My mother is German and my father is Indian, which, as you may imagine, led to something of an identity crisis in childhood. (“Mommy, why is it always the brown men or the Germans in movies that are the bad guys? Does that mean I’m badder than if I was just German or just brown?”) as well as to some confusion regarding moral development. The Koran, the Brothers Grimm, and the Struwwelpeter served as competing beacons of righteousness, the latter often winning because, let’s face it, German psychiatrists knew how to scare the bejeezus out of children.
After extensive traveling in my late teenage years (France, Germany, California) I came back home to Get Serious About Life. I attended college with the notion of becoming a child psychologist (you see? You see what subtle influence the terrible, terrible Struwwelpeter can have?) but was plagued with a cycle of thoughts that read exactly as follows: I would like to talk to clients, but not really, because then, when would I draw? Or write? I could come home and draw and write, but will I have enough time? Maybe I can work like ten hours a week so I have plenty of time to draw and write…..but then, could I still pay attention to my clients? Oh, who cares, as long as I get to write and draw….but isn’t that kind of mean? Don’t clients deserve attention? But how will I pay attention if I’m thinking about writing and drawing?
So I came to my senses. Finally. Writing stories and drawing pictures for them were what I have done with a tenacious passion for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I could even make a living at it, I thought. And so I pursued doing both professionally.
To date, I have illustrated four picture books and written and illustrated one. I am currently working on a YA fantasy novel that I’m very excited about. Oh, and I live in Austin, TX, which, if it weren’t for the sizzling sidewalks and dehydrated bugs, would be heaven on earth.