About DeniseFun facts for your book report, event or just because you're curious
Anytime we did a special project at school, I chose to write, including a newspaper that discussed Huckleberry Finn and a play about the Pullman railway car. When we were learning about Vienna, Austria in grade school, I wrote the words to a song for part of a report (but my partner sang it because I can’t carry a tune worth pinto beans).I also wrote a really bad novel when I was 15. It was exciting to type 144 pages, especially the last page where I wrote THE END.
- Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Regional Advisor Emeritus (RAE), served 10 years
- Author’s Guild (AG)
- Colorado Author’s League (CAL)
- Colorado Council, International Reading Association (CCIRA)
- Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN)
- Board Member, Reach Out and Read Colorado (RORCO)
- Associate Member, Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association
CURRENT FACULTY POSITIONS
- Fiction and Young Adult Mentor, Regis University MFA in Creative Writing, (I also facilitate an optional picture book writing semester)
- Adjunct Faculty, Professional Creative Writing Program, University College at the University of Denver, overview of Children’s Literature
- Faculty, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, writing for children and young adults
WHAT I’M READING
See below for some of my favorite things and answers to question I get asked most often.
The mountains of Colorado
Fave Candy and Snacks
Butterfinger (bites OK)
ChocoLove Mint Bar
Malted Milk eggs (must have that crunchy exterior0
Ruffles Reduced Fat potato chips
Avocados (esp from CA)
French Fries (but I’m picky)
Roasted cauliflower (it’s true)
Fave Ice Cream
Banana Caramel Crunch (at Glacier near my house)
Ben & Jerry’s: Cherry Garcia, Peanut Butter Fudge Core, Salted Caramel Core
Cold Stone: Peanut Butter Cup Perfection(R)
(You’re killin’ me, guys!)
P.S. Not a fan of soft ice cream
Halloween for a long time, but now it’s
Thanksgiving because we have a fabulous
“Leftover Turkey Show” – a variety show in which many family members perform
FAQs About Denise
When and where were you born?
Where did you go to school?
Elementary/Middle School: All Souls School, Englewood, CO
High School: Arapahoe High School, Littleton, CO (with one year at Bishop Moore High School, Orlando, FL)
College: B.A., UCLA (1st two years at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO)
Post-grad: Ed.M. (Masters in Education), Harvard University
Do you have any kids?
Where do you live?
Do you have any pets?
She lived for the tennis ball and would be your best friend if you threw it for her. Rayanne used to have a betta fish and a hamster but both died so right now we have no pets.
Do you have any siblings?
What kind of music do you like?
What’s your shoe size?
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Did you always want to be a writer?
When I was really young, I wanted to be a vet, then a firefighter, then a dancer. In junior high and high school I wanted to be either an actor or a writer. As I entered college, writing started to grab my interest more.
What influenced you in your writing?
Marietta Brown (5th or 6th grade English – I’m still friends with her!), Sally McCabe who taught me English in 7th and 8th grade (she passed away several years ago – very sad), and Nancy Fehrmann Roach (now Fehrmann again), who was my literature teacher in 7th and 8th grade, Miss Ferrill in 9th, Mr. Rahn Anderson in 10th.the list goes on. All of them gave me encouragement and made me feel like a writer, as well as my parents, who also supported me early on.
Books were also a big influence. I read a lot as a kid and beyond and wanted to be able to create stories that readers could relate to, just as I related to the books I read. I wanted to entertain, but also maybe give readers insights, too.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
What else are you interested in?
Meditation, yoga, Zumba, jogging/running and I LOVE nature, especially the mountains and the water there–put me next to a stream, river, waterfall and I’m in heaven. Love the ocean too—especially the Caribbean—but I definitely have mountain blood running through my veins.
Check out my gorgeous Tibetan singing bowl, giving to me by the lovely and talented Ann Martin of Mile High Healing Vibe! Often I put it on my head and tap it to clear my mind before I begin to write. It’s amazing!