Eileen (O’Donnell) Lucas grew up in Chicago, spent a semester in college in Ireland, and graduated from Western Illinois University. She lived near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for over 20 years, where her sons Travis and Brendan were born. She worked as a freelance writer and an elementary and middle school teacher during these years. She now lives in Florida, where she loves to go to the beach and listen to Jimmy Buffett music. She also loves to visit her trailer in the woods in central Wisconsin, where she takes care of her garden and hikes in the pines. Besides nonfiction children’s books, she writes for an educational software publishing company in Wisconsin.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
When I was in grade school, I loved to read biographies of American heroes such as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. One of my favorite fictional characters in children’s literature is Pippi Longstocking. I think she and Junie B. Jones would get along great! When I was in high school, my best friend and I went to different schools. We would get together to ride our bikes to the library every third Saturday. One of my favorite books in high school was Christy. Another was The Hobbit.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“Koala Lou, I do love you,” from Koala Lou by Mem Fox.
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
There are lots. From children’s writers/illustrators, I would say Milton Meltzer, Lois Ehlert, Linda Lowery.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I love to read and learn about lots of things. Writing helps me share what I’ve learned, and I like that!
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Read! It’s the key to everything.