I grew up in a small central California town so windy it nearly blew my brains out. My most vivid memory of my childhood is having very tangled hair, and riding my stingray bike to school into a gale force headwind. I have no ball throwing or Frisbee skills and I blame it all on the wind.

My Dad was a high school teacher and guidance counselor who taught me how to diagram sentences using different-colored jellybeans for the parts of speech. He let me eat any sentence that I got right.  I ate a LOT of sentences, which may be why I'm a writer today. My mother is a local saint and will be really mad that I said this about her, but it is T - R - U - E. Mark my words, some day there will be holy cards with my mother’s face on them. Saint Marion of the Windy City.

When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to be either a nun or a soldier. It was going to be a tough call, until I hit puberty and realized that nuns didn’t wear make-up. I joined the Army the first hot second they would take me. It was not glamorous like I thought it would be, mostly just very hard work in the snow.  And how many days in a row can they really expect you to wear green? 

I was happy to finish the Army and go to college, which was very interesting, but none of the professors gave me jellybeans for my right answers. In spite of that, I obtained a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance.

I am living my lifelong dream of being a children’s author. I live in Santa Barbara, California with my life partner who is a very excellent nurse, and a National Cycling Champion. We both like to exercise a lot, make up voices for our cats, and go to the movies. I can eat an entire large tub of popcorn by myself, but try to share.

My life motto is “Get some gratitude.” I think I might have borrowed it from Drew Barrymore. You are welcome to borrow it, too.

Mary Hershey
Children’s Author

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