Author & Illustrator
About - The Author & The Illustrator
I met Lauren Looney on her first day of kindergarten in 2005.
The same day, that my son, Jake was starting his first day of kindergarten too. Lauren was absolutely darling and I instantly fell in love with her. She had the sweetest tomboyish style, a funny sense of humor, and ponytails with ribbons flying as she raced around the playground. She and Jake quickly became great friends (as did us parents).
In 2006, as we approached Jake’s 6th birthday, I wanted to have a birthday party for him. When I mentioned the party to Lauren’s parents, we discovered that Jake and Lauren had the same birthday, born in the same hospital, and delivered by the same doctor. What are the odds of that happening?
It was 2011 when I had the creative idea for Jet & Scoot. It was also that same year, Lauren and her family moved to Paris for two years. As much as I loved the idea of Jet & Scoot and wanted to write it, I was still very busy as a full time stay-at-home mom. The timing just wasn’t right for me to write the story. So, the storyboard and rough draft got tucked away in a filing cabinet. Knowing I would someday eventually write the story, my bigger worry was how to find the right illustrator. Someone who would love and care for the characters as much as I did.
As the years went on, our families remained close and the distance never kept us apart. We saw each other on summer and holiday breaks. It was during a summer visit back to San Diego in 2016 when Lauren shared her art portfolio with me. I was overwhelmed at how she had blossomed into a creative artist. All those years of art classes had developed her talents into a gifted and creative young woman and artist. I knew at that moment I had finally found my illustrator. And, she had been right under my nose all along. What are the odds of that happening too?
So, it was in 2016 that I decided to pull out the storyboard and rough draft of Jet & Scoot. I also knew why I had waited so long to write “The Story About Us,” because I was waiting for Lauren.
Now, Lauren had no idea I wanted to write an illustrated children’s book, and that I would need an illustrator. In 2017, I felt it was finally the right time to start formally creating and writing JET & Scoot. With both our families on a trip to NYC together, I officially asked Lauren if she would illustrate Jet & Scoot. And, I think you can guess her answer.
Summer 2018 arrived and Lauren and I were ready to do this! Neither of us had ever written or illustrated a children’s book, and the prospect of that was very exciting to me – we would learn and grow together. And with Lauren in Prague, and me in Del Mar we spent eight weeks – managing the time change, emailing, Skyping, sending messages, scanning-scanning-scanning illustrations, developing, creating, laughing, and bringing the world of JET & Scoot to life. It was so much fun! I loved every moment of it.
To this day, Lauren’s mother is one of my dearest friends, living in Prague with her husband and Lauren’s two younger sisters. Lauren is a sophomore at Northeastern University, in Boston Massachusetts studying Media Arts. As for me, I live in Del Mar, California with my husband, Michael and Jake’s younger brother, Nick. Jake is a sophomore studying biology in the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis, in Davis California. My youngest son Nick, is a junior in high school and a coxswain for the men’s varsity rowing team.
And that, is the story about us (the author and the illustrator)…. and as they old saying goes, the rest is history.