Bibliography for WINGS OF AN EAGLE

(Not quite complete) In addition to the Selected Sources shown in the WINGS back matter, I accessed many, many resources as I researched Billy Mills’ story, before and after beginning our collaboration. Below is an incomplete sampling of those resources: Andrews, Terry. “Mills Doesn’t Always Win.” Stars & Stripes, October 21, 1964. “Athletes Petition Board… Read more »

The Story Behind WINGS OF AN EAGLE: A Tale of Collaboration

As the July 2024 publication nears for WINGS OF AN EAGLE: THE GOLD MEDAL DREAMS OF BILLY MILLS, co-authored with Billy Mills and illustrated by S.D. Nelson, it seems fitting to share the story behind the story: Where did the idea come from for WINGS OF AN EAGLE? In 2014-2015, while researching The Lakota, Dakota,… Read more »

2023-24 Education Grants for Books, Author Visits, School Programs, Professional Development & More

Updated 2023   I love visiting schools and meeting librarians, teachers, and students. But many schools can’t afford author visits. In fact, many schools don’t have the budget for new books, enrichment programs, or professional development. That’s why I scoured resources and compiled this mega list of grants for schools and classrooms. There are plenty more… Read more »

School Visit Survey Results — Money, Process, and Uncomfortable Truths

Last fall (2023), in preparation for a conference presentation I was to give about the ins and outs of school visits, I made a late decision to gather concrete data that I could work into my content. I’m a sucker for information backed up by statistics, and I always strive to provide more than expected…. Read more »

Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing an Author Visit

Click to download a photo-free PDF of this article School author visits can be fun and enlightening, and studies have shown that they inspire students to read and write more. Meeting a “real live author” is like Dorothy pulling back the curtain to meet the Wizard behind the world of Oz. But organizing an event… Read more »

Begin with a Plan: Narrative Nonfiction Picture Books

This post was originally published on February 20, 2023, on as part of their 2023 Nonfiction Fest month. After reading this post, pop over to NFFest and read the other informative posts by fabulous nonfiction authors.  ************************************************************************************ I know the struggle well. You research like Ken Burns—widely and deeply— and then face the itty… Read more »

Select sources & quote sources for King of the Tightrope

What happens when there’s not enough space in a picture book for the Sources? They’re moved here, for ready access. So, here ya go, dear readers. A condensed list of the sources I accessed during my research for King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara, illustrated by Adam Gustavson, and published by… Read more »

Hear pronunciations for the French terms in King of the Tightrope

Hello, readers! When you open up King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara, you’ll notice that the story is peppered with French words and phrases. It’s fun to guess the pronunciations, but here are some audio pronunciations to help you get the readings just right. s’amuser! (have fun!) Grand-père—grandfather Fléchis—inflect or bend… Read more »

Do You Need Permission to Write About Somebody?

  Some of the most common questions I hear from picture book biography writers: Q: Do I need permission to write about somebody, living or dead? A: Permission is technically not required if the biography subject is/was a public figure, unless their estate has created a kind of legal fortress. There are rare cases in… Read more »