ellie McDoodle? Maybe a little.

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That’s me, above. The photo was taken by Betty Mannino McClellan. She’s one of my favorite sisters. :) I have four sisters, all younger than me (and all favorites, of course!).
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This is me a few years ago when I was short.

 

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This is me at age 10, on Christmas, with my favorite gift: Mini Dragons. It was like Creepy Crawlers -- using Plastigoop and a heated Thingmaker, I made parts of dragons and put them together, like 3-D puzzles. 
Best toy, ever. Probably dangerous, though.
Those are three of my favorite brothers in the background.
I have four brothers: two older and two younger.

playingspoons

A lot of the things that happen in my books are
inspired by real life. When I was a kid I loved
playing Spoons with my brothers and sisters.

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My kids are hilarious. They say funny things 
so often that I have learned to always keep a 
pen and paper handy, to write it down before I forget it.
This is my son, Joey, when he was about 6.
This picture still makes me giggle. (so does my son)

ellie mcdoodle book cover  ellie mcdoodle book cover  ellie mcdoodle book cover  ellie mcdoodle book cover  ellie mcdoodle books  ellie mcdoodle book cover 

 Leopold the lion 

These are my books, so far. I plan to write lots more books of all different kinds.
For photos and book cover images for interviews and appearances, please go to my media page


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