Nice to meet you!

There are so many things I want to tell you:

My name is Naomi and I grew up in the Caribbean, on a smallish island called St. Croix. Every summer, I traveled to California to stay with my grandmother—the absolute best part of my childhood. So I lived half in one kind of world, half in a very different one, and loved them both.

You can imagine, then, that Anansi was just as dear to my little heart as Treasure Island. The Chronicles of Narnia felt like home, because I was accustomed to traveling between realities. Plus, I was a quiet, bookish child, so the scenery in front of my eyes easily melded with the one in my imagination.

Most of my family are artists of one kind or another—painters, sculptors, musicians... I'm the only one who was obsessed with words, escaping in stories, saving up my pennies to purchase as many paperbacks as I could at the bookstore. (Sometimes, I still try to find old books that I loved, even though I can't always remember the titles. When I fail to locate them, I fret about those lost stories, wondering where they are and if kids are still learning the lessons that I learned from them.) I never seriously considered doing anything besides writing—not seriously.

Everyone know that saying about doing what you love so that you never work a day in your life. Well, that's not true. Yes, I built a career writing, but most of the time I was analyzing magazine ad sales trends for business-to-business publishers, writing marketing copy for soft drinks, and running around in the subtropical sun reporting for a newspaper. (I did have fun as a reporter—even when I was 30 feet in the air on a ladder, trying not to slip on my own sweat, waiting to snap a picture of a baby miniature wallaby, which is a fast-darting creature.)

In 2007, I was a freelance writer in New York City when my picture book, Sandy the Stingray, was published. Thrilling, yes, but 99% of my energy was focused on building my career in NYC, and the 1% I had left for my book wasn't enough. That coupled with an unfortunate publisher led to Sandy the Stingray's current status: out of print.

I don't feel sorry for myself, and I've already gone on too long, so enough of that. Life, life, life, and finally, I wrote a middle grade book into which I would love to jump into the pages: Birthday Ranch! Someday soon, you will find my story on your bookshelf or device, and I hope you love it as much as I do.