FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do you say Krohn?

Like zone, wishbone, mascarpone…
Phone, cyclone and baritone!

What inspired My Friend Angry?

I dropped my kids off at school one day, and as I was driving away the poem at the beginning of the book came to me. Immediately I began to imagine a story, and later that afternoon I sat down and wrote My Friend Angry in an hour and a half!

Why is Vanessa angry?

Good question! There are two reasons I didn’t include why Vanessa is angry:
1. It could be anything, and
2. It doesn’t really matter.
Anger gets triggered by different things for each of us, so what matters is not what “made” us angry but what we do with our anger. When we take blame out of the equation, we can step into ownership of our feelings. That’s when the transformation begins.

How did you come up with Angry’s words?

Well, first, Angry’s words are funny, and fun to read aloud! They remind us we always have a choice to be in ease with our feelings.

And there is a deeper reason as well. When my kids were little and their vocabulary was expanding rapidly, they would make up words, especially when they were in deep feeling – sadness, anger, even joy. Sometimes their words were close to another word in the English language, and sometimes they were not logical at all. It was frustrating to me (and them!) until I learned that if I “listened” to the energy and feeling behind the word instead of the word itself, I knew exactly what they were saying. Angry’s words are in honor of all kids exploring their own feeling language.

Where did you get the idea for the name Vanessa?

It just came to me when I started writing the book. I looked up the meaning later and learned it means “butterfly” in Greek. This is perfect, as the butterfly is the animal totem of transformation, and Angry transforms into Forgiveness.

Tell us one thing that nobody knows about My Friend Angry.

Mr. Squirrel steals the show, but he was an afterthought! Since much of the story takes place under the tree, I created Mr. Squirrel to give Brian more to work with in the illustrations.

What inspired you to write books?

I love to be with kids in imagination, and stories are the perfect vehicle. I have been reading children’s books aloud in my kids’ classrooms nearly every week for the past 10 years, and on any given day you would find my kids and I doubled over in laughter at a silly story we created over the littlest thing. I realized it was a gift I already had, so I just started writing them down!

Have you written other books?

Yes! I have several other children’s books, some about feelings, some funny stories, and some rhyming. My Friend Angry is my first book to be published.

Will there be more books about feelings?

Yes! My Friend Angry is the first in a series of My Friend Feeling books. My Friend Fear is next. [Sign up here] to be the first to receive updates!

What's your favorite color?

It depends. I see something and love the color – my daughter’s shirt, a bird flitting by, or a bottle of juice. That is my favorite for the moment. Right now, there is sunlight coming through a red petunia outside the window!

What’s your favorite crustacean?

Hermit crab, hands down. They are SOOO CUTE! And selecting new shells as they grow? What an amazing parallel to a conscious life - the willingness to always be made new!

What's your favorite book/author?

My favorite children’s author is Robert Munsch. So many of his stories are my favorites: Mortimer, Pigs, Stephanie’s Ponytail, Paper Bag Princess…the list goes on! My oldest daughter received his “Munschworks Grand Treasury” book when she turned one, and we have read it so much over the years that the spine is now held together with duct tape! And we still love it.
I also really enjoy Oliver Jeffers and Drew Daywalt. Such funny and awesome talent!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Our job here is to play. . .doodle. . .daydream. . . feel. Time spent watching squirrels and seeing cloud shapes and building sandcastles has deep value – that’s when our imagination comes out to play. Trust your own voice, your own greater mission, and write for you only. The rest will take care of itself.
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