When did you become a children’s book author?
Undercover Elf is my first children’s book, so I guess I became an author in the last
couple of years. It still feels a little strange to have a book out there with my name on it.
Do you have a writing background?
I have never really been an “official” writer. I have always enjoyed making up little
stories, songs, or poems, but rarely did I write them down. It took a lot of
encouragement from others to get this story written!
How did you come up with the story?
When my daughter was five, I wove this tale of being a secret elf, and showed her my
own “elf ear.” I didn’t really think much more of it, but when her brother was born a
month later, she immediately noticed his elf ear. Over time, the story just grew from
questions they would ask, and ways that they would try to discover if my identity was
real, and to discover the truth about Santa. Each part of the book comes from an actual
question or discussion we had during their childhood.
How did you come up with the character?
Growing up, I had/have what my mother called a “pixie ear,” or an “elf ear.” The elf-
point is hard to see, it is on the inside of the edge of the ear and not the outside. So, the
character is based on a reflection of my activities as an undercover Elf.
How do you select names for your characters?
In the book, Undercover Elf doesn’t tell anyone her name. In reality, her Elf-name is
Sugarfoot. This is a nod to my mother-in-law, as that is my father-in-law’s nickname for
her. Her name may come out if I write future stories!
Did you hire an illustrator or do the illustrations yourself?
I hired an illustrator, and he did the black-and white drawings. My grandsons and I then
took the pictures and hand-colored each of them, to give the effect of the pictures
coming from a child’s perspective.
Are you self-published or published through a publishing company?
This book is self-published. I worked with BookBaby, and they were a terrific partner in
getting this book into print!
From the day you came up with the idea for the story until you were holding your published book