About the Author, Priscilla Cummings
Most people think I'm from Maryland because I've written so many stories about CHADWICK THE CRAB and even set some of my novels, such as RED KAYAK, near the Chesapeake Bay. But actually, I grew up the middle of three children on a dairy farm in western Massachusetts, far from the water. I loved living on a farm where I was surrounded by animals and always in touch with nature. And lucky me, I had a palomino horse named Goldenboy that I galloped up and down the pastures after school. We had another horse, too, an appaloosa named Lollipop, who shared the pasture with Goldenboy and our herd of black and white Holsteins. Besides the farm animals, I had several other pets including cats, white rabbits, a hamster and several goldfish.
As a young girl, I had other passions besides a love for animals. I enjoyed mountain climbing with my father, especially in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And I looked forward all year to our annual family trip to Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island, where, for a couple precious days, we camped out in one of my dad's old Army tents and swam in the ocean. I had a lot of freedom growing up. It was a different kind of world then, and I had many memorable adventures with my friends and siblings. But what I loved above all else was reading books and writing my own stories. With my best friend, Marcia, I toted home many books from the Granby Public Library. Often, it was a Nancy Drew mystery or a book that featured a horse. I had very few books of my own, but my most treasured one, CHARLOTTE'S WEB by E.B. White, remains on my bookshelf today.
Because of financial hardships facing many small farmers, my father gave up his dream of being a farmer and became a chemistry and physics teacher instead. I looked up to my dad; I had always thought I would follow in his footsteps and become a teacher, too, but in college I changed my mind because I enjoyed writing so much. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in English literature, I became a newspaper reporter. Over the next ten years I worked for four different newspapers in four different states. In 1981, I was honored as UPI's Journalist of the Year for Virginia after researching and writing a series of articles on women in prison.
Today, my home is in Annapolis, Maryland with my family. We have a small sailboat and a green canoe, but no red kayaks. We have two cats named Mr. Charles Bingley (Mr. B. for short) and Romeo. When I'm not writing or visiting schools I enjoy reading, playing the piano and taking long walks. I think a lot on my walks and, often, I daydream about my days growing up on the farm.
- Priscilla Cummings