I was born in Boston and earned a Master's degree from Boston College. In 1981, I read a newspaper article on the stunning discovery of Thomas Nickerson's eyewitness account of the Essex tragedy. It sat in a trunk for over one hundred years. Captivated by the story, I lectured on "The Real Moby Dick" at historical societies and libraries on Cape Cod. Children's literature has been a great source of enjoyment to me. When my family was young, we made frequent trips to the library. The ride home was always so quiet as they became immersed in their books. It was a natural fit for me to write the Essex story for young readers.