“Perhaps this explains the surprised reactions I receive when I tell people that I write children’s books. ‘You do? Really?’ their raised eyebrows and open mouths seem to say. Then come the usual questions: ‘Have you ever been published? Would I know anything you’ve done?’
“I have, and I certainly hope you recognize the titles of some of my books. (If not, feel free to pick one up sometime—or two, or three . . .)
“That I am able to spend my days at such work is, on the whole, wonderful. I lose myself for hours in imagined scenarios, made-up people, or buried in research into a fascinating topic. I’m here when my kids and husband need me and can take a day off when I need some ‘me’ time. Sometimes I miss the office life I had years ago, when I was an editor at Little, Brown Children’s Books. Then I compare my commute then (a long ride on public transportation) versus now (a short climb up a flight of stairs) and realize just how lucky I am.
“Yet if it hadn’t been for those years with Little, Brown, I wouldn’t have been part of this amazing White House book. It was my old colleague and friend, Hilary Van Dusen, who contacted me about the project. She wanted to include a piece on sports and the presidency. She knew I was tapped into the sports scene because I had edited many of Matt Christopher’s sports books while at Little, Brown—and more recently, had been ghostwriting them.
“In the course of my research for the piece, I learned that many U.S. presidents had ties to the baseball, starting as far back as George Washington. But the story that stuck with me was the one that now appears in the book – the first World Series game to take place after the tragic events of 9/11, and George W. Bush’s throwing of the game’s first pitch.
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